SBD/June 1, 2012/Events and Attractions

Intersport Activation Summit: Companies' Retail Needs Being Considered More

Bamundo said Subway's focus is to promote its athletes internationally
Properties and teams are doing a better job of understanding companies’ retail needs and working to customize opportunities that allow brands to get a better return on their investment. During a panel at the 2012 Intersport Activation Summit on retail activation, Muscle Milk Senior VP/Marketing John Peirano pointed to new packaging that Muscle Milk will roll out this summer as an example of the flexibility that properties and teams are beginning to show. Though they are archrivals, the logos of both USC and UCLA will be featured together on Muscle Milk in California. “Getting those two schools on board to use co-marks was very difficult, but in the end it was worth it,” Peirano said. Hershey Co. Senior Manager of Consumer Promotions Drew Iddings agreed that properties had made some strides in their willingness to cooperate, but said they still struggle to understand that companies like Hershey need customized POS promotions for different retailers. “The Walmarts and Targets of the world want a unique activation,” Iddings said. “We can’t sell the same thing to Target we sell to Walmart. We need a program we can activate nationally, but can customize.” The power of sports as a platform to appeal to consumers at retail is taking on global importance at Subway. The company has found so much value in its designation as “the official training restaurant” of athletes that it is beginning to use some of the athletes it endorses, like U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, in markets ranging from Africa to Mexico. “It’s a best practice for us,” said Subway Dir of Sports Marketing, PR & Partnerships Paul Bamundo. “You’re going to see us look for athletes more and more we can use internationally.” But sports are not the only platform that brands are activating at retail. Dunkin’ Donuts has partnered with movies in recent years and uses the national appeal of Hollywood to expand its brand awareness outside the Northeast. “It’s really helped our brand become more of a national brand and be seen nationally versus some of the local initiatives we’ve done,” said Dunkin’ Brands VP/Field Marketing Tom Manchester.
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