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Volume 21 No. 1
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Stanley uses Liverpool FC as tool to connect

Stanley Black & Decker is looking to Liverpool FC for global activation efforts.

The company next month is launching its second “unique experience” contest with the English Premier League franchise. The Stanley Global Striker Challenge will be open to trade professionals and consumers worldwide through point-of-purchase and online sweepstakes entries. The contest will debut in 12 European countries but with plans to extend to the United States, Thailand, Canada and Brazil, among other countries, by the spring.

A 13-country sweepstakes this fall brought in winners to train at Liverpool’s academy, as well as meet club players and see a game.
Twenty-five winners subsequently will be outfitted in the uniforms of their national teams and train at Liverpool’s academy. At the end of the two-day training, the participants will square off in a penalty kick contest — with two winners from there competing at halftime of a Liverpool match against the club’s top academy goalkeepers.

It won’t be the first time Stanley Black & Decker has built a contest around Liverpool. In October, the company hosted 32 tradesmen from around the globe to a weekend with Liverpool at Anfield, the team’s stadium.

A global audience is vital to Stanley Black & Decker, which is based in the United States but sells products in more than 100 countries. Earle Smola, director of corporate brand design and sponsorships, said the company generates about half its annual revenue outside the United States. Stanley Black & Decker also has sponsorship agreements overseas with professional bull riding in Brazil and with Fulham of the EPL, but it does not have plans yet to host experience sweepstakes with those organizations similar to those it is offering with Liverpool.

The company has run engagement promotions with MLB, Professional Bull Riders and NASCAR — with the winners driving on the racetrack at Walt Disney World and attending the Daytona 500 — but they were all based domestically.

“This is the first program that we’ve been able to leverage with great success globally,” Smola said.

The participants in this fall’s effort were chosen from more than 15,000 entries of a point-of-purchase and online sweepstakes held during the summer. The contest was run in 13 countries with at least one winner selected from each. Those winners received training at the academy, met current and former Liverpool players, and watched the club’s 0-0 draw with Stoke City.

The global tools company is in the first year of a three-year contract with Liverpool FC that runs through the 2014-15 EPL season. Stanley Black & Decker is the official tools and security partner of the club and receives, among other deal points, pitch-side LED advertising at Anfield, player image rights, tickets to the club’s matches home and away, and the ability to present “unique experience” contests.

“Liverpool was founded in 1892 and has over 200 fan clubs in over 40 countries,” Smola said. “Our company has been around for almost 170 years. We felt that Liverpool’s rich history would be a perfect fit with our brands.”

The creative for the Liverpool efforts was developed through McCann in Birmingham, England, with the promotional execution facilitated by Retail Sports Marketing in Charlotte.