SBJ/20090525/Sports Business Awards

Sports Sponsor


What we liked:

Rose to the top in market share of the ultra-competitive mobile phone category.

Used a variety of products and services to enhance the fan experience at various sponsored events such as Tiger Woods’ AT&T National golf tournament, and facilities such as AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Consumer engagement through innovative activation as part of its Olympic partnership, leading up to, during and after the Beijing Games, including the “Team USA Soundtrack.”

Participation in Olympics promotions had strong brand impact for consumers.

Ties with top professional and collegiate sports properties, ranging from the Masters to the Cotton Bowl Classic.


What we liked:

Used official sponsorship of the NFL to develop activation around several league events, including the Super Bowl XLII halftime show with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

Strong ties with U.S. properties in Europe, including season-opening NHL Bridgestone Premiere Series in Prague and Stockholm, NFL International Series and World Golf Championships.

Increased investment behind its main sports sponsorships, despite economic recession.

Since initial investments in sports in 2006, overall sales had increased 12 percent by the end of 2008.


What we liked:

Strong presence worldwide in advance of Beijing Olympics, including sponsorship of international torch relay.

Impressive on the ground in Beijing with expansive activation and innovative exhibits, including a gallery about the history of Coke at its Shuang Experience Center on the Olympic Green.

Strong use of sports sponsorship to give an identity to fledgling Coke Zero brand, including title sponsorship of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Enhanced presence in motorsports, including signing on as a post-unification sponsor of the IndyCar Series.

Continued willingness to push smaller subsidiary brands behind sports sponsorships, including Full Throttle (title sponsor of the NHRA’s top series), Powerade and Vitaminwater.


What we liked:

Executed its many baseball partnerships at a very high level.

Sharp LCD monitors used for MLB’s groundbreaking move to instant replay; got fans involved in ballpark concourses with “What’s Your Call” feature.

Engaged consumers on a variety of MLB platforms and with multiple touchpoints, activating with a large media buy with all MLB rights holders, a presence on and a nationwide mobile tour.

One of just three sponsors to activate on site at all 32 MLB playoff games in 2008.

Five days of activation around the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, which launched the company’s biggest retail consumer promotion ever, the “Winning Lineup Sweepstakes.”

State Farm

What we liked:

Maintained heavy sports sponsorship spending, despite already being the market leader in the insurance category.

Ubiquitous sponsor makes it nearly impossible to watch a sporting event without seeing a State Farm logo.

Title sponsorship of MLB’s Home Run Derby, annually one of the top TV draws during the summer, including the “Call Your Shot” consumer promotion in 2008.

Furthered involvement with the NBA, adding LeBron James as an endorser and becoming the first company to place its name on basket stanchions.

Parlayed official NFL sponsorship and several team deals to drive brand awareness, creating “Feeling Kinda Sunday” Jumbotron feature and sponsoring the Pro Bowl.

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