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Volume 24 No. 156
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Sports Marketing Symposium: MetLife's Hirschhorn Examines Marketing Landscape

In the first of several sessions of our “Marketing from the C-Suite” series, MetLife Exec VP/Global Brand, Marketing & Communications Beth Hirschhorn discussed what is exciting, innovative and challenging about today’s marketing landscape. Here are selected quotes from the session at the IMG Sports Marketing Symposium '12.

-- On the paternalistic and scare messages that take up lots of ad space: “You can’t scare people into buying something. The way we are addressing the clutter is positioning our brand as more empowering than the other guys. So our entire global brand platform is about enabling people to take action.”

-- On the MetLife Stadium naming-rights deal: “Think about the market as a funnel. You’ve got awareness at the top and a whole host of things, whether it be purchase consideration or preference, eventually getting down to more engagement and one-to-one relationships and sales. The thing about this property that is different than all others is it works on all of those levels.”

-- On fan engagement outside of the stadium: “We’re trying to bring the experience on the field off the field. Democratizing the fan experience through giving people access to things they’ve never had access to before. So if you want to know what it feels like to kick a field goal, meet us this Sunday.”

-- On attending the Super Bowl in Indianapolis: “We built this 14-foot ice sculpture in the middle of Indianapolis with the skyline of New York, although we enhanced it a little bit because we put the stadium in the skyline, as well. We wanted to make our home team feel at home, so we brought their hometown to them. We were also celebrating and promoting our first Super Bowl spot ever.”

-- On the company's foundation donating $50,000 to charities of the MetLife Bowl: “We really always try to build in and incorporate the social responsibility component. You will definitely see that from us with this Super Bowl. I don’t know what it will look like, but we will be doing something good for somebody … lots of somebodies.”

-- In retrospect…: “Don’t try to hit all home runs. You don’t know what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. So when you get out of the gate, you’d be surprised at what small things can make a difference.”

-- On the next frontier for the NFL and finding success regionally: “It’s a big world out there, and we would give anything for better expansion outside of the U.S. You go outside of the U.S. … and they just don’t care. It’s a totally different animal, and it is of no interest.”

-- On social media strategy: “We’ve seen promotions where companies are out there buying fans, and I don’t really think that’s the answer. One of the things that you should know is that our most used or most popular use by consumers of social media with us is from a service sampling. People want their problems solved.”