Dynamic Sports Marketing Blog

The latest from the business and marketing world of sports and entertainment

Marlins Park, follow-up & lessons learned

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on September 4, 2012

Back in February, I wrote about the new Marlins Ballpark and what it might or might not mean for the Marlins, in both attendance and the potential for a new naming right partner.  With the season winding down and the Marlins looking quite different than perhaps anyone could have predicted, the picture is now much more clear, and unfortunate.

The Marlins of course have since unloaded some of the prized free-agent signings they started the season with, and their performance has landed them at the bottom of the NL East, 15 games under .500.  Okay, but you don’t always need a winning team for people to come to a beautiful state-of-art new stadium, right.  Well, right, sort of.  Actually, the Marlins’ attendance has improved significantly over last year.  Through all 80 of its home games in 2011, the Marlins averaged about 19,000 per home game, and through 66 games this year are averaging nearly 28,000 or 74% of capacity.   That’s a very healthy increase over 2011, but it really says more about just how bleak their attendance was last year rather than how good it was (or wasn’t) in 2012.  As it turns out, this year’s attendance in their shiny, new $600 million ballpark was the lowest for a new ballpark in three decades.   As of today, the Marlins rank 18th in home game attendance out of the 30 MLB teams.  That’s definitely not what they hoped for with a fantastic new stadium, new All-Star players and a new manager.

So, what happened?  Some of it has been well documented, in terms of the huge gaffe by Manager Ozzie Guillen, the trade of Hanley Ramirez and the overall poor performance of the team.  However, consider the Minnesota Twins, a team with a worse record than the Marlins and two seasons removed from the glow of new Target Field.  The Twins are currently 11th in attendance, with an average of about 35,000, 89% of capacity. By the way, they were also terrible last year, but still managed to finish fourth in overall attendance, selling out 99% of the seats in their second year at Target Field.  Yes, losing has cost them, but not to the extent that it is costing the Marlins.  What might next year look like for the Marlins?  2011?  Possibly.

What people may not remember is that Marlins management chose to wait on a stadium naming rights deal and didn’t want to “do anything too early.”  Oh, what they’d give to have taken some of the deals that were reportedly on the table a year ago.  Yes, it’s always easy to look back, but what are the real lessons as it relates to naming rights deals?

  • First, you’ll rarely have more equity to offer than when the venue is new, or even before it’s completed.  A new naming rights partner is going to receive enormous value in mentions and visibility before the first game is ever played.  Partner execs will be photographed and immortalized numerous times in the press and other inaugural events.  After the season starts, those opportunities and their value vanish, forever.
  • The existing brand takes hold, and the power of a new brand is diminished.  It is now Marlins Park.  Not ADT Park or Wells Fargo Field. It could be one of those some day.  But to many, it will always be Marlins Park, and the power of being there at the beginning and being the only name people ever new is gone.  A naming rights partner could still be first, just not from the beginning.  So, the lesson.  Get a partner at the beginning, again, when value is at its highest to the partner.
  • Worst case scenarios can and do happen.  Could their new manager implode again?  Check.  Could ownership again sell-off players to clear payroll? Check.  Could a team stacked with All-Stars somehow, some way end up not in the playoffs, much less in the cellar?  Check. In a season that had all the promise of a fantastic re-birth of the Marlins, complete with new uniforms and a new name, nearly every worst case came true.   Not wanting to do anything “too early” on a naming rights deal feels more painful by the day, as value continues to plummet for a potential partner.  Don’t wait,  With a new venue, sooner is better.  See the first lesson.

Where to from here and is all lost when it comes to a stadium naming rights partner?  No, all is not lost, of course.  Attendance did in fact increase.  The stadium, by all counts, indeed is a spectacular venue and the same amount of games will be played there next year as this year.  Will attendance wane from here?  Possibly, but it appears there is a healthier base to work with than in past years.  Can more value be created?  Yes.  The Marlins will need to create a healthy bundle of assets for a new partner, other than splashing its name on the stadium.  It’s likely that they’ve done that already in presentations to potential partners, but that basket of assets may need to get bigger and more attractive to secure the kind of long-term partner they seek, and at the investment level they want.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in MLB, Naming Rights | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

If you build it, will they come?

