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SBD/August 26, 2014/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
McDonald’s is marking the second year of its NFL league sponsorship with a trio of promotions timed to coincide with the start of the football season. In its first year returning as a league sponsor after a 15-year hiatus, McDonald’s scored well in SportsBusiness Journal's annual NFL sponsor awareness survey. For the first time in five years, more NFL fans correctly identified McDonald’s as the league’s QSR rightsholder. Fans incorrectly identified Subway as the NFL's official QSR in the survey every year since '09. Accordingly, McDonald’s opening-month NFL blitz is larger and portends an expanded effort across a variety of core products, including Chicken McNuggets, French fries, soft drinks, Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, Extra Value Meals and McCafe beverages. Last year’s NFL effort for the fast feeder focused on “Mighty Wings," a temporary menu offering. “We’re looking at this as a season-long opportunity, and a way to engage our customers for the entire season (McDonald’s sponsors balloting for the season-ending Pro Bowl) as opposed to last year, when it was more of an event," said McDonald's Global Marketing Officer Dean Barrett, who added that a return to the ranks of Super Bowl advertisers was uncertain as of yet. McDonald’s early-season NFL promo activity encompasses a photo contest, a tie-in with the latest "Madden" videogame, and packaging with QR codes that unlock exclusive NFL content. The trio of promos will see NFL indicia splashed across more than 180 million fry boxes and more than 120 million soft drink cups. Local team sponsorships have increased to 15, up from 11 last season.
The Cowboys yesterday announced a "partnership with Swiss watch brand Hublot to create three luxury timepieces," according to Michael Solomon of FORBES. Hublot has had "success designing watches" for several soccer teams, including Bundesliga club FC Bayern Munich and Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain, but the Cowboys are its "first NFL partnership." The face of each timepiece will "feature the Cowboys’ colors, silver and blue, and the trademark star at 5 o’clock (to commemorate their five Super Bowl wins)." They will also come with a custom watch box "modeled after AT&T Stadium" (FORBES, 9/8 issue). In Dallas, Jon Machota noted Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, WR Dez Bryant, RB DeMarco Murray, TE Jason Witten and OT Tyron Smith yesterday during the official unveiling of the partnership "modeled the luxury timepieces" while team Owner Jerry Jones "spoke at the press conference." The watches range from $18,300-25,200 (DALLASNEWS.com, 8/25).
The U.S. Open began yesterday in N.Y., and several sponsors are reaching out to tennis fans through "on-site digital activations," according to Lauren Johnson of ADWEEK. Champagne producer Moët & Chandon's sponsorship "gives its long-term social #MoetMoment campaign a physical presence." Life-size Instagram frames around a terrace "prompt attendees to take and upload pictures in front of a branded backdrop." Photos tagged with the campaign’s hashtag "are then entered to win sets of drinking glasses." Moët will "also buy geo-targeted Promoted Tweets and Facebook ads to amplify its social push." Meanwhile, players "will sign autographs at Esurance's booth" for the first week of the tournament, and calls-to-action on Twitter "will give at-home viewers the chance to talk to these players by tweeting." They will then "be able to video chat via a Web camera while the players sign autographs." Esurance Senior Manager of Brand Partnerships Chris Lee explained that fans at home "will have a similar interaction with players as those on site." Johnson reported Mercedes-Benz "swaps out rearview mirror hang tags with dashboard parking tags this year that are embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology." The tags "include a bar code that attendees scan inside Mercedes-Benz’s brand center to win tennis gear and merchandise." AmEx is "using RFID technology for the first time this year with a program called MyOpen Pass." Once attendees register for the event, a wristband with an embedded technology chip "will collect data about five of the on-site experiences housed within the U.S. Open American Express Fan Experience" (ADWEEK.com, 8/24). Electronics company LG has a 1,300-square-foot brand space at the tournament called the LG Winner's Circle. It features an "LG G3 Selfie Station." Through the tournament's official app, users can join the US Open Live Prediction Challenge Presented by LG G3 (LG).
