SBJ/April 1-7, 2013/Franchises

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  • N.Y. Giants make rare move, extend brand to health center

    In what is believed to be a first among NFL clubs, one of the league’s most venerable teams is extending its brand into health care and fitness.

    The first HackensackUMC Fitness & Wellness Center Powered by the Giants will open this December in Maywood, N.J., about 5 miles from the team’s home field.

    The team’s logo will appear outside the center.
    The 112,000-square-foot health, rehabilitation, wellness and education center will have everything from occupational therapy and kids’ swim lessons to instruction in Zumba and healthy cooking.

    Mike Stevens, New York Giants senior vice president and chief marketing officer, called the project the first brand extension in the team’s 88-year history, adding that he had been searching for extensions in health-related businesses as far back as 2003, when he was at the Washington Redskins.

    “It’s not a small matter for our organization to put its name permanently on anything,” Stevens said. “It’s sort of a naming-rights deal in reverse. This is a completely different kind of customer interaction than buying tickets to a football game, but health care is a booming business and it is a completely natural extension for any sports brand.”

    The center is projecting a membership of 8,000 to 10,000. Hackensack University Medical Center has been a Giants corporate sponsor for five years.

    Without revealing the specifics of the business arrangement, Stevens said that the team receives incentives to increase membership in the center and that the arrangement was a way to add value to an existing sponsor’s team assets. Team imagery will be evident in and around the facility, and the Giants’ logo will appear on the outside of the building.
    Additionally, the team will integrate the partnership into events at MetLife Stadium, use team assets to promote the club and have Giants trainers serve as part-time instructors.

    The club will charge an initiation fee and will not require annual commitments, with monthly fees ranging from $70 to $125.

    The program is part of an extensive team health initiative, which has yielded a Giants-branded health magazine distributed through team sponsor Walgreens. On June 22 and 23, the team will host a free WNBC/New York Giants Health and Fitness Expo at MetLife Stadium, which will include the Giants Run of Champions 5K.

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