SBD/January 6, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Wild Card Teams Get Sponsor Activation Ready For The Start Of The NFL Playoffs

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NFL teams, sponsors ramping up activations ahead of this weekend's playoff games
NFL teams and their sponsors are ramping up activation plans behind this weekend’s Wild Card playoff games. In N.Y., Giants marketers are driving home the point that this is the first time the two-year-old MetLife Stadium will be hosting an NFL playoff game. The “First-Ever Playoff Game at MetLife Stadium” thematic will be on 80,000 rally towels, sponsored by Toyota, which is presenting sponsor of the game; the “first-ever” thematic throughout the stadium on game day; and on signage adjacent to the Walgreen’s in Times Square. Within the burgeoning social media area, the team offered a free download of an “NFC East Champions” graphic for its Facebook and Twitter page. Giants Senior VP & CMO Mike Stevens said that in its first two days this “badge” was offered, it was downloaded 20,000 times. “Half a dozen teams have already called us about that,” said Stevens. Looking to boost followers to the team’s Twitter feed, the Giants integrated a ticket giveaway with flagship radio WFAN-AM in which fans had to use Twitter to win playoff tickets. Stevens late Thursday said the Giants had added 2,000 new Twitter followers this week because of the promo. The Giants on game day will be showing “live” fan tweets on various stadium video distribution channels. On behalf of Verizon, the Giants will launch what they are saying is the NFL’s first “High-Density Wi-Fi System.” Fans in the stadium can download the Giants Mobile App and users can watch video feeds and replays right on smart phones and tablets during Sunday’s game against the Falcons.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: The Broncos host the Steelers Sunday in the team’s first home playoff game since ‘05. Broncos Senior Dir of Corporate Partnerships Brady Kellogg noted orange rally towels with the “Mile-High Magic” slogan on them and sponsored by Verizon, The Sports Authority and Bud Light are being given to fans. Area retail promotions have included ticket giveaways with the Broncos cheerleaders, appearances at Bud Light retail accounts and an appearance by the team mascot, Miles, at Verizon Wireless stores, where he helped conduct a ticket contest through clues on Twitter and Facebook.

HOUSTON, WE HAVE LIFTOFF: The Texans have had a decade to plan for their first playoff game, and support is what you would expect around football in Texas -- multidimensional. Texans President Jamey Rootes said Kroger is the presenting sponsor of Saturday’s game against the Bengals and is putting its name on 70,000 "Go Texans" signs fans will get as they enter the game. Reliant Energy, which entitles the Texans home field, has its name on the same number of rally towels. The team has put up “Go Texans” billboard with RB Arian Foster in Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Beaumont and the Rio Grande Valley. On game day, grocer H-E-B is staging a special playoff edition of its popular tailgate cooking contest. There will be a card stunt that will spell out “Go Texans.” Former Houston Oilers QB Dan Pastorini and former coach Bum Phillips are being brought out for the pregame ceremony.

QUIET ON THE BAYOU: Saints VP/Marketing & Business Development Ben Hales said Mercedes-Benz is the presenting sponsor for the team’s game against the Lions Saturday night. However, ramped-up sponsor activation will be light in New Orleans. Mercedes-Benz is not doing any giveaways but have enhanced vehicle displays and additional in-game elements. Meanwhile, the team will open Champions Square early for a 3:00pm CT concert by Cowboy Mouth on the Bud Light Stage, while additional entertainment and giveaways will take place at Coors Light Cold Zone outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Hales said, “Other than that, our partners are really implementing the same promotions as a regular-season game.”
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