Friday, February 17, 2012
Statisticians aren’t sitting cross-legged in labs, running complex algorithms on Papa John’s Super Bowl sales. A supercomputer isn’t littering the floor of a scientist’s basement, crunching cross-promotions of the FIFA World Cup. And Harry Potter has yet to cast an ROI-analysis spell.
Sports marketing is a tricky beast, predominantly because brands have no method of quantifying their return on investment, or their success rate at compelling consumers’ cravings.
In 2007, consultants Kevin Clancy and Peter Krieg published a book on how to improve marketing practices. They cited a study asking participants to recall Olympic sponsors that made a lasting impression on them.
Fifty-three percent of the sample thought of Visa, an official sponsor since 1986 that shells out millions of dollars every four years to associate itself with the world’s most promising athletes. Fifty-three percent also remembered Nike’s partnership with the games.
On the surface, this survey represents a major triumph for Visa. But Nike is not an Olympic sponsor. With its trademark swoosh plastered brazenly across athletes’ jerseys, bags, and shoes, it is easy to see why Nike may have been mistaken as a premier sponsor. Visa’s return on investment looks dreadful compared to Nike’s, which gained equal eyeball recognition without ever writing a single check to the Olympics.
“How brands can measure return on investment, that’s the million-dollar question,” says Bill Chipps, senior editor of the IEG Sponsorship Report. “It all ties back to a company’s marketing objectives.”
Return on investment trickles down to three basic ingredients: media exposure, awareness and purchase, and commitment. Among those three, awareness is often the most desirable element.
Motivations for sports marketing, meanwhile, differ based on the size of the brand, its targeted consumers, and the avenue it advertises through.
“There are a lot of organizations out there that are selling sponsorship, ranging from the Olympics to NASCAR, which are million-dollar deals, to every professonal sports team and venue, to every nonprofit festival and performing arts organization,” Chipps says. “So, obviously, there are a lot of organizations out there pitching sponsorship.”
Sports sponsorship accounts for the largest sector of the sponsorship industry, an industry that grew a healthy 3.4 percent last year to $17.1 billion. Of that amount, $11.6 billion, or 68 percent, was spent on sports. The second largest category, arts and entertainment sponsorship, barely ruffled sports’ hair, accounting for only 10 percent.
“The big properties that receive the big-time sponsorship dollars would be these marquee [sporting] events, whether they’re on a domestic or international scale,” Chipps says. “Here in the States, the Super Bowl is unique because it is such a high-profile event.”
The Super Bowl is the largest national stage for advertisers, drawing about 90 million viewers each year, or nearly a third of the American population. With so many eyes at stake, brands begin brainstorming lucrative marketing strategies months ahead of time.
Doritos, a subsidiary of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay, fashioned itself into somewhat of a pop cultural cornerstone in the arena of Super Bowl advertising. In 2007, the sponsor launched “Crash the Super Bowl,” a contest encouraging fans to film and submit their own Doritos ads, with the top five landing on air.
“‘Crash the Super Bowl’ was based around the idea of the Doritos brand wanting to find a unique way to engage with consumers,” says Chris Kuechenmeister, director of public relations for Frito-Lay. “Doritos consumers are younger, in that 18–24 sweet spot for the brand. This idea of creating videos and content and advertising and filmmaking was an area of interest for fans. … The thought was, ‘What’s the biggest stage for them? The Super Bowl, of course.’”
Every year consumer-made ads have run during the Super Bowl, Doritos ranks within the top five of the USA Today Ad Meter, a live survey that polls viewers and presents real-time responses of their commercial rankings. In 2009, “Crash the Super Bowl” upped the stakes.
“Two years ago, we offered up $1 million for a consumer-related Doritos ad to hit No. 1 on the ad meter, and sure enough, it happened,” Kuechenmeister says. “Two guys who were unemployed at the time from a small town in Indiana who created a spot for less than $2,000, and it scored No. 1 on the ad meter.”
The primary objective of “Crash the Super Bowl” is to keep Doritos on fans’ minds while engaging their competitive flairs.
“What’s unique is, you talk about it as advertising,” Kuechenmeister says. “We look at it more as consumer engagement.”
Beginning in September when the contest is announced, fans submit entries, contestants campaign for votes, and buzz builds leading up to the game. A 30-seond ad becomes a six-month engagement.
In 2010 Pepsi Max crashed the party. As with Doritos, fans could invent ads for the brand and in turn generate mass awareness for the relaunch of the Pepsi flavor.
“I think a major benefit of that is obviously strengthening connections with our consumers, especially in this media age,” says Maria DeLorenzo, Pepsi Max communications manager. “In December, two months before the game, we’d actually had four times the number of earned media impressions than ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ had at the same time.”
