SBJ/August 14 - 20, 2006/This Weeks News

Net prepares for life after Mets

SportsNet New York is preparing to roll out the second phase of its “Sportshead” marketing campaign in the Big Apple at the end of August in an effort to let viewers know that it will still have sports programming once the New York Mets’ season ends.

The network says it is spending in the high six figures to target the 25- to 54-year-old male demo with ad buys on local cable, outdoor, newspapers and online.

“We want to be known as the home for all New York sports fans,” said Steve Raab, vice president of marketing and business development.

SportsNet New York, which predominately features Mets baseball, is in about 8 million homes in the New York City market, officials said.

The campaign marks an evolution of the RSN’s “Sportshead” marketing campaign, which started in the spring, coinciding with the network’s launch. “Sportshead” is a man with a TV for a head that’s tuned to SportsNet New York programming. The new commercials will feature SportsNet New York’s Jets and news programming.

SportsNet New York wants viewers to know it will still
have sports programming once the Mets’ season is over.
“Our challenge was that we were a new RSN entering a big market and a cluttered market,” Raab said. “We tried to come up with a campaign that gets across who we are.”

Believing that they created an iconic figure in “Sportshead,” the network is preparing to evolve the campaign later this month. The campaign’s story line will have fans finding out that the original “Sportshead” had elective surgery to get a TV for his head. That leads several people to line up to get the surgery. One television spot features a woman opting for the surgery to get more attention from men.

Raab is hoping the campaign’s second phase will be a “viral” success. Materials will include an 800 phone number and a Web site for people interested in the make-believe surgery.

“It extends the theme of the campaign,” Raab said. “It adds to the realism.”

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