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Sponsorship Delivers For Mayo Clinic

Warc, May 26, 2015

CHICAGO: Mayo Clinic, the medical care and research group, has shown how sponsorship can boost awareness of new products and services by partnering with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx basketball teams.

Evelyn Molloy, who leads Mayo Clinic's marketing strategy/planning for its sports medicine, international and executive health operations, discussed this topic at IEG's 2015 Sponsorship conference.

The firm, she asserted, is moving into the health and wellbeing space via its Sports Medicine arm, which is aiming to ensure people stay at their physical peak all the time, rather than only treating them when ill or injured.

"We know healthcare's changing. And we know that we need to tell our story, in particular, as we're changing people's perceptions of what we can offer them," said Molloy. (For more details, including how this partnership has been activated and results, read Warc's exclusive report: Mayo Clinic boosts its brand health with sponsorship.)

"What we want to do is focus on health and wellbeing, and we want to provide them with performance training solutions – for all ages and abilities, whether you're a youth, 'weekend warrior', elite or professional athlete."

Incorporating prevention as well as cure into the product mix could thus help Mayo Clinic meet a different set of requirements. But to achieve this goal, the organisation had to expand on existing public perceptions.

That is because it was typically recognised as a best-in-class provider of adult care, alongside excelling in complex and "last chance" treatment, not as dealing with day-to-day issues like physical conditioning.

"We knew we needed to extend what Mayo could mean to consumers," said Molloy. "We knew that we would need a partner who created a strong halo effect for us, and who also had a really strong platform around health and wellness."

As Mayo Clinic was tackling these issues, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx were working on a new training centre in downtown Minneapolis

Signing a multifaceted deal – spanning naming rights for the practice centre to opening an on-site Sports Medicine Centre in October 2014 – gave the medical specialists a unique platform with which to reach potential clients.

"Because we've done it right, because we've done it based on what our interests are based on our business plans and our growth objectives, we've built something that's foundational for both our businesses," said Molloy.