SBJ/20080525/Sports Agency of the Year
Published May 25, 2008
Genesco Sports Enterprises is probably the only award finalist that doesn’t have a Web site. It’s a part of the corporate culture at the Dallas firm. While co-founder and CEO John Tatum is renowned as a guy who can carry a 90-minute presentation himself, without pausing for breath, Genesco has always preferred to let its clients and their results do the talking.Lately, they’ve been speaking loudly.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s defection was the biggest story of the 2007 NASCAR season, and Genesco helped unite the sport’s most popular driver with Pepsi’s Amp Energy drink. By early this year, Amp had moved from sixth to fourth in share in the category, with sales up double digits and brand awareness up 30 percent.
Genesco added five consulting clients in 2007, some of which had been on board in lesser capacities: Motorola, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo Corporate, and Campbell’s.
Outside of Amp and Junior, Genesco helped the energy beverage execute title sponsorship and retail promotions against the NHL Winter Classic outdoor game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo.
A matrix of marketing programs in and around Super Bowl XLI included Pepsi’s sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show and concert with Prince, and a contest offering a jewel-bedecked Pepsi can worth $100,000 and Super Bowl tickets for life.
With more marketing dollars than ever funneled to “below-the-line” marketing activities, like sponsorship, Genesco called 2007 its best financial year ever, with gross revenue up 23 percent and retainer fees up 20 percent. But activating sponsorships is the real test. Genesco said that in 2007 it delivered a record number of 622 brand-level and account-specific programs for clients.
Other than its long-standing relationship as Pepsi’s agency of record, Genesco has established itself as the agency to work with for clients that want the most detailed political and marketing roadmap of the NFL. Genesco’s NFL renewals included Campbell’s and Motorola, while clients Frito-Lay and Pepsi also are NFL partners.
Genesco helped Coors, another NFL sponsor, centralize its sports contract negotiations and management, achieving $2 million in savings. Outside of its NFL turf, Genesco helped Coors unseat the “Official Beer” of NASCAR.
Overall, Genesco says that in 2007 its expertise saved clients $17 million in rights fees during negotiations and renewals. That’s one thing the folks at Genesco like to talk about.