Among the many sponsorship announcements I receive, one from a couple of weeks ago stood out. It was from the NBA Charlotte Bobcats, touting the fact that subscribers to Time Warner Cable in North Carolina and South Carolina would have an exclusive four-day opportunity to purchase playoff tickets before they went on sale to the general public.
In case you have forgotten (or never knew), the Bobcats play in Time Warner Cable Arena. more
Today’s Wall Street Journal reports on FIFA’s efforts to control ambush marketing and the sale of unlicensed merchandise in conjunction with the upcoming World Cup in South Africa. more
Growing up, I was a big fan of the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE – World Wrestling Entertainment). Last night’s WWE Monday Night Raw broadcast sent me on a trip down memory lane as I watched one of my favorite wrestlers growing up, Shawn Michaels “The Heartbreak Kid”, announce his retirement. Not going to lie, it got a little dusty in Kander Manor towards the end of his speech and when he left the ring for the ‘final’ time. (By the way, Shawn Michaels’ speech was everything that Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame induction speech wasn’t – emotional, passionate, acknowledging his fans/colleagues for their support, etc.) more
I thought we all agreed some years ago that the idea of a company showing up, being seen, putting its name on something and then counting eyeballs and impressions was a marketing concept whose time had come and gone, made obsolete by new technologies and no longer relevant in a world of consumers who demanded to be engaged.
Well someone forgot to tell the many sports marketing experts I have seen quoted the past few days regarding Tiger Woods’ return to golf at The Masters. The consensus among this chattering class—many of them academics—is that Tiger’s return, in and of itself, will be a huge boon to the companies he still endorses because of the attention it will attract to him and, presumably, those marketers.
Formula 1 driver, Lewis Hamilton, and Reebok unveiled an alternate reality game (ARG) yesterday called Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life. Hamilton is the central character in this game, which allows its users to experience a facet of Hamilton’s “life” beyond being a Formula 1 driver. The overall goal of the game is to help Lewis train and prepare to recover priceless artworks, sculptures and manuscripts from thieves. Apparently (or as Reebok would like you to believe), Hamilton is a big “The Thomas Crown Affair” fan and bypassing museum security/stealing priceless artifacts is his secret passion. more
Since 2008, Amica Insurance, based in Rhode Island, has really stepped up its marketing activity around participatory sports events, specifically triathlons and marathons. In 2010, Amica is the title sponsor of no less than 13 events across the U.S., including a series of 10 sprint distance triathlons, an Ironman 70.3 and two marathons. What is also interesting is that almost all of these events did not exist before 2008. more
In a down economy, companies are forced more and more to make their sponsorships relevant and meaningful. Companies who are endemic to a particular sport are a natural fit for those particular sponsorship opportunities. However, for companies whose businesses do not naturally fit into the sports experience, they have to be a little more creative with how they activate their sponsorship platforms to make their presence meaningful to the fans and attendees. In particular, companies within the consumer and B2B technology and communications categories have done a great job of leveraging their sponsorship opportunities and made themselves largely endemic to the sports experience. more
Hallelujah and thank you, Bill Taylor. I read his great Harvard Business Review blog post yesterday on idea-swapping outside the immediate field (or sector or industry) we work in. If there’s any Kool-Aid you are open to drinking today, let this be it.
While I suggest you read the full post—he has good anecdotes about companies employing the strategy—his last paragraph sums up his point. more
Among the numerous considerations a sponsor must wade through to determine which properties to sponsor, cost is usually at the top of the list. Unfortunately, focusing too much on cost can sometimes lead a sponsor down the wrong path or create unnecessary boundaries, ruling out properties that might otherwise be appropriate. more
For the record, I am an NBA fan. But aside from my love of the game, it’s my opinion that the NBA has been ahead of its time, when compared to other professional leagues in America, in creating interest abroad, especially in China. The past few years have seen some of the greatest playoff series ever (Spurs-Suns 2007 and 2008, Celtics-Cavaliers 2009, Celtics-Bulls 2009, Pistons-Cavaliers 2007, Lakers-Celtics 2008) and the league’s stars have never been more likable and charismatic from a fan’s standpoint.