SBJ/March 7-13, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Ford's focus on ROI in NASCAR helps deliver Driving Business Award

    Ford generated more than $200 million in sales in 2010 from fellow official sponsors of NASCAR.

    The total was driven by corporate fleet sales and sweepstakes promotions with other NASCAR partners. The results earned the company the 2010 NASCAR Driving Business Award, which it was scheduled to receive last Friday during a NASCAR Fuel for Business Council meeting in Las Vegas.

    “There’s a process in place with NASCAR that adds a lot of discipline and accountability,” said Tim Duerr, Ford’s motorsports marketing manager. “At the end of the year, it paid off in some tremendous sales volume and return on investment.”

    Ford went into the 2010 NASCAR season focused on maximizing the return on its investment in the sport. Its motorsports division communicated weekly with car brand teams and other corporate divisions about opportunities.

    Duerr credited that internal communication with allowing Ford to work with the Ford Fiesta division to partner with 3M on a vehicle giveaway sweepstakes. The sweepstakes allowed Ford to capture data from some 200,000 entrants and also enabled it to sell more than 150 vehicles to 3M for the promotion.

    In addition to 3M, Goodyear and Sunoco ran sweepstakes that gave away Ford vehicles. Those promotions delivered the most business-to-consumer sales Ford had ever generated through the NASCAR business council.

    Ford also saw an increase in corporate fleet sales in 2010. 3M bought 700 Ford Edges from the automaker in 2010. Safety Kleen, which hadn’t bought from Ford in the past, bought 160 Ford Transit Connects.

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, NASCAR, Ford
  • It takes a village, and IndyCar is planning one

    Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

    After years of watching sponsors design their own at-track pavilions with similar racing simulators, IndyCar is coordinating sponsor activation in 2011 to create a single fan village with diverse interactive elements.

    The Izod IndyCar Fan Village, which will debut at the March 27 Streets of St. Petersburg race, will feature pavilions from Izod, Verizon, National Guard, Honda and Mattel Hot Wheels.

    The fan village, with coordinated sponsor activation, will be set up at all 17 IndyCar tracks this year.
    The village was developed as a way to provide a better and more uniform fan experience at all 17 of the tracks IndyCar is scheduled to visit in 2011. In the past, some races, such as the annual Streets of Long Beach, featured a host of sponsor pavilions where fans could spend time before the race, but others — like last year’s Kentucky Speedway race — offered next to nothing, said Kasey Coler, IndyCar business affairs manager.

    “We knew we had to step it up,” Coler added. “Instead of having six partners at a track with a racing simulator, the idea was to plan a unique experience for each partner to provide and fans to enjoy.”

    IndyCar worked with Chicago-based Marketing Werks, an experiential marketing agency that works with Verizon, to design the fan village.

    The cost of the village is not baked into IndyCar’s sanctioning fees with tracks. Instead, IndyCar is paying $10,000 to $50,000 to secure a footprint at each venue. Sponsors are then covering the design and management of their own respective pavilion, which is a low, six-figure expense for each participating sponsor this season.

    In order to enter the Izod IndyCar Fan Village, fans must become a member of IndyCar Nation, the series’ fan community. Membership is free. The series hopes that the requirement gives it more data about fans attending races, which it plans to share with tracks for ticket sales purposes.

    Izod plans to set up one of the largest displays in the pavilion. Its participation represents a change in the brand’s approach to activation around IndyCar. Last year, the brand activated in a limited fashion at the track.

    Izod plans to create a social media lounge, known as the Izod Social Cloud, with nine large screens that feature IndyCar Twitter feeds, the Izod Facebook page, motorsports news and branded video content.

    Verizon plans to erect a technology center to showcase its phones and the exclusive IndyCar content they can provide. Honda plans to feature its 2011 Civic and host driver autograph sessions, and the National Guard plans to offer a pit-stop challenge for kids.

    “We like the idea of IndyCar and IndyCar fans all gathering at one place,” said Brian Gordon, Phillips-Van Heusen’s vice president of marketing, brand content and distribution. “IndyCar gave us this opportunity and we decided there really isn’t a social aggregator at the racetrack. The hope is to use this to engage people away from the racetrack so they see what’s happening in the IndyCar world and Izod world.”

    Though IndyCar has 40 official partners, Coler said it reached out to only a handful of key partners because it’s a new concept that it wanted to start small.

    “In a perfect world, we grow this network and have other partners who want to play in this area,” Coler said.

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  • Shaun White gum alert: Don’t expect Flying Tomato flavor

  • CME goes from pro-am participant to title sponsor at LPGA tournament

    For the last three years, the CME Group has concluded its global financial leadership conference in Florida with a golf pro-am involving 20 LPGA pros.

