Properties need to offer activation platforms that extend beyond one-off events.
The National Football League’s established strategy of bundling the draft, playoffs and other events into a year-long activation platform is gaining traction with other properties.
Case in point: The New York Road Runners has rolled out a new packaging strategy aimed at extending partnerships beyond the TCS New York City Marathon.
The organization this year signed Tata Consultancy Services to its top-tier premium package. In addition to the New York City Marathon, TCS gains an affiliation with the NYRR 5-Borough Series and other NYRR events throughout the year.
“We were very marathon-centric. We only had a few partners outside the marathon, and we’re evolving the strategy to make it about year-round partnerships,” said John Gassner, NYRR’s vice president of business development and strategic partnerships.
NYRR offers two other levels as part of the packaging revamp. Foundation partners gain title of one of the five NYRR 5-Borough Series races as well as a presence at the TCS New York City Marathon and other events, while strategic partners receive a smaller presence at events throughout the year.
NYRR plans to slot new and existing partners into the packages, said Gassner.
“Our partnership strategy is evolving, and we will do what is best for our partners.”
As demonstrated by the success of the NFL, companies are increasingly looking for activation platforms that can be activated across the calendar year.
For example, PepsiCo Inc. leverages the NFL combine, Super Bowl and other events to create a sustainable activation platform over the football season.
“We’re not in the business of partnering with one-time sporting events. We partner with sports leagues, teams and athletes to drive sales every day of the year,” Jennifer Storms, PepsiCo senior vice president of global sports marketing, told IEG SR last month.
Bridgestone Americas, Inc. also is placing more focus on activating the NFL across multiple events. The tire manufacturer last year dropped title of the Super Bowl half time show in favor of increased activation of other NFL events to drive sales during its key March-through-December sales season.
Pepsi replaced Bridgestone as title of the Super Bowl half time show.