SBJ/May 30 - June 6, 2011/In Depth
The Gatekeepers: Greg Via
Global director of sports marketing, Gillette
Published May 30, 2011, Page 20
While there was a time when branding was paramount, that requirement has gone the way of the straight razor. Today, the field of play paramount to Gillette is the sales floor of its biggest trade customers: large mass merchandisers and chain drugs.
So while Gillette’s MLB, NASCAR and NFL affiliations are supported through electronic media and venue signage, their real efficacy is in convincing retailers to stock their products and build incremental displays in their stores. Anyone pitching branding as a primary element need not apply.
“We index fairly high among any teen-adult consumer group and our market share is substantial, so it’s not like we have this desperate need for more
Gillette has been owned by Procter & Gamble since 2005. Those pitching sponsorships for events taking place in the next few months should be advised that Gillette’s promotional calendar is planned 12-18 months in advance. Via also gets many media-heavy sponsorship proposals, when media buys are handled out-of-house.
■ Strangest pitch received: “Not so many. We get more unsolicited proposals for athletes than anything else. But those are chosen as a tactic that follows a strategy, not vice versa.’’
■ What properties could do better: “Better integration. We would all like to have better one-stop shopping and have more programs with meaningful retail ties.’’
■ The onset of social media means they can: “Like everyone, we’re still figuring it out. We released a viral video recently with Evan Longoria that seems to have gotten a lot of attention. One of the oldest laws in marketing is ‘Be where your consumers are,’ so you have to respect how much time people are spending with their Facebook and Twitter accounts. We’ll be there, but we’re still learning.’’