While the Super Bowl is known for its adventurous advertisements, not all promotions require marketing high jinks.
Papa John’s became an NFL sponsor this season after its sponsorship of the 2010 Super Bowl set record sales.
“We did a test drive last year, as we were an official pizza sponsor of Super Bowl XLIV, and during that promotion, we had the best day ever for our company,” says Tish Muldoon, director of public relations for Papa John’s. “We sold 900,000 pizzas.”
Papa John’s marketing strategy was relatively simple: the TV spots featured “Papa” John Schnatter delivering pizzas around the community and fostering a family feel. Meanwhile, the company gained rights to the logos of the Super Bowl for retail promotions in stores, and “Sponsored in part by Papa John’s” popped out of the commentators’ mouths every few commercial breaks.
Chipps says companies align with the Super Bowl for two primary objectives: to captivate viewers with a 30-second blast of brilliance, and to plaster the marks of the Super Bowl across the brand for retail promotion.
“What’s appealing to companies about the Super Bowl is the halo effect from a positive rub-off through affiliation,” Chipps says. “Companies want to tap into that excitement and energy and have it transfer to their brands.”
Papa John’s three-year commitment with the Super Bowl proves that the brand is banking on that transfer. But in a bold move, the pizza company ditched its traditional TV advertising this year and instead built hype by promising to give away pizzas if the game went into overtime.
It helps that a natural synergy exists between watching sports and eating quick-serve food, especially when it comes to pizza. “In the pizza business, the Super Bowl is a big deal for us,” says Andrew Gamm, director of brand development at Pizza Patrón.
Sales jumped 15 percent for Pizza Patrón, a Latino-focused pizza brand with 88 locations, on the day of the 2010 Super Bowl.
Pizza Patrón advertises its pies with equal doses of traditional marketing and sports marketing. Its go-to strategy is representing the brand at community events—namely soccer, because of its target demographic.
“We look to be involved in the different markets that we’re in,” Gamm says. “That’s amateur and it’s community-based, but that’s where our primary focus takes place.”
Community involvement means selling pizzas on-site at soccer tournaments numbering 2,000–3,000 guests. To pump fans up, Pizza Patrón sets up inflatables, prize wheels, soccer kicks, and activities.
The soccer strategy allows Pizza Patrón to have a quantifiable method of measuring ROI. “We hand out coupons, and when they go back to the store and are redeemed, we count them,” Gamm says. “We know how many people were there, how many we distributed, and we can determine a measure of success the old-fashioned way.”
The rest of Pizza Patrón’s traditional advertising consists of the usual: billboards, transit, direct mail, door hangers, radio, and television. “That all works well, and it’s definitely necessary to try to increase business at the stores, but that is all very hands-off advertising,” Gamm says. “You write a check and you produce the appropriate piece for the venue. It doesn’t always work for you. On the sports side, we are much more hands-on at the events.”
For a chain with fewer than 100 locations, Pizza Patrón’s neighborhood strategy is conducive to its reach: Pizza lands directly in the hands of the target demographic, while the clientele discovers the brand’s presence, products, and promotions.
For nationwide chains with hundreds of franchisees, the game requires a slightly different offensive strategy: activation.
“It’s what we call buying a toy without batteries,” Chipps says. “Smart sponsors are not just signing the sponsorship and walking away from it, hoping they get all this return on investment. When you buy a sponsorship, you get the typical benefits—it might be tickets for hospitality, signage, that kind of thing. That’s all fine and dandy, but to really get the biggest bang for their buck, a marketer needs to allocate additional dollars to activate the sponsorship and bring it to life.”
Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (dcvb), had the advantage of watching sponsorships activate as the city geared up to host this year’s Super Bowl. “There are several sponsors who came online in late November, early December who were waiting to see what type of exposure and visibility we received before they made a commitment,” he says.
To get the ball rolling on a sponsorship, companies need to not only activate their sponsorship, but activate it with their franchisees. Chipps says it is the sponsor’s duty to make the partnership as appealing as possible to the franchisees and engage them, whether by giving them signage or in-store collateral promoting the affiliation.
Sponsorships may be a double-edged sword, however, when franchises do not see the benefit. At Pizza Patrón, not all franchisees can directly benefit from the company’s marketing. The pizza chain has a sponsorship agreement with the American Airlines Center in Dallas, where it sells pizza and promotes the brand at Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars games, as well as at concerts and events that take place in the venue.
