Nets and Nickelodeon will integrate SpongeBob into Black Friday deals
Add Nickelodeon and the Brooklyn Nets to the growing number of brands and merchants leveraging Black Friday as a marketing platform.
The NBA franchise is teaming with Nick to integrate its lead SpongeBob character into a Black Friday matinee game against the Boston Celtics on Nov. 29. In addition to arena appearances and in-game programming by SpongeBob, celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary, the first 5,000 kids will receive a Nets/SpongeBob arm and headband set.
As part of the “SpongeBob Day,” the team is stocking up on a supply of co-branded licensed apparel, including T-shirts, a hoodie, a cap and socks in youth and adult sizes for holiday shoppers for in-arena retail only. Nets guard Kyrie Irving turned heads earlier this season with a Nike/Nick collaboration resulting in five different styles of Irving/SpongeBob sneakers.
“With all of these, we look to build something beneficial for the team while engaging fans and building our own brand,’’ said Ciji-Danielle Robinson, Nick’s senior director of sports marketing.
Nickelodeon has title-sponsored NASCAR races and activated at the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game and NHL Winter Classic, but the Nets activation is the latest example of a new model under which properties pay what’s essentially a licensing fee to have Nickelodeon help boost their ticket sales and per caps. The program was used across scores of minor league events, and this past summer, a Paw Patrol promotion with the Minnesota Twins helped draw a crowd to Target Field that was around 7,000 above average.
Robinson said the network will still do larger sports deals on an occasional basis, because “we have some history there, but we are focusing on a way to make it sustainable, while continuing to build our brand.”
If a recent pop-up in Los Angeles is any example, Nickelodeon could also fill empty arenas or stadiums on off nights with its own programming. The three-day “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Bikini Bottom Experience” attraction at L.A.’s Goya Studios last month (not to be confused with the SpongeBob musical) sold out in a day.