Adecco The N.Y. Times Co. AmEx Olympus Citizen Watch Panasonic Esurance Polo Ralph Lauren Evian Starwood Hotels & Resorts Gatorade Ticketmaster Grey Goose Vodka Tiffany & Co. Heineken United Continental Holdings IBM Visit Orlando JPMorgan Chase Westin Kraft Foods Wilson Sporting Goods Mercedes-Benz Xerox Moet Henessey
Source: Resource Guide Live
SILVER SURFER: IBM is celebrating its 25th year as a USTA sponsor, and Fox Business' Cheryl Casone said it has "really been interesting to watch kind of the evolution of IBM as a sponsor." Casone: "Just a few years ago they were ... powering the big board. Now they're powering everything that is mobile, and I'm talking about the tracking technology to track all the great players that you love." She noted she can track "every single thing" that Serena Williams is doing on the court and "pull down all the analytics that, frankly, the sportscasters have as well." IBM Global Sponsorship Manager Elizabeth O'Brien said fans attending the tournament are "having a lot of the same experience" as fans watching at home on television. She said IBM uses its sponsorship to "showcase a lot of our technology, so the same technology that we use at the U.S. Open is the technology that we use for clients and industries around the world" ("Countdown to the Closing Bell," Fox Business, 8/25).
Portland-based marketing agency Guidance Counsel over the past year has worked with Under Armour to "change its approach to women in the hopes of claiming a greater portion" of the $14.7B women's activewear market in the U.S., according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Guidance Counsel co-Founder Meredith Chase said, "Everybody has been doing the same thing over and over again -- 'rah rah, you go girl' empowerment stuff. There's nothing deeper there." Brettman noted it has only been in recent years that the women's activewear category "has exploded." Research from SportsOneSource shows that Nike "dominates the U.S. women's market," holding nearly a 31% market share. But the $5B in revenue made up less than 20% of Nike's overall $27.8B in the "most recent fiscal year." The research also showed that UA is "second to Nike" with about 14% of the market. More than a year ago, UA "chose Guidance Counsel to assist in transitioning the brand's approach to women." Guidance co-Founder Rick Anguilla "served as a consultant" to UA when it "went public" in '05. With "Guidance Counsel's help," UA hired Droga5, N.Y., for the project. Droga5 CEO Sarah Thompson said, "Marketing in general can be filled with clichés. Women's activewear advertising can be a little condescending with 'hear me roar' types of themes" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/23). Learn more about Guidance Counsel at Resource Guide LIVE.
In Chicago, Danny Ecker reported one local Dick's Sporting Goods location has sold "more than 4,500 yellow Jackie Robinson West 'Great Lakes Champions' T-shirts" since Aug. 10 in support of the LLWS U.S. Champions. All of the proceeds "will go directly to the JRW program," and at $20 a shirt, "that likely will total tens of thousands of dollars." The store "started with 300 shirts after the team qualified for the World Series," and those "sold out in a matter of days." The next shipment of 500 shirts "were gone in a couple of hours, followed by another order of 250 shirts that flew off the shelves." Dick's has a "shipment of 7,000 Jackie Robinson West All Stars 'National Champions' shirts on its way," available today, that "offer the same proceeds to the team" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 8/25).
IT'S IN THE GAME: In Utah, Ryan Miller notes Trail Blazers G Damian Lillard will "be gracing the cover" of EA Sports' "NBA Live 15." Lillard yesterday announced the news on Twitter, and "shared the news with a video he posted on Instagram." The appearance on the videogame's cover "further shows Lillard's climb from a little-known Weber State product to starring in the NBA" (DESERET NEWS, 8/26).
ROW, JIMMY, ROW: In New Orleans, Evan Woodbery noted Saints TE Jimmy Graham is "now a pitchman for Degree men's deodorant." Graham yesterday "tweeted out a link to a 30-second commercial" on YouTube. He also is "featured prominently in visual advertising on Degree Men social media profiles." Graham is "part of the brand's 'DO:MORE' campaign" (NOLA.com, 8/25).
ROOKIES UNITE: PR WEEK's Lindsey Stein reported FedEx "kicked off a social media campaign during the first week of preseason games." The FedEx Air & Ground Trivia Sweepstakes, "launched on Twitter," includes three rookies -- Browns QB Johnny Manziel, Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater and Jets QB Tajh Boyd -- asking fans "trivia questions about the FedEx NFL Air & Ground awards." FedEx Senior VP/Integrated Marketing & Communications Patrick Fitzgerald said the initiative is "much more interactive" this year than in the past (PRWEEK.com, 8/22).