“Franchisees don’t see a direct benefit for that, especially if they live in a market outside of Dallas,” Gamm says. “‘Why are you guys investing in a sponsorship arrangement with the American Airlines Center, and how does that help me in Phoenix, in L.A., in Miami?’ And because it’s difficult to measure, you can’t give them a definitive, quantifiable response.”
But experts say building the brand is often just as important as growing the business itself.
For the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, this was certainly the case. The DCVB was the first sponsor to sign on to the 2011 Super Bowl, pledging $1 million more than two years before the game.
“We were in a position to capitalize on all the immediate action and thousands of fans coming to Dallas,” Jones says. “With over $14 billion invested in new development, we thought it was a great opportunity to be on the frontlines, showcasing to the world the new Dallas.”
Chipps says the ultimate advantage of sports marketing over traditional marketing is the heart-mind connection fans have to their teams. “Sports are near and dear to many people,” he says. “They are already passionate about their favorite teams and their favorite sports activities. By sponsoring those, companies or marketers hope to tap in on a key passion point and gain a positive association by supporting this activity that people love.”
As for downsides to sports marketing, Jones could only think of one. “The only disadvantage was that it cost us $1 million,” he says.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The conceptual model of pop-up retail is certainly not a new strategy in the brand and product marketing playbook. Pop-up stores have been effectively employed by a number of the world’s most recognizable brands. Most often they are used to introduce new product, gauge consumer interests, and enhance exposure through cleverly placed, transitory concept venues that are designed to generate buzz by creating an out of the ordinary brand experience.
By nature both experiential and ephemeral, the pop-up concept forces a greater degree of interactivity and imaginative engagement between brand and consumer because the timetable to create memorable impressions is accelerated. The consumer desire to experience a pop-up venue is fueled by time sensitivity and exclusive access to the brand. Customers want the opportunity to experience a unique orchestration of art and commerce available to a limited few, given time and space restrictions.
For these orchestrations to be staged and performed symphonically, however, brands must invest extensive economic and operational resources in these intentionally limited interval sprints designed to generate excitement among a limited consumer base able to experience them. The persistent question among brand marketers continues to be how to most effectively scale an innovative pop-up strategy to achieve maximum exposure impact. Enter the mobile medium, and the introduction of a new, complimentary approach to pop-up experiential marketing.
The essence of the pop-up experience is time sensitivity, location and exclusivity. Much the same is true when speaking of the differentiated elements of the mobile medium. The mobile medium is location aware, dialed-in to time, intensely personal, action-oriented, and integrated into the social DNA of the digital native consumer. As such, the medium conveys a unique value proposition to experiential brand marketing – offering a transitive platform for a more scalable and consistent pop-up retail delivery infrastructure.
The end goal for any mobile optimized pop-up engagement campaign can vary. From driving store traffic to providing game clues through QR code scans to an invitation-only event, or from delivering limited availability product and promotional offers to showcase exclusive branded production content. The true value is in the platform that couriers the message and ensures a more cost effective and consistent series of consumer encounters with the brand. These campaigns effectually serve as component extensions of a comprehensive experiential pop-up marketing strategy.
To intelligently integrate mobile for this highly scalable model, considerations must be given to the aspects of the medium that make it unique. Whereas the physical pop-up experience is spatially focused – with considerations concentrated primarily on location, staging, atmosphere, and exhibition – the success of pop-up mobile encounters is predicated on creating actionable mobile moments that adhere to the following fundamental premises:
The Mobile Consumer is a Moving Target
The mobile medium is constantly connected and often in motion. As such, it represents the ideal events-driven medium for engaging consumers in a pop-up fashion. Effective mobile events, when properly orchestrated, consist of actionable, properly sequenced occurrences and provide an instantaneous portal into the brand encounter. This ability to effectively market in the moment bridges communication lag, with precision aim focused at the moving target.
The Mobile Medium is Transitive
Mobile provides a consistent interface for customers to assist in the navigation of an ever-evolving ecosystem of digital consumer touch-points. The transitive functions of the mobile medium provide the continuous messaging and engagement capabilities necessary to deliver a pop-up marketing model. This model ensures a balanced, timely, and relevant encounter with the brand, providing heightened degrees of interaction.
The Mobile Medium is Contextually Aware
Location and time recognition capabilities specific to the medium allow savvy pop-up mobile marketers to engage consumers in a contextually relevant manner. The effectiveness of any pop-up mobile marketing campaign is predicated on being relevant. Communicating branded messaging with an understanding of time and space creates interaction momentum and encourages consumer engagement.
