After reading Jim Andrews’ take on IHOP’s NFL-themed menu last month, I wondered what could incite such a passionate screed against stuffed French toast. And so it was that I found myself walking into an IHOP on a recent Sunday morning for the first time in nearly a decade.
Upon walking in the door, I was greeted by two smiling hostesses wearing NFL team jerseys. When I sat down, I received the regular menu, as well as a special menu featuring the NFL-themed items such as a line of Quarterback Scrambles and the much-maligned AFC and NFC French toast and pancakes. Cheesy? Yes. But it got my attention, which is what these promotions are designed to do.
As the tennis season winds down, one sponsorship stands out in my mind as particularly interesting.
Video game maker EA Sports partnered with the Olympus U.S. Open Series for the first time to promote its Grand Slam Tennis title.
I find this sponsorship intriguing because despite the game’s subject matter, the tennis crowd is not normally the demographic that game makers covet. However, I took a closer look and some important details came to light that reveal it would be a mistake for tennis properties to scratch gaming completely off their prospective sponsor category list.
Tough times call for drastic measures. Unquestionably the tough economy has led pro sports leagues and teams to make difficult decisions regarding both their brand and their bottom line. Although the practice was once uniformly (no pun intended) considered taboo stateside, the NBA and NFL have carved out an additional revenue opportunity for their teams by allowing them to sell sponsorship to their practice jerseys.
In one recent week, the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and Phoenix Suns, as well as the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, signed deals providing sponsors the rights to their practice jerseys and coaches’ apparel.
Although these deals have created quite a buzz in the sports business world, I question what relevance (past the initial media coverage/shock value) these sponsorships will have with sports fans and consumers.
With everyone chatting (if not yelling) about the pros and cons of health care reform, I thought I’d take a minute to address one potential positive for the sponsorship industry: more spending by health insurers.
Like other players, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is developing marketing strategies that address the potential outcome of health care reform. The company believes any hint of mandated coverage could prompt new sponsorship spending.
I attended my first US Open during Labor Day weekend. I have been to several sporting events, but this was the largest and most prestigious event that I’ve ever attended.
My first memorable exposure to a sponsorship (not related to the US Open) was on my flight to New York. We flew Southwest Airlines and the plane was branded with NBA marks and logos including all of the NBA teams’ logos on the overhead bins. Southwest also placed NBA marks near the exterior of the cabin door and in the in-flight magazine. Although, it was mostly just visual activation, it was somewhat unexpected, so fairly memorable. Plus, there isn’t much else to look at for the duration of the flight.
As mentioned in parts one and two of the series, of all of the categories of tangible benefits (both measured and non-measured) that I come across, valuing “can’t buy” hospitality, unique access opportunities or interactive/highly-integrated benefits are some of the hardest tangible benefits to value. Of course, these also happen to be some of the most valuable pieces of a sponsorship package.
The third part of the series concentrates on on-site interactive or highly-integrated opportunities. Many of the principles for valuing VIP hospitality and unique access opportunities apply to interactive/highly-integrated opportunities. Keep in mind, there isn’t always a clear delineation between categories; the line can be a little blurry.
With a month to go before the IOC selects the host city for the 2016 Summer Games, Fox Chicago looked at the city’s prospects last night, including a report on potential sponsorship revenue.
Without enough advance warning for a quick change of clothes or to clear off my cluttered desk (our much more glamorous conference room was in use), I sat down with reporter Lilia Chacon. Here’s the result. more
Let me say first that I think IHOP’s NFL sponsorship is a deal that could provide the pancake chain with numerous promotional platforms to drive traffic, enhance the brand, etc. In fact, IHOP has introduced a number of activations, which you can check out at the company’s new microsite, www.IHOP.com/NFL. However, French toast in the shape of a football just doesn’t cut it. First, even if this menu item was a good idea, IHOP didn’t need an NFL sponsorship to introduce it. Second, this menu item is a bad idea because no one over the age of 12 wants to eat food shaped like a football (or other sports equipment for that matter). more
The Australian federal government’s Preventative Health Strategy task force has recommended banning alcohol sponsorship as one method to deter people from drinking and perhaps becoming a burden on the public health system.
Whenever the subject of curbing the marketing of “sin products”—or raising their prices through taxes—comes up, I must admit that my libertarian side—as well as my drinking side—wants to shout, “If it’s a legal product, then why make the marketing of it illegal?” However, I understand the need for regulation of products that carry potential dangers.
The issue is where do we draw the line? No marketing of alcohol to kids? Of course. But prohibiting sponsorship of sports and other properties while allowing other adult-oriented advertising and marketing? Why? The argument that sports sponsorship implies an endorsement of alcohol as healthy is nonsense. Let’s give all but the weakest-minded consumers some credit, shall we?
While many properties have written off the consumer electronics category due to the economy and subsequent pullback in discretionary consumer spending, JVC, LG and other companies may soon start seeking new deals to promote their latest-and-greatest products: 3-D TVs.
At least one company has signed its first deal. Panasonic Consumer Electronics recently announced a tie-in with James Cameron’s new 3-D science fiction film Avatar on behalf of its 3-D-ready plasma screen TV and 3-D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player, both of which it plans to release next year.
Panasonic will activate the tie by hosting Avatar viewing demonstrations in specially-designed trailers in the U.S. and Europe. Sources say the company plans to leverage Panasonic System Solutions Co.’s multi-million dollar partnership with AEG to host screenings at Southern California’s LA Live entertainment complex. more