    Terry Duffy, executive chairman at CME, said the event has been so successful with his customers that CME has decided to deepen its relationship with the LPGA by title-sponsoring the year-end event at the Titleholders.

    CME Group, founded in 1898 and based in Chicago, operates multiple futures exchanges and offers risk-management financial products based on interest rates, agriculture, metal, real estate and many other options. Its customers range from banks to hedge funds, mutual funds and individuals who trade on one of CME’s exchanges.

    The CME Group Titleholders, played in mid-November in Orlando, is a new event on the 2011 schedule that includes a reduced field of 72 of the best-performing golfers who qualify. The tournament replaces the Tour Championship, which previously had been the season-ender.

    The top three golfers qualify each week and if one of the top three already is in, the spot goes to the next golfer who hasn’t already qualified. This presents the opportunity for media and broadcasters to reference the CME Group Titleholders each week leading up to the season finale, and it gives CME the chance to create a seasonlong marketing platform on the LPGA’s broadcast partner, Golf Channel.

    In addition to the exclusive nature of the tournament, the LPGA will use the year-ender as a way to recognize each title sponsor, hence the name Titleholders. At that event, every tournament’s trophy will be on display on the 18th hole and title sponsors will be encouraged to attend the tournament to root for the winner of their event as a way to create a unique atmosphere.

    Financial terms of the deal were not available, but title sponsorships on the LPGA Tour can run from the low to mid-seven figures. CME has signed a three-year agreement.

    “Each title sponsor is uniquely important to us, but given that this tournament comes with a seasonlong aspect to it, it’s among our most important relationships,” said Jon Podany, the LPGA’s chief marketer. “It’s a great sign for the LPGA that CME came in a few years ago, ran a pro-am event, partnered with us on the Solheim Cup in 2009 and then stepped up to this event.”

    CME, which negotiated the agreement in-house, is a global exchange with huge reach and deep pockets that has come to appreciate the hospitality and golf experiences with the LPGA pros, Podany added. Their sponsorship comes with a heavy ad spend on Golf Channel, which will mark CME’s first real branding efforts.

    “The feedback we’ve gotten from our customers and clients on the pro-am has been amazing,” Duffy said. “The LPGA has proven to be a good fit because of the way the players interact with our customers in a relaxed environment. They’re not intimidating, they’re not standoffish and many of the golfers are still e-mailing back and forth with our clients. All of the positive feedback resonated loud and clear back to us.”

    Closing the deal with CME Group on one of its signature events takes away the sting of losing State Farm last week from the LPGA’s tournament in Springfield, Ill. The loss of the title sponsor could endanger the 35-year-old event at a time when the LPGA is trying to expand its domestic tournament schedule.

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  • Kohler adds four years to deal with PGA Tour

    Kohler Co., a longtime sponsor of the World Golf Championships, has renewed its deal with the PGA Tour for another four years.

    Kohler, which came on board in 2001, is one of two official sponsors of the four WGC events along with Rolex. The title partners, Accenture, Bridgestone, Cadillac and HSBC, carry the designation of umbrella sponsors and have a presence at all four of the tournaments. Kohler will have a significant hospitality presence at the three U.S. events in Marana, Ariz.; Doral, Fla.; and Akron, Ohio.

    Through the arrangement, the WGC events utilize Kohler Power Systems to power its events. The division of Kohler is a maker of generators and other power accessories for emergency situations and remote locations. The tournaments also use Kohler’s luxury mobile rest rooms on site.

    Financial terms of the arrangement were not available. WGC sponsorships are sold by the PGA Tour.

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship
  • Shop till you drop: Macy’s, SEC sign three-year deal

    Macy’s has signed a three-year deal to become the official department store of the Southeastern Conference and SEC Championship events.

    Charlie Hussey, director of marketing and licensing for the SEC, said the deal represents an extension into college sports for Macy’s, which already purchases airtime during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on CBS, a broadcast partner of the conference.

    “[Macy’s] already has a good presence with our TV partner, so this makes it the full package for them,” Hussey said.
    The deal runs through December 2013. SEC officials declined to discuss the value of the deal, and Macy’s declined to comment for the story.

    Macy’s will receive national television spots on CBS and regional space on Fox Sports South and Comcast regional sports networks for all televised SEC championship events. Macy’s also will receive category-exclusive use of conference logos and event signage, a major presence on the conference website, merchandise rights, and signage and activation rights at all 20 SEC championships events, including the SEC FanFare during the conference’s men’s basketball tournament and football championship weekend.

    Jim Pyne, vice president of national sales for IMG College, which brokered the deal, said he expects the retailer to activate in its regional stores with ticket giveaways and appearances by former SEC players.

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