Pop-up retail marketing is fundamentally designed to provide a metaphysical outlet for brands to see beyond the boundaries of their own brick and mortar and provide experiences for consumers that excite, entertain, and illustrate the innovation of the brand. The mobile medium is uniquely equipped to provide that same level of intrigue, based on an understanding of the context through which a consumer engages in brand encounters. The imaginations of marketers are free to guide consumers along a collaborative journey and create truly engaging, consistent, and scalable experiences that build intimacy and loyalty, while highlighting the creative vision and innovative nature of the brand.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
The NFL season kicks off tonight with the Packers v. Saints. The NFL is widely recognized as the #1 sport in America, having replaced our “national pastime,” baseball. There are many reasons for this change over the last generation. One key to the success of the NFL is its branding.
NFL players themselves are often barely recognizable. The viewers and fans know them in uniforms and helmets. NFL uniforms only appears in commercials from sponsors and I’m sure after a process of review and approval.
The NFL is a branding machine. Sponsors line up to pay huge amounts to associate themselves with the NFL. Fans pay large sums for jerseys and other merchandise. How have they done it?
Part of the success is because the NFL puts forth its brand in a cohesive manner. Their trademarks are well protected – most teams own trademark registration for several variations of their logos, helmets designs and uniform designs. Only two brands, besides the NFL teams, are allowed to be a part of the game in any manner — Gatorade beverages and Motorola headsets worn by the coaches — and those rights come at a cost.
The NFL CBA contains significant provisions related to branding and licensing that provide some insight into how the NFL controls its brands to its advantage.
-Every NFL player contract must include the NFLPA Group Licensing Program provisions.
-The NFLPA Group Licensing Program clause grants widespread rights to the NFL including rights to use and to authorize others to use, in any format and for any purpose, a player’s:
name, nickname, initials, likeness, image, picture, photograph, animation, persona, autograph/signature, voice and all other id characteristics.
-Players must wear jerseys with sponsor logos if asked to.
-The NFL and Clubs have the right to “regulate any third party branding or other commercial identification that may appear on any footwear or gloves worn by players”. (With footwear and gloves being the only part of the uniform that players have any control over.)
-On game days, from before the game until 90 minutes after the game – as well as at any training camp or practice – players must wear uniforms and other items as specified by the NFL or the team.
-During any television interview on team premises, a player may not wear or display any item that displays any other logos or brand names other than those from the NFL.
-The NFL can require any player to wear a tracking device for the purposes of broadcasting games.
-NFL Films can mic any player during any game, except that no player will be required to wear a microphone more than 4 times during the regular season.
As a result, the NFL controls its brand – through its players – excessively. And therefore the brand is cohesive, strong, and extremely valuable. If any player could endorse a cheap product and wear NFL merchandise in a commercial to make it look like the team or league was also endorsing it, the value of the NFL brand would be cheapened. If players could conduct interviews or practice where tee shirts promoting brands that complete with the NFL’s official licensing partners, the value of the licenses would be diminished. NFL has wisely made itself the brand king.
An article in the Wall Street Journal this week highlights just how valuable the NFL brand has become….”the league and PepsiCo Inc. are set to announce a 10-year, extension of their sponsorship deal that ultimately could be valued at $2.3 billion through the 2022 playoffs, making it one of the largest sponsorships to date in U.S. sports.”
Even if your business is a minute fraction of the size of the NFL’s , your brand is just as important to your success. By properly using trademarks, registering them where possible, and when appropriate, controlling how they are used by employees and partners, any company can become the king or queen of its own brand.
45 years ago today, Star Trek premiered on NBC. Seventy-nine episodes, an animated series, eleven movies, and four spin-off series later; the little show that NBC cancelled after three seasons has become a cornerstone of science fiction. What better occasion to list the ten best episodes of the Original Series?
All of these episodes are available for online streaming on StarTrek.com.
1. The City on the Edge of Forever
in love with her, and then watch her get hit by a truck. Watch this episode on the official site.
2. Mirror, Mirror
Spock has a goatee! Admit it, when you saw that for the first time; you thought it was the coolest thing ever. Kirk gets tossed into an alternate universe where the Federation is a warlike empire and manages to get to the Spock of that universe, who we later learn in DS9 was able to change things. Watch this episode on the official site.
3. Space Seed
Khaaaaaaaaaaaan! This little episode, where the Enterprise finds genetically engineered supermen frozen in stasis would lead to the best Star Trek movie ever made. If you haven’t seen it, watch this episode on the official site.
4. The Trouble With Tribbles
This is perhaps one of the most famous of all Original Series episodes. It’s lighthearted, and a lot of fun. They even chose this episode to revisit when on Deep Space Nine they wanted to include that crew in an Original Series episode. Watch this episode on the official site.
