SBD/September 14, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Under The Microscope: New Ravens Promotion Offers Free DNA Test Kits For Fans

Fans attending Sunday's Browns-Ravens game at M&T Bank Stadium will receive "free DNA test kits" via a promotion from Boston-based biotech firm Orig3n, according to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore SUN. It is an approach "stretching the usual giveaway model, and likely to generate fan buzz." It also "contains an element of public-relations risk: The value of direct-to-consumer genetic testing is the subject of scientific debate." Orig3n, which is sponsoring the event, said that fans who choose to participate "can learn about their genetic makeup." The procedure "begins when fans swab the inside of their cheek, drop the sample into a stadium bin and register with the company online." Promotional material prepared for the event "bears the logos of the company and the Ravens." It "depicts a DNA strand with the message: 'Purple and Black are in your genes -- now find out what else is.'" Orig3n is offering a "test of four genes" for free. Barker notes Orig3n has a sponsorship with "one other NFL team," the 49ers. But the company and the Ravens said that Sunday’s DNA test giveaway "is new." Ravens Senior VP/Corporate Sales & Business Development Kevin Rochlitz said, "They’re trying to enhance the fan experience at our home games. It’s a tool for consumers to have better access to information about their bodies." Orig3n "only recently began sponsoring the Ravens -- it set up an informational booth during the preseason" (Baltimore SUN, 9/14).
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