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October 14, 2014 06:39 PM
Winning beyond the playing field
Tom Brasuell, MLB
Flo Bryan, CSE
Michael Robichaud, MasterCard
Chad Royale-Pascoe, Boys and Girls Clubs of America
“You can’t just take a check and say, ‘Fine, use my logo,’” said Flo Bryan, senior vice president of cause and diversity marketing at CSE. “It has to be authentic, and it needs to be a story that is integrated well. It’s all about being able to hit multiple passion points for the consumer.”
There also has been a shift in thinking among the causes in the industry, as well, said Michael Robichaud, senior vice president of global sponsorships at MasterCard. “It used to be the case that when the one person who cared about the cause left a corporation, that’s when the check stopped coming,” he said. “Cause-based organizations now understand that the partnership has to be mutually beneficial over time.”
Chad Royale-Pascoe, national vice president of corporate and cause partnerships at
the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, said that one of the most important steps on the road to that beneficial relationship is to be very clear on the goals of each party. “Each partner we work with has different goals and results in mind regarding our relationship, and it’s much better when we’re up front and honest about what sort of goals we have in mind,” he said. Royale-Pascoe highlighted his organization’s relationship with Buffalo Wild Wings, in which the restaurant chain is measuring the success of its partnership by the number of kids who sign up for team sports.
Quick takes from the panel:
On interest in partnering:
Tom Brasuell, vice president of community affairs at MLB, said that while the league has even more interest from sponsors in being aligned with the league for a cause, as well as from the causes themselves, it’s now choosing those relationships carefully. “We actually have a lot fewer than we used to have, as we have decided that we wanted to go with partners that are really interested in the specific causes,” he said.
On the extended reach of cause marketing:
Robichaud noted that MasterCard’s sports cause marketing partnerships have resonated with the female audience, a result that wasn’t necessarily intended but proved to be something the company is proud of.
On shared success between company and cause:
“You can do good by doing good, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Bryan.
October 14, 2014 06:02 PM
Among the comments:
■ "The bottom line is that the model is going to change. Is it going to change somewhat, is it going to change drastically, that's what's to be determined."
■ "That's frightening. If you're a commissioner or if you're an athletic director and you've done business one way for the last 20 to 30 years, and now what's being proposed is an open-market system — free agency, players with agents — that's a completely different model. And I think that's what frightens the administrators now and has them so much on the defensive. That takes them in a direction where they're not sure how to operate."
■ "I think it's probably naive to think that Olympic sports and women's sports will not be impacted somewhat. … It's going to have an impact."
October 14, 2014 04:11 PM
October 14, 2014 03:20 PM
Despite shrinking attention spans, scattershot personal interests and heightened senses of entitlement, the members of Generation Y and Generation Z can still be reached by marketers, but only if the messages remain authentic.
A high-level panel speaking at the 2014 CSE Sports Marketing Symposium in New York agreed that authenticity is perhaps more critical than ever with youth audiences because they have not only grown accustomed to marketing messages everywhere, but can be cynical toward them. "If you try to get too clever or too cute, it can backfire," said David Rudolph, PlayOn Sports chief executive. Added Rivals.com head Eric Winter, "The biggest mistake you can make with marketing to younger audiences is to try to shoehorn in something that doesn't make sense."
To that end, panelists agreed that speaking directly to youth audiences on their terms, as opposed to dictating a conversation, was the only way to go. "You simply have to follow their lead," said Gabby Duno Turner, StubHub head of partnership activation and account management. Turner said the ticket resale marketplace has been particularly successful with younger ticket buyers through a commemorative ticket program in which users can digitally upload a picture of themselves and have it appear as part of their digital or physical keepsake ticket.
Quick takes from the panel:
Reaching the Next Generation
David Iudica, Yahoo
Donnie Keller, Xbox
David Rudolph, PlayOn! Sports
Gabby Duno Turner, StubHub
Eric Winter, Rivals.com
On which social networks successfully reach youth audiences: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram dominate the conversation around social media, but panelists said that Vine and Tumblr are key tools in reaching Generations Y and Z. "Vine is something that's been really important to us,” Winter said, “particularly around our camp business.”
October 14, 2014 02:39 PM
A new approach to brand marketing, focused on creating true engagement rather than broad recognition, was a key topic during a panel at the 2014 CSE Sports Marketing Symposium that featured Burger King North America CMO Eric Hirschhorn and Bill Koenigsberg, president, CEO and founder of Burger King’s marketing partner, Horizon Media .
