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Volume 26 No. 175
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Sports Marketing Key To Biofreeze Getting Its Message Out

Biofreeze sees sports marketing as a key way to continue distancing itself from other pain relievers, using both traditional sponsorship deals with teams and athletes along with ingraining itself in the world of participatory sports. Performance Health CMO Michael McGoohan, whose company produces Biofreeze, detailed the brand’s strategy on an Ad Age podcast and said, “We focus heavily on digital and social, experiential marketing. And we do some television [advertising]. But it’s all aimed at live sports that further activates our existing partnerships either with our athletes or our teams.” The brand launched a new spot around the NBA All-Star Game in February that features Trail Blazers G Damian Lillard, and McGoohan said the creative “tells his incredible story of overcoming many obstacles to become one of the best players in the NBA.” Biofreeze also has sponsorships with teams like the Cubs, Celtics and Warriors, among others, and McGoohan sees those relationships as crucial to the company’s desired 360-degree marketing efforts. “If you go into Wrigley Field, the right-field scoreboard has a big Biofreeze sign on it. If you exit the stadium, we re-target you with advertising whether its on Facebook or other platforms. … If you’re listening on the radio, you’ll hear advertising around the pitchers and their regiment and how Biofreeze is a part of that to watching it on television and seeing our advertising there to ultimately experiencing it at the stadium.”

RUNNING PRESENTS OPPORTUNITY: McGoohan noted running is the top activity for people Biofreeze is marketing to, and he said the brand has “authentically integrated ourselves into several of the major marathons in the country.” That includes signing up to be the title sponsor of the S.F. Marathon through ‘20. McGoohan: “We’ve set up pain relief stations at the 20th mile that hit our active targets in their moment of need, when they need that extra boost.” Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz noted he runs half-marathons and said there are "a lot of brands everywhere” at races. McGoohan indicated Biofreeze can cut through that clutter in part because marathons serve as the “ultimate sampling opportunity” for the product (“Marketer’s Brief Podcast,” ADAGE.com, 4/17).