SBJ/December 17 - 23, 2001/Marketingsponsorship

Inside the deal


THE DEAL:

Crown Royal renews its sponsorship of the Team Crown Royal professional bass fishing team.


ESTIMATED VALUE:

$1 million to $1.2 million annually in promotional and sponsorship value


LENGTH:

One year, with option to renew


DEAL MAKERS:

Julious Grant, marketing manager (Southern region), Seagram Americas; Charles Dellavecchia, senior marketing manager (Northern region), Seagram Americas; John Curry, president and CEO, JDC Marketing Group


KEY ELEMENTS:

Title sponsorship of the Team Crown Royal pro bass fishing team, which competes in Citgo Bassmaster Trail and Wal-Mart FLW Tour events

Crown Royal logo and colors appear on team trucks, boats, trailers, jerseys and other equipment

Execution of national point-of-purchase programs using interactive virtual-reality fishing game

Distribution of Crown Royal-branded items at events

Contribution by Team Crown Royal to numerous local recreational and environmental charities

Appearances by Team Crown Royal anglers at promotional events


BACKGROUND:

The seven-person Team Crown Royal competes in 50-plus pro fishing tournaments annually. Many of the tournaments in the Bassmaster and Wal-Mart FLW circuits are broadcast on ESPN and the Pax TV network. John Curry, captain of the team, is the president of JDC Marketing Group, the company that manages the Crown Royal point-of-purchase promotional events.

The virtual-reality fishing simulator, which Curry developed, is a significant promotional element for Crown Royal, which stages more than 1,000 point-of-purchase appearances for the simulator annually. It is considered one of the brand's top promotional programs.


ANALYSIS:

At first, it might seem like an odd pairing, but the match between Crown Royal and bass fishing works well for Seagram. As much as anything, the success of this sponsorship demonstrates that big audiences, extensive television coverage and strong brand loyalty do indeed exist in sports beyond auto racing.

Seagram leverages the deal with a full-scale sponsorship of the team in which just about everything but the fish are painted in Crown Royal purple. The on-site events remain popular in the South and have migrated to Northern areas. This provides the brand with a good opportunity to connect with consumers.

The equity in the sponsorship and the promotional events have paid off: Crown Royal is the most popular liquor brand among 600,000 B.A.S.S. members, according to a member survey. Now that the brand has its place with bass fishers, it's making the next logical step. It sponsors anglers on the Professional Walleye Trail.


Alan Friedman (alanf100@excite.com ) is the founder of Team Marketing Report.

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