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on February 11, 2012

Baseball’s newest stadium is getting ready to open in Miami for the now “Miami” Marlins.  The Marlins have been perhaps one of the most interesting and least celebrated teams in baseball history, winning two World Championships in their young existence while attracting very little fan interest or corporate support. Is that all about to change?

Marlins Park is still Marlins Park, without a naming rights partner, which might seem strange for baseball’s newest jewel in the vibrant city of Miami.  Marlins officials say they were close to a deal last August, but it didn’t happen and more recently have said “they don’t want to do anything too early.” Seem strange to pass up what might have been money in the bank?  Maybe not.  The Marlins went on a shopping spree to secure a new manager in Ozzie Guillen, along with four marquis players in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and Carolos Zambrano.  The bet by owner Jeffrey Luria and President David Samson is that those new flashy names have increased the value of the team and a naming rights deal, with hopes of it being far more lucrative and longer term that what they might have had in-hand last summer.  Will that bet pay off?  Maybe.

Certainly, the addtions of a high profile manager and all-star players has increased the value of the product, at least before the season starts.  There’s also no doubt that the new Marlins Park should draw better attendance for the first couple of months of the season at least, from curiosity alone.  The stadium itself looks tremendous, boasting not only the much-needed retractible roof, but also retractable sliding glass walls that offer views of the Miami skyline, MLB’s second stadium pool and even real aquariums behind home plate that can be viewed by both fans and players.  It’s a small stadium, with capacity at 37,000, so a crowd of 25,000 will look much better than it did at Sun Life Stadium. 

However, any potential naming rights partner has lost millions of dollars in free publicity that would have been realized in advance of the season, not to mention promotional activity and activation that could have been implemented.  Marlins Park is being branded to fans and businesses across the country and the longer people know it as Marlins Park, the more diluted a new brand will be, potentially.  Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Landshark Stadium, Sun Life Stadium.  All the same place and little value there for those that have followed Pro Player.  Certainly the Marlins brass is tryng to make sure they land a lucrative and long-term deal so their new jewel doesn’t have a new name every couple of years, and that’s a good thing.  While time passed certainly is value missed for a potential naming rights partner, it’s a long-term play and the Marlins are smart to look for a long-term partner.  That said, it’s a delicate balance between trying to land that big….fish, and letting too much value slip away.

Marlins Park will host some college exhibition games in March and then the Marlins will take the field for the first time on April 1 in an exhibtion game vs. the Yankees.  Whether it’s Marlins Park or has another name, the initial splash should be a big one.

Posted in Major League Baseball, MLB, Naming Rights, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

The Big Winners of American Idol

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on May 28, 2011

After the 10th season of American Idol, there’s no question that two of the biggest winners continue to be Ford and Coke.  With so many Idol viewers using their DVRs, the product placement and content intregration by Ford and Coke are not only seen by the millions of Idol viewers, but those brand have truly become part of the Idol experience.

Haley Reinhart and coke

 

 

 

 

 

Great article here  on the winning Idol formulas of Ford and Coke from Fast Company.

Posted in Ad Campaigns | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What BP didn’t learn from Tiger Woods

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on June 19, 2010

Time and time again, we have seen vast differences in the way that the public and press react to athletes that have committed the same wrong.   One athlete is accused of taking steroids, denies it forever and is vilified.  Another athlete is accused of taking steroids, immediately admits it, addresses the public, falls on the sword and for the most part, it’s back to business as usual, minus a skinned knee.   The response becomes more of what people react to rather than the wrong that was or wasn’t committed. 

