SBD/Closing Bell

Panel Of CMOs Discusses Importance Of Sports At IMG WCOS

Some of the biggest marketers in sports gathered on a panel at the IMG World Congress Of Sports this morning to address why sports continue to provide a worthy marketing platform for brands. “It’s very important for our brand,” Subway Senior VP & CMO Tony Pace said. “We try to be somewhat surgical with what we do in sports. When we focus on athletes, we pick an athlete first and foremost if they’re a Subway fan. Then you have to look at their short-term growth, long-term potential.”

Reliant Energy CMO Karen Jones, whose company title sponsors the Texans’ stadium in Houston, said, “It is increasingly important for us.” Farmers Insurance Exec VP & CMO Kevin Kelso provided a different perspective, since Farmers is relatively new to the sports marketplace but made a huge splash earlier this year by agreeing to a $600-700M naming-rights agreement for AEG’s proposed events center/NFL stadium in downtown L.A. “Sports marketing is a new area for us to participate in,” Kelso said. “It’s been very high-profile for us.”

With today being Opening Day in MLB, Coca-Cola North America CMO Bea Perez recalled some Coca-Cola history to describe how important sports have been for her brand. “The reason why Coca-Cola went into bottles,” Perez said, “is two gentlemen came to us ... and said, ‘We’d really like to be able to drink Coca-Cola at a baseball game.’” She added, “It’s a big part of the fabric of our brand, the DNA.”
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