SBJ/20090907/This Week's News

Marketing activation for NFL Kickoff will top $50M

The NFL has media and sponsorship partners combining for more than $50 million in marketing activation for its annual Kickoff celebration and concert to open the season. Promotional media supporting the entire kickoff weekend totals more than $40 million and is estimated to reach more than 100 gross ratings points.

The concert was launched seven years ago as a celebration to boost the New York City economy after 9/11. Since 2004, the defending Super Bowl champion team has hosted the Kickoff game.

This season’s Kickoff in Pittsburgh includes a youth football festival at Point State Park, a golf tournament and an NFL partner summit, along with a televised concert featuring Tim McGraw and Black Eyed Peas on NBC before the Thursday night game between the Tennessee Titans and the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL is hoping for a crowd of about 50,000.

EA Sports is back for the second straight year as presenting sponsor of the Kickoff. EA’s latest “Madden NFL” game launched Aug. 13. Sprint, Pepsi, GMC and Coors are other top-tier sponsors, while Monster, Visa and Gatorade are in as associate sponsors.

Sprint is using the event to tout its NFL Mobile Live service. Pepsi will use Kickoff to launch its annual Rookie of the Year program. Various NFL sponsors are launching creative either within Thursday’s telecast or elsewhere in the Kickoff weekend. Coors will launch new “press conference” spots, while Bank of America will launch a “Football Fridays” campaign in five larger NFL markets. Gillette will launch new creative with Atlanta QB Matt Ryan (see related story, page 13). Procter & Gamble will use Troy Polamalu, a player known for his distinctive hair, in a TV ad for Head & Shoulders, now the NFL’s “official shampoo.” GMC and Sprint will also launch new NFL creative.

The NFL is supporting with media across its broadcast partners and with print ads in USA Today, SI, ESPN The Magazine, Us Weekly, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Rolling Stone magazine. Billboards will be in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles, along with bus shelters and other out-of-home support in Pittsburgh.

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