“My team is made up of engineers, former bankers, former consultants,” said Hirschhorn. “We have very, very few traditional marketers on our team because I think that the role demands a very, very different skill set than it once did.”
Hirschhorn emphasized that his approach to capitalizing on Burger King’s recent partnership with the NCAA is centered on creating engagement. “For a brand like Burger King, we have 100 percent recognition,” he said. “Slapping a logo on a property ultimately becomes meaningless.” What matters, said Hirschhorn, is developing creative points of engagement. He used the example of sending a team of bloggers to the Final Four to create a live, unique experience for customers. “I need access,” he said. “I don’t need assets.”Koensigsberg said brands are becoming increasingly concerned with being liked. “What marketers want is … that brand affinity,” he said. “They want those engagement metrics. They want to see that brand health improve.”
Both panelists spoke of their reliance on analytics to hyper-target their audience, with Hirshhorn focusing on finding the perfect properties for his brand and Koenigsberg using data to find the ideal way to engage with the specific demographics that his brand partners seek.
October 14, 2014 02:14 PM
October 14, 2014 01:00 PM
NFL executive Renie Anderson said today that there has been “no measurable impact” on the league’s sponsorships in the wake of recent domestic violence issues.
Speaking during a panel on sponsorship marketing and dynamic deals this morning at the 2014 CSE Sports Marketing Symposium in New York, Anderson, the league’s senior vice president of sponsorship and partnership marketing, said that all of the league’s partners “are with us.” Anderson: “We’ve gone partner to partner, speaking with them to understand their needs and concerns.”
Sharon Byers, senior vice president of sports and entertainment marketing partnerships at Coca-Cola North America and who also spoke on the panel, said that changes have to be made in the way that sports addresses such issues, and that all partners should work towards the same goal. “Sports are a happy experience, so when terrible things like this happen, we all have to come together and work to find a solution, whether you’re a sponsor, owner or a league,” Byers said. “Sponsors can be part of the solution.”
Quick takes from the panel:
Sponsorship Marketing and Dynamic Deals
Renie Anderson, NFL
Sharon Byers, Coca-Cola N.A.
Steve Pamon, JPMorgan Chase
Ron Skotarczak, Madison Square Garden
Adam Zimmerman, CSE
Ron Skotarczak, executive vice president, marketing partnerships, for Madison Square Garden Co.: “The model hasn’t changed dramatically. What has changed is the amount of tools at your disposal, making categories that were undefined now defined, and those that were very defined less so.”
Steve Pamon, head of sports and entertainment marketing, retail financial services for JPMorgan Chase: “The best sponsorship partners know when a partnership is not working and make changes before they’re asked.”
On the state of deals and contracts:
Adam Zimmerman, president, CSE: ‘We would be remiss if we didn’t rework how we were doing deals compared to the past 20 years. Brands are demanding higher levels of sophistication.”
Pamon: “You’re seeing 25-year naming rights deals for buildings that are being destroyed in 20 years. That makes no sense.”
Byers: “At the U.S. Open, we noticed a player loved the Coke brand. We gave him a special bottle, and he tweeted about it once he got home. That’s something that was not in our contract, but is a new way that makes sense.”
On being partners, and not just sponsors:
Skotarczak: “It’s telling that when I came to MSG that my title says partnerships over just sponsorships.”
Pamon: “These relationships are beginning before the agreement, and have the ability to adapt and evolve beyond just the contract.”
Anderson: “The best deals are the ones that make our game better in a very authentic way. We were using Polaroid pictures last season. Now our coaches have access to Microsoft Surface tablets. Anyone can slap a logo on something, but we’re not looking to put something on the sideline simply for exposure.”
October 14, 2014 11:22 AM
Atlanta Hawks CEO and co-owner Steve Koonin said today that he is hopeful a new owner of the team will be identified by the end of the year.
Koonin’s comment, given while speaking this morning at the 2014 CSE Sports Marketing Symposium in New York, was the first hint of a timeline given by the team since managing partner Bruce Levenson announced last month that he would sell his majority stake in the club because of a series of emails that he had sent to other team officials. Those emails warned that a heavy African-American presence at Hawks home games would scare away white customers.