5. Balance of Terror
Romulans look just like Vulcans? Your brain explodes! One of the best episodes of the Original Series introduced the Romulans, who would become a major race in the franchise, as well as giving some future-history when the Earth-Romulan war is talked about. Had Enterprise continued, we would’ve seen that war. Watch this episode on the official site.
6. The Doomsday Machine
How does Kirk destroy an indestructible planet killer? By flying a starship inside it and blowing it up! Watch this episode on the official site.
7. Amok Time
Spock has to return to Vulcan because he’s horny, and while there he and Kirk fight to the death. Complete with That Fight Music. One of the more famous episodes of the original Trek, if only for That Fight Music. Watch this episode on the official site.
Watch this episode on the official site.
9. Devil in the Dark
This is Shatner’s favorite Star Trek episode, and for good reason. Nothing really funny to say about this episode, as it’s pretty much a perfect example of what Star Trek can and should be. Watch this episode on the official site.
10. Journey to Babel
Watch this episode on the official site.
Friday, September 2, 2011
A little known fact about myself...my guilty pleasure is that I watch or listen to the White House Briefing on a nightly basis. For the most part not because of the content but to watch and listen to how the Press Secretary handles reporters questions.
Just like my younger days as a college QB, the White House Press Secretary has to know about all the moving pieces inside and out of the White House. He or she has to be able to answer,dodge and deflect the press on pretty much any subject they throw out. Quick on your feet just like a QB and smooth just like a good QB, the Press Secretary is the mouth piece of the administration. With new media taking a huge role in communications for the Obama administration the press briefings are live streamed and archived on www.whitehouse.gov
OKmy secret is out..lets keep it between you and I:)
Same as it ever was....same as it ever was!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Amway, the network-based direct-sell giant, has inked a deal to become the Detroit Red Wings' first-ever presenting team sponsor.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the contract is believed to be a two-year, seven-figure deal.
The deal should give a slight boost to the Red Wings' net income, which was estimated for the 2009-10 season by Forbes at $15.3 million (sixth-best in the 30-team National Hockey League) on revenue of $119 million.
It's believed that this currently is the only team-wide presenting sponsorship in the NHL.
Amway's logo will be incorporated into all uses of the Red Wings' team logo that doesn't otherwise use other sponsorship logos, the team said. It will be used on signage throughout the arena, on the ice and elsewhere.
The sponsorship is scheduled to be unveiled during a media event this morning at Joe Louis Arena.
The sponsorship represents increased investment by Amway in the team: It signed a deal to put its logo on the team's practice jerseys and pucks in November.
Also part of the deal:
• Amway's Nutrilite products become the official vitamins and nutritional supplements of the Red Wings.
• The "Red & White" intrasquad scrimmage will be reinstated at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on Sept. 27. It was last held there in 2007.
• Amway will present the Detroit Red Wings Facebook Fan of the Day and every live social media event put on by the team's social media department, like official Tweetups. The Facebook Fan of the Day will receive Amway's products and an official Red Wings practice puck.
Amway has a number of other pro sports investments: It holds the naming rights of the Amway Center, home to the National Basketball Association's Orlando Magic. The company also is the presenting sponsor of Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes and the Los Angeles Sol of Women's Professional Soccer.
Amway, known for sales of health, beauty, and home care products through network marketing, is owned by Ada-based Alticor Inc., which had revenue last year of $9.2 billion.
As technology continues to evolve, video is becoming more and more prevalent across the internet. Even five years ago, filming and publishing professional-grade video content was much more difficult than it is today. From a personal branding standpoint, video is a fantastic tool as it allows your audience to see your face and hear your voice… instead of simply reading text. Below are three great reasons why, if you are serious about personal branding, you need to be on YouTube:
1) Video allows you to connect with your audience in a way no other medium can. Blogging is great. So is a strong social media presence and well-written content on your website. But no medium can provide the type of personal connection that video offers. There is no substitute for this connection.
2) Video allows you to express your personality. The essence of your personal brand is your personality. And video allows you to express yourself far more effectively than any other form of media. From your facial expressions to vocal inflections, video communicates the subtleties that make you unique. Video allows you to express your passions effectively as well—passion is communicated much more clearly through video than through text or pictures.
3) Video is fun and easy for your audience. Let’s face it, reading takes more effort than watching a video. For better or worse, most of us enjoy being able to lean back and simply watch the computer screen rather than actively read. In addition, video is easy to share, both on your website and on social media.
Today’s technology makes establishing a video identity achievable for every single business owner. YouTube and other video-based websites are dramatically growing in popularity every day, so don’t wait until it is too late to jump on this bandwagon.