SBJ/June 9 - 15, 2003/Sports Spots

Sports Spots: "Meter Man"

Client: Reliant Energy

Agency: The Richards Group, Dallas

Principals: For Reliant: Rusty Ford, vice president, advertising; Sharon Haak, director of advertising. For The Richards Group: Angie Hitt, account supervisor; Mike Malone, creative group head.

Media buy: Cable and spot buys in Texas, including MLB game broadcasts


Summary: Reliant Energy, whose brand adorns the Houston Texans' new stadium, uses its relationship with the Texas Rangers to distinguish itself. "Tom," a human version of Reddy Kilowatt, charges up the team's grounds crew. "It's important you don't have any unexpected hops — same thing with your electricity," he tells them, as they drag the field. From the stands, with a megaphone in one hand and a baseball glove in the other, he announces, "Switch to Reliant — the Rangers did." Staring at the light towers of The Ballpark in Arlington, he connects it all: "baseball, summer nights, kilowatts."


Grades

B For overall creative. Hundreds of millions are spent annually marketing long-distance. The biggest challenge for those marketers is that LD is a low-interest category. Compare that with energy, another deregulated service, and you get an idea of how tough it is to market what may be the ultimate commodity service.

A- For use of sports as a marketing vehicle. Since most MLB games are played under the lights, electricity is as indispensable to baseball as the grounds crew. We get it. And thanks for not pounding that to death.



Sports Spots is a monthly feature of SportsBusiness Journal. Please submit VHS tapes of recent TV ads for sports brands or brands using sports as a marketing platform to Terry Lefton, SportsBusiness Journal, 1180 Sixth Ave., Third floor, New York, NY 10036.

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