Koonin, by contrast, said the team’s biggest opportunities to attract new fans are among African-Americans and millennials. “Atlanta is the NBA’s number five TV market, but not everybody is a Hawk fan,” he said. “The African-American audience is through the roof with avidity for the NBA, but we have not converted them to Hawks fans.” One concrete step the team is taking, he said, is to hire the league' s first chief diversity and inclusion officer.
Other comments from Koonin:
On game production: “We are going to do something very different. We are going to make it all about entertainment, all about enjoying the NBA experience.”
On ways to repair the damage done by Levenson’s emails: “We are going to build bridges through basketball. We are going to be involved in the community. We are going to use digital experiences unlike other teams.”
On TV money: “The TV money has changed everything about sports, from the delivery of tickets to the season-ticket holders to the marketing opportunities to the way venues will be built in the future, [which] will be much more intimate, much more smaller, much more focused on production of the event.”
October 14, 2014 10:02 AM
October 10, 2014 12:19 PM
The San Diego Chargers may try to block the entry of an NFL team into Los Angeles, contending a relocated franchise there would significantly threaten the team’s business.
With two other teams, the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams, free to move after this season and eyeing Los Angeles amid long-standing NFL efforts to find a stadium site there, the Chargers are now speaking up publicly for the first time. Any action by the team would further complicate an already contentious issue for the league.
“Over the last 20 years, there hasn’t been a team in the L.A. market. We have reached out into that market and 25 to 30 percent of our business comes from the L.A. [and] Orange County areas,” said Dean Spanos, the Chargers’ owner. “Putting a team in there right now, or two teams, would have a huge impact on our business going forward. So we are trying to protect our business in San Diego. … It would really be harmful to us.”
This marks the first time that the Chargers have revealed the amount of business they generate from the Los Angeles market, which sits 120 miles north of San Diego, though Orange County is about 40 miles closer.
It’s also the first time that Spanos has been so vocal publicly about opposition to another team relocating there. It’s something he said he’s shared with his colleagues and Commissioner Roger Goodell.“I have talked to owners about it, they understand. I know the commissioner does,” he added. “[I]f you put another team in there to help that team and you hurt another team, what does that do? Right. If you put two teams in there, what will that do?”
Eric Grubman, the NFL executive vice president in charge of Los Angeles, declined to comment on Spanos’ remarks.
Spanos could be speaking up now to send a message to the Raiders and Rams that they’ll encounter opposition, or perhaps to persuade the owners, if they assess a relocation fee, to share a disproportionate amount with the Chargers.
Spanos stressed that he remains committed to finding a stadium solution in San Diego.
The Chargers’ stance adds yet another layer of intrigue to the NFL’s two-decade-long quest to return to Los Angeles. The league is exploring several sites, including one downtown controlled by AEG, and has considered land near Dodgers Stadium and the Hollywood Park racetrack, among others.
The NFL’s official policy is that Los Angeles is an “NFL market,” meaning the clubs cannot unilaterally cut a deal to relocate there. The policy suggests that, despite the Chargers’ claim that they derive almost one-third of their business from Los Angeles, it is not the team’s market.
Owners received an update on the league’s Los Angeles efforts, with Houston Texans owner Bob McNair saying last week they are “far from a resolution.” A league source seconded that opinion, saying nothing is imminent.
When the Raiders in the 1980s won an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL for blocking the team’s move to Los Angeles from Oakland, the ruling hinged on an NFL team already residing in the market. Left unanswered is legally whose market is it if there is no team there.
Talk has swirled in league circles, however, that St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is already telling people he will move the team after its lease expires at the end of this season. Kroenke, questioned about the St. Louis stadium process, referred questions to his spokesman, who did not immediately respond for comment. Kroenke recently acquired 60 acres near Hollywood Park, stoking the rumors.
“There is a lot of speculation out there,” Spanos said, “I am waiting to see what happens.”
If the Chargers are pressing the case with owners that the situation is dire, it may not have gotten entirely through.
Jeff Lurie, the Philadelphia Eagles’ owner, said he had not heard the concern Spanos expressed.
Mark Fabiani, the political consultant who has been working with the Chargers since 2002 on the stadium effort in San Diego, nevertheless, like Spanos, is worried about facts changing quickly on the ground in Los Angeles.
“While the Chargers have been searching the last 12 years for a stadium solution here in San Diego, there have been a great many articles about the supposedly imminent return of the NFL to Los Angeles,” he said. “What’s changed now is that, for the first time in the Chargers’ 12-year search, there are at least two other NFL teams that could be seeking to apply for relocation.”