SBJ/May 26-June 1, 2014/In-Depth

Allstate gets spotlight, but other net sponsors are in play

While Allstate is widely known for its sponsorship of field goal nets, the company isn’t the only one with that kind of placement inside college football stadiums.

The nets in the Rose Bowl are sponsored by AAA of Southern California when UCLA is at home. Army has Jeep; Oregon and Wisconsin have American Family Insurance; and Michigan State is with Auto-Owners Insurance.

The copycats are out there, to be sure, and it’s something Allstate carefully monitors.

Nets at Michigan State feature an insurance company, but it’s not Allstate.
Photo by: Michigan State
“It’s going to happen, but no one has the depth and breadth of the program that we have or the associations that we have,” said Pam Hollander, senior director of integrated marketing at Allstate. “I’d like to think our quality of nets and our approach are very different. Listen, I’d love to secure every school under the sun, but that’s probably not a reality.”

Allstate has the field goal net rights at 78 schools, more than any other company, and most recently added Clemson, Maryland and Texas. And, yes, the insurance giant is looking to add even more.

“Now, we’re looking for eyeballs,” Hollander said. “We’re looking for the big schools that generate the impressions we need.”

Some schools that traditionally don’t welcome a commercial presence inside the stadium are considered long shots.
Allstate, for example, has sponsorships with Michigan and Notre Dame but has never been able to talk either school into a field goal nets arrangement. The Wolverines, however, did allow the “Good Hands” image on their nets for the team’s spring game, giving Hollander and her group reason for optimism.

Once the season kicks off, Allstate will be measuring impressions each weekend. Kantar Media provides a weekly report that shows how many kicks went into the nets, the number of impressions, duration, whether the nets went up and down on cue, and other metrics. Those figures are compared week to week and year over year.

The extra value comes from game-deciding kicks, like the one Missouri missed in overtime last year against South Carolina. Replays of that kick ran repeatedly because that loss was all that separated the Tigers from an undefeated regular season.

“Those types of kicks are played on ‘SportsCenter’ all week,” said Dan Keats, Allstate’s director of sponsorship and marketing. “But we really love the game-winners.”

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