SBD/March 20, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

MasterCard To Debut Watson, Snedeker Ads Today As Part Of "Priceless Surprises" Initiative

MasterCard today will launch the "newest component" of its "Priceless Surprises" initiative with TV ads featuring golfers Tom Watson and Brandt Snedeker during the PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, according to Karl Greenberg of MARKETING DAILY. The campaign, conducted in partnership with the tour, "features TV ads, digital assets including video and promotional elements, social media, and promotional exclusives." Watson and Snedeker in the spots "surprise cardholders who are getting tips from a golf pro on MasterCard's dime," but the "real surprise is that golf legends show up unannounced and take over the lesson." In one ad golfers are "taking practice shots with a pro when a cart pulls right up blocking their shots," and "out jumps Tom Watson, who dares them to nail the cart." MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar said that the company for the ads "set up 'Candid Camera'-type ad shoots by telling participants that their sessions were being filmed for their own training benefit" (, 3/19). ADWEEK's Noreen O'Leary reported the spots were created by McCann XBC. MasterCard cardholders attending the Arnold Palmer Invitational "will have exclusive access to the on-site MasterCard Club and Concierge." There also will be "golfer appearances, giveaways and special access and viewing for cardholders" (, 3/19).

NEW LEAF: In Toronto, Morgan Campbell reports MasterCard and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment yesterday officially launched the "Priceless Toronto" initiative, including the Priceless Toronto Zone, "a retail space outside gate 1 of the Air Canada Centre where MasterCard holders can shop for goods offered exclusively to them." Outside the arena the program involves perks "where MasterCard rewards customers with MLSE-related gifts." MasterCard Canada Head of Marketing Milos Vranesevic said that while the rewards program is aimed at activating MasterCard’s extensive MLSE sponsorship, "this initiative and others are part of the ongoing and intensifying competition for credit card customers" (TORONTO STAR, 3/20).
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