SBD/Issue 142/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

On The Clock: Companies Activating Around Upcoming NFL Draft

Watch Reebok's "Hibernation" Spot
The NFL in recent years has "proven to be very successful" in making the NFL Draft "more of a marketing, media and fan event," according to Barry Janoff of BRANDWEEK. ESPN this year again will televise the draft, April 26-27 in N.Y., and other NFL partners including Reebok, EA Sports, Hummer and Nike will activate around the event. Reebok NFL Marketing Dir John McMahon: "We want to continue to grow our out-of-season business, moving the emotional start of the (NFL) season from August to April." Reebok through draft weekend will run on ESPN and NFL Network a 30-second spot titled "Hibernation," via mcgarrybowen, N.Y. The ad features two fans watching the last game of the '07 NFL regular season. One fan goes to the bathroom and "doesn't return until 2008 draft day," where he is seen with long hair, a beard, and is a fan of the Dolphins, who went 1-15 last season and own the first pick in this year's draft. Meanwhile, the other fan, wearing a Reebok Giants' draft day cap, has a "beautiful girlfriend and is reveling in the team's Super Bowl XLII win." The spot operates under the tagline, "It's a whole new season." Additionally, ESPN will support its more than 15 hours of coverage with new spots, handled in-house. In one commercial, ESPN folders marked "Confidential Files" spill open to "reveal dossiers from previous drafts with player info and ESPN comments." Another spot "juxtaposes players drafted by the Giants, including [QB] Eli Manning and [WR] David Tyree, with scenes of them winning the Super Bowl." Also, EA will have "TV plus outdoor" in N.Y., Hummer will support its partnership with TV and online, and Nike will have TV and sponsor NFL clinics in Central Park (BRANDWEEK, 4/14 issue).

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