One of the great examples of this has been played out since last November when Tiger Woods’ life unraveled before the world’s eyes.  Through the accident, the mistresses and porn stars, Tiger remained silent for months, leaving reporters, TV and radio talk hosts and the public at large to dig up more dirt, speculate, and sling mud in all directions.   Isn’t it interesting that once Tiger finally came out and addressed the public and apologized, most people stopped caring about what he had done wrong and went back to talking about Tiger’s golf game?  Whether you thought his presser was completely staged and insincere or not, it did a great job of dousing the flames that had surrounded him for months.  It didn’t stop, but it dissipated greatly.

Bird from BP oil spill

Could BP make a donation to the wildlife conservancy or announce a new facility for animals affected by the oil spill?

So, now we have BP and this country’s greatest environmental disaster.  Once again, BP’s lack of response magnified the ill will toward the company.  There are so many things the company could have done and said to make Americans feel better about what is a true disaster.  Because, as mentioned above, we tend to respond more to what is said after something bad happens than what actually happens.  Instead, not only did BP have a lack of public response, but when there was a response, it was arrogance from CEO Tony Hayward, now infamously saying that he hoped the oil spill could be stopped “so he could get his life back.”   Where is Tony Hayward as I write this?  Off the coast of England in a yacht race.  Right.  While one body of water is being forever changed as oil is poured into it, Hayward is on a yacht on another body of water, much cleaner.  The response from his PR man Robert Wine….”it’s a well-known event in the British calendar. He’s entitled to private time with his family.”  Perfect.  Translation.  “Just because there’s a little problem in the gulf doesn’t mean he’s going to cancel this favorite yachting event.”  Whether that’s the intended translation or not doesn’t matter. We’re all left to our own interpretation based again on the arrogance and lack of thoughtful response.

Looking at things from a marketing and public relations perspective, we’re putting aside whether or not you think BP is sincere in its desire to clean the spill the way it should be cleaned up.  The one thing we know is that they haven’t responded to it well from a PR perspective and they’re paying the price. 

Here are just a couple of things that BP could have done:

1.  Immediately address and public and apologize for what happened.  The key here being immediately.  Never under estimate the effect of an immediate response.  Almost never can a response come too soon.  Instead, BP tried to minimize the damage and tell us that it wasn’t that bad.

2. Plan for the worst.  People and companies just don’t think the worst will happen and so they don’t plan.  What would happen if we had an explosion and we couldn’t stop oil from spewing into the Gulf of Mexico?  An obvious question for a large operator of oil rigs, but an even more obvious question for a company that has had two previous disasters, including the 2005 Texas refinery explosion that killed 15 people and injured 170.  They knew the worst could happen because it had already happened. 

3.  Act with true sincerity, rather than just financially.  The finances are important, as many are losing their livelihoods.  But when you lose your livelihood, $5,000 isn’t going to help too much.   What else could BP do to alleviate the burden on the people affected by this disaster?  Could they actually be hiring them or creating other opportunities?  Maybe. But certainly, there’s more that could be done.

Again, this is a disaster on the magnitude that’s rarely been seen before.  Extraordinary measures are needed.  Extraordinary leaders are needed.  Extraordinairy compassion is needed.  So far, BP has been anything but extraordinary.

By the way, BP is a $58 million sponsor of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and also a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee.  Might it be time to redirect those dollars?

Posted in BP Oil Spill, Public Relations, Tiger Woods | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

2014 Super Bowl in New York, A Winner.

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on May 26, 2010

The debate is now in full swing as to whether the NFL’s decision to hold the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey/New York is the right decision.  That of course depends on who the decision is for.  Is it the right decision for fans?  Is it the right decision for the NFL? Is it the right decision for the players?  Is it the right decision for corporate America?  I think the answer to nearly all of those questions is, yes. 

