SBJ/August 6 - 12, 2001/Marketingsponsorship

INSIDE THE DEAL

THE DEAL

Meadow Brook Dairy signs as a corporate sponsor of the Buffalo Bills.


ESTIMATED VALUE/LENGTH

$500,000-$600,000 /Three years


DEAL MAKERS

Joe Martin, vice president, sales and marketing, Meadow Brook Dairy; Russ Brandon, vice president, business development and marketing, Buffalo Bills; Jeff Fernandez, director of marketing partnerships, Buffalo Bills; Ron Croce, manager, marketing partnerships, Buffalo Bills


KEY ELEMENTS

 Status as official sponsor

  Exclusivity in milk category

  Rights to use team logo on packaging

  Sign on main scoreboard side panel

  Concourse murals (2)

  Associate sponsor of Buffalo Bills children's television show, which airs Saturday mornings during the season on Empire Sports Network. Includes 18 30-second ad spots and title sponsorship of health and nutrition feature.

  Sampling opportunities for Meadow Brook's Milk Chug product on game days and at training camp

  Title sponsorship of Bills' "School Is Cool" community program

  Use of 16-person luxury suite


BACKGROUND

Meadow Brook Dairy is based in Erie, Pa. It is a division of Dean Foods, which also has deals with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. Its Milk Chug product is a national sponsor of U.S. Youth Soccer.


ANALYSIS

This is a textbook case of growing a sponsor. Meadow Brook was involved with the Bills last season but with a much smaller deal. Apparently, the dairy liked what it saw and made a major commitment to the team. Meadow Brook hopes that one of the byproducts of this deal is a relationship with Wegmans, the dominant grocery store chain in western New York and the Bills' exclusive sponsor in that category.

If the Bills can develop cross-promotions between the sponsors, that could accelerate the dairy's distribution in the markets served by Wegmans and be a huge boost for Meadow Brook sales. It's a pricey deal for the dairy, but if it results in increased distribution for its products, it's money well spent.

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