SBD/March 9, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Mattress Company Owner Uses Billboards To Entice Manning To Sign With Cardinals

Merwin put up three digital billboards and another hard one around Glendale
Glendale-based R & S Mattress Liquidators Owner John Merwin wasted no time trying to capitalize on QB Peyton Manning's release from the Colts, putting up "three digital billboards and another hard billboard" around town saying, "Peyton Manning Please Sleep Here! R & S Mattress," according to Bob Young of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Merwin’s billboards are not the "first of its kind in the country, although it's the only one we know of that actually tied in a business and the effort to lure Manning." Merwin has been a NFL Cardinals season-ticket holder for the past three years and said that he has more signs "in the works." Merwin: "I was flying in with my operations manager and we’re both big sports nuts. ... We were talking advertising and he was on his phone reading about Manning. He said, 'Hey, looks like Manning is throwing good.' I said, 'Man, do you think we could get him.' We were planning to do a billboard campaign anyway" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/9).

LOCAL ICON: In Indianapolis, Wall & McLaughlin cited sports marketing experts as saying that while Manning will "likely always be remembered as an Indianapolis Colt, his time as informal city representative is over," and it will be "up to Manning whether he resumes that role after his retirement." Manning "lent his name, image and voice to numerous civic and philanthropic efforts in the Indianapolis area." However, his "strong association with the city is likely to fade when he puts on" another team's uniform. The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association "got Manning to narrate a promotional video about the city, which it has used the past two years." ICVA VP/Marketing Chris Gahl said that the association "planned to retire the video after Indianapolis hosted the Super Bowl in February." Sunrise Sports Group President David Morton said that Manning would be "prudent to lessen his public association with Indianapolis in order to further cultivate himself as a national-level spokesman for corporate brands" (IBJ.com, 3/8).
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