The new Meadowlands Stadium, site of the 2014 Super Bowl

 

Think about when most cities are awarded Super Bowl’s and the national excitement that surrounds that decision.  In most cases, there’s maybe a day of buzz and then it’s forgotten by everyone except the host city selected.  With the selection of New York, that changes dramatically, and it’s not just because of the weather.  Sure, the weather is a topic of discussion and certainly stands to be a major factor in the game.  But don’t we expect the top NFL players to be able to play in any condition?  Particularly after a full season in which most teams likely had to play at least one game in some kind of adverse weather conditions, be that cold, rain, snow or even extreme heat in some cases.  It’s football and it’s to be played in whatever conditions Mother Nature has in mind that particular day.  

But now, you’re talking about playing the world’s biggest single-day sports event in the largest media market in the U.S.  For the NFL, the next three and a half years will be a constant stream of publicity and interest in the 2014 game.   The Super Bowl makes its money leading up to the game, and there’s never been a lead up like this.  How fast do you think commercials will be sold out, and at what price per commercial?  Imagine the scramble for real estate, night clubs and any party space that can host any type of related event during Super Bowl Week.  How much merchandise for the 2014 game do you think will be sold in advance?   The NFL will be policing New York City streets for licensing infringement trying to capture of wave of knock-offs on street corners in every borough.  Yes, the 2014 game will provide a Super Side Show like we’ve never seen before. 

For corporate America, it really doesn’t get any better from a sponsorship perspective.  Interest will be at a peak, and hopefully, the current economic funk will be a memory by 2014.   Not that we would suggest free spending just because of the location provided, but there’s no question that corporate exposure can be maximized like never before because of the audience and media platform that this game will provide, combined with the proximity to Madison Avenue and Wall Street that can make so many forms of marketing pay off around a mega event like this.   Given all of the circumstances in place, great strategy and creativity can really pay off and it could payoff for years leading up to the game, not just for the week leading up to the game. How big could a naming rights deal get for the new Meadowlands Stadium?  Talk about biggie-sized!  

So, bring it on.  Cold, snow. sleet, whatever.   This is going to be big in almost every way possible.  For the corporations that seek to get on board early, create a meaningful strategy and execute it with great creativity, there’s an opportunity like never before.

Posted in Naming Rights, NFL, Sponsorship, Sports Events, Super Bowl, Ticket Sales, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nice Super Bowl integration and follow-up by Papa John’s

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on February 13, 2010

Now that the Super Bowl is a week behind us, most companies that advertised moved on to something else and left their millions they spent on Super Bowl advertising behind as soon as their spots aired during the game.  But not Papa John’s, who perhaps had one of the best integrated campaigns and actually thought how they could extend the value of their Super Bowl involvement in the week following the game. 

First, let’s review the execution of the TV spot that Papa John’s aired, which showed CEO John Schnatter delivering free pizzas to “behind the scenes” workers the week leading up to the game.  Nothing cute, funny or technically ground-breaking here, but a nice job of using the venue  and aura of the game in a very timely way that also created a big feeling of goodwill at a time in the economy in which viewers are going to look very favorably on a “giving company.”  Viewers were also directed to the company website for a special offer, something most other advertisers failed on. Well done.  There was also an element around Habitat for Humanity as yet another charitable initiative. 

Papa built up to its buy with a sweepstakes for two tickets and accommodations for the game, and related special offers, such as the “Super XL IV,” an offer of any extra-large pizza with four toppings for $11.99, and the “1st and 10,” any large pizza for $10. Consumers also have reason to hope for a high-scoring game. Anyone ordering a large cheese pizza for $9 during the three days after the game will got a free topping for every touchdown scored.  Now, here’s where the win is. Most companies would have stopped right there.  But they did a great job of keeping the campaign going with a radio and TV buy in those three days that reminded people how many TDs were scored and that free toppings were ready and waiting.  It also served as a reminder that Papa was a “Super Bowl’ advertiser, leveraging a fantastic game.

Overall, not flashy, but good execution and follow-up that likely resulted in an actual bump in sales, rather than getting top “votes” as best commercial. 

Posted in Ad Campaigns, NFL, TV, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Sponsorship Tail of The Tiger & Making Your Bet on Endorsements

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on January 17, 2010

We had taken a break for a couple of months, but now we’re back and will have more regular posts.

So, one of the biggest sports stories of recent memory isn’t really a sports story, but rather a story about the sordid personal life of arguably sports biggest worldwide star Tiger Woods.  Everyone knows the details at this point and the sponsorship fallout unfolds each week after each sponsor of Tiger’s tries to time it’s “cancellation announcement” just right.  From Accenture and TAG Heuer to Pepsi/Gatorade and more recently General Motors, they’ve all decided to drop what they at one point likely thought was the safest and smartest sponsorship endorsement bet they could make.  And that’s just it.  It’s a bet.  When considering an endorsement for your brand or product, you do all of the research, review the history, meet the person and then engage the attorneys, marketers and other handlers to leverage your investment to the degree you can or want.

But what now?  What happens when the most respected athlete in the world, in the snap of a finger, becomes the butt of office jokes, graces the cover of dirty-rag tabloids and in all likelihood is not somebody that many respect anymore, at least for his personal choices.  Is there any way that Accenture’s team could have prepared for something like this?  Is there anything that GM could have done to make sure that Tiger someday wouldn’t tarnish their Buick’s?  No.  Really, this goes to the pedestal that most people like to place athletes and top musicians and movie stars.  We so want to believe that they are the people we think they are, and time after time those stars turn out to be even worse than “every day Joe” because they have the income to get themselves into much greater degrees of trouble. 

It’s “official” now that the former “home run kings” Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were indeed using steroids.  No shock to us anymore because it turns out that likely the majority of players in that era were using some kind of PED.  It’s hard to put ourselves back into that time now because of all of the steroid stories since.  But think about it. It was the most exciting time in baseball imaginable.  These two “great guys” in McGwire and Sosa were engaged in the ultimate baseball battle.  They were the most likable and most marketable gladiators we could imagine.  As it turns out, they weren’t so much as “great guys” as guys who found ways to cheat the system and fool all of us, along with their sponsors.

So, from Tiger to McGwire to Arenas to Kobe and on and on.  The list has become so long that nothing shocks us anymore, despite the fact that it’s still news and boosts ratings.  But what are potential sponsors left to do?  What is the decision-making process now for any company trying to decide whether to use an athlete or entertainer?  There are certain steps that can be taken, and some key questions to be asked in making an endorsement decision.

The first question that we always recommend is, “Is this endorsement the only way we think we can achieve the desired results?”  And that’s really the key question.  In other words, for Buick, was using Tiger the only way they could have achieved thee results they were looking for?  Asking a question like this does a couple of important things.  First, it really forces marketers to explore every possible way in which they can drive results and hopefully prevents laziness.  This makes everyone engaged in the decision think more creatively.  Second, it shines a light back to where it should be, on the desired results.  Why are we using this person?  What do we think using this person can do for our brand and company?  How do we think it will do that?  Hopefully, this takes ego out of the equation as well and erases little talked about reasons that endorsements sometimes get done like, “the chairman really likes him and wants to have dinner with him, golf with him, etc.”    One of the other key questions to ask is of course, “What if?”  Teh conversation could go something like this…..”I know it seems crazy and it would never happen, but what if news came out that Tiger was a philandering cheater and hand girlfriends all of the country and it was sprayed in a very negative way in worldwide headlines?”  Crazy question a year ago, right.  Heck, it’s a crazy question right up to the day we found out Tiger crashed into the fire hydrant for some wierd reason. 

However, there are no crazy questions when it comes to marrying your brand to an endorser.  You don’t know that person, at all.  You know nothing about their personal life or things that they do now or could do in the future.  Don’t assume that you do, and don’t think that you’ll be able to find all the answers to make you feel like you do.  Ultimately, marketers will be foreced to be better marketers.  Ask all the hard questions.  Find the most creative and meaningful ways to achieve desired results.  That’s the job at hand.  If you think that there is no other way to achieve the desired results other than to engage in an endorsement for your brand, then you are placing your bet and hoping for the best.  You may decide that the return you’ll get now will be worth recovering from the worst news possible that could come out about your endorser.  We’re not saying to avoid endorsements completely and forever.  We are saying that brands need to be prepared for the worst because we all now the worst can happen to who we think is the best.

Posted in endorsements, Golf, Sponsorship | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The End of the “Hostile Environment”

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on September 26, 2009

I am officially calling for the end of the “hostile environment.”  If you watch sports regularly, particularly college or pro football, then you have been hearing the phrase “hostile environment” with increasing regularity over the past two years from announcers who somehow thought they needed a more exciting or dramatic way to describe the crowd or atmosphere at an “away” game.  

Here’s what happens for the team that’s not playing in their home stadium.  The crowd cheers on their team instead of the visiting team.  When the visiting team has the ball, the home team cheers loud to try to somehow affect the communication and play of the visiting team.  Sometimes they do.  This is called…..the home team advantage.  But please, please stop referring to every loud stadium as a “hostile environment.”  It sounds ridiculous and the “environment” isn’t any different than it always has been.  Fans cheering on their team. Fans yelling and getting loud when the other team has the ball. How very “hostile.”

Ask USF about the “hostile environment” they just went into in Tallahassee where the “hostile” ‘Noles crowd was all dressed in white for a fierce, dare I say. “hostile” whiteout.  Very hostile indeed.  USF 17 FSU 7.  Is there usually a home team advantage?  Of course.  The stadium is full of their fans, just like it always is and always has been.  Is it “hostile?”  No, it’s football fans cheering for their team and against the other team. 

So, let’s stop this “hostile environment” nonsense.  Don’t even get me started on “physicality.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

General Motors Stadium for Cowboys?

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on September 18, 2009

As the Cowboys get ready for their home opener at their new stadium, General Motors is rumored to be on the verge of signing a new 10-year, $200 million naming rights deal for Cowboys Stadium.

Beautiful GM Field at Cowboys Stadium

Beautiful General Motors Stadium?

Crazy right?  Also untrue.  A headline to stir the pot and get your attention?  A little.  But more than that, a headline to bring home a couple of key points at a time when industry leaders on both sides of the sponsorship fence and the public have very strong opinions about the merits of sponsorship, in particular naming rights deals.  It also points to the ongoing debate over measurement.  How does that big naming rights deal get measured and does anyone believe the methodology?

After all, GM is in bankruptcy and just took $50 million from the government to get “back on its feet.”  How could they irresponsibly go spend millions per year just to put their name on a stadium, which gets them no return?  There it is.  Backlash from government officials, the public and auto industry leaders.  This naming rights stuff is exactly the type of irrational spending that can’t be tolerated at “times like this”, right? 

Well, where was the outrage when GM announced just a month ago and only about two months after the announced bankruptcy and government bailout that it would significantly increase ad spending?  Completely outrageous right?  How can they frivolously be airing TV commercials, much less featuring GM’s Bob Lutz as the “star,” at a time when more and more TV viewers are fast-forwarding right through commercials?  How many millions in government money  are going to be throw away on this?   Now, we’re not saying that, but nobody is.  Why? 

Here’s why.  Because “advertising” is accepted by the public and industry leaders don’t question the methodology of measurement, for the most part.   If I the media buyer meet my GRPs, I can show the client that we are making the right moves, right?  Deep down, when everyone has their backs up against the wall and fear drives decisions, the fall back is “what we know to be the truth.”  And the truth for most people in advertising is media numbers, math.  Let’s face it sponsorship execs, most sponsorship deals at some point still run across the desk of a media exec who has to find a way to put that sponsorship through the “evaluation,” er, math equation.  You can argue all day about whose equation is right or which formula is the “right one,” but at the end of the day, that sponsorship has to fit into something that resembles what advertising execs know to be the truth, numbers or eyeballs or listeners or ratings.  Let’s put aside the argument about whether advertising works, right?  If the numbers are met, it works.

Okay, no problem.  We can do that, right?  We can extrapolate the enormous amount of “impressions” that GM will get from its new naming rights deal and in fact we’ll be able to show that the “value” far exceeds the expenditure.  This is the most high-profile naming rights deal ever and because of that, GM will receive somewhere around ” a gazillion” (rounding up here) impressions as a result. 

This is where we sponsorship gurus step in, already a little hot and bothered by all of this “impression” talk, and say…”Stop talking about sponsorship as a means to get impressions!  Sponsorship is not about impressions, it’s much deeper and more meaningful than that.  This is about an integrated marketing platform that can deliver Return On Objective and deliver on real marketing and sales metrics. It can offer one-to-one marketing, product trial, retail promotion, etc, etc., etc.”  Sorry Charlie.  When fear is driving decisions and we can’t afford “backlash”, we can’t choose to believe that all of that “stuff” actually works.  We know the truth to be media numbers and frankly the public is okay with us blasting them with TV commercials, so they don’t care how many millions of their dollars we might spend on it.  (plus, we’ve made a TV star out of the “big guy” and that’s a sure-fire success that crushes any media audit or evaluation).

And so, the debate rages on with everything being throw in from all sides.  So what’s the point?  How do we sponsorship believers bring companies, politicians and maybe even the public to really get them to the point of “believing?”  Could it actually be okay for GM to have its name on the new Cowboys Stadium and could that actually translate into car sales?  We, of course, say yes, absolutely yes.  If done correctly.

Of course, there is a whole  other and deeper discussion here about the forces that actually affect sales.  Was all of the sponsorship that WaMu did a failure because they went bankrupt?  No, it was all of their advertising, of course.  Kidding, naturally.  But there are so many other forces at work in any given company, that things aren’t as black and white as most execs want them to be.  The point is that for media, impressions have driven decisions and it is a completely accepted formula for success.  Not so for sponsorship, right.  It’s not about impressions.  Sure, that’s why the sponsorship industry and brand execs got so giddy when WNBA jerseys became available.  After all, brands had been clamoring for a chance to sponsor WNBA teams all along, right?  Of course not.  They got punch-drunk at their chance to show…..IMPRESSIONS

Like it or not, the impressions evaluation and justification is here to stay, perhaps in varying degrees.  As to whether or not it will be “okay” for GM or other U.S. auto companies to spend (much less financial institutions) money on sponsorship in addition to than tried and true advertising, time, the economy and political agenda will tell.

Posted in Naming Rights, NFL, Sponsorship, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Unfound gold in Cowboys new scoreboard

Posted by dynamicsportsblog on August 26, 2009

The Dallas Cowboys are faced with whether or not they’re going to have to move their scoreboard higher and out of the way of punted footballs that are likely to hit it most games.  The scoreboard was hung to specs allowed by the NFL, but apparently the Cowboys never actually tested the height with real punts, like they did in Indianapolis where it became obvious that punts would have easily hit a center-hung scoreboard.

Great Video, no permanent signage

Great Video, no permanent signage

As I watched the ESPN stories on the board in Dallas over the past couple of days, the first thing that struck me was of course the enormity of this new video board.  Absolutely huge and apparently stunningly clear HD video.  But then something struck me that was even more glaring.  There is no permanent signage anywhere on the board, none.  I know from a sponsorship standpoint the thought it likely that sponsors will get their impressions via the video in the form of actual commercials, vinettes and other sponsored features.  All good.  But guess what?  When the highlights are shown the video will likely show game footage or other non-sponsored images.  Now that the scoreboard has become a huge story, get some permanent framing around those screens, or on the sides that will be shown every single time there’s a story an every single time the game cameras point at the boards, which of course is going to be very frequent now.  Fill those corners with some permanent signs and you have instantly found revenue, along with some sponsors that will realize incredible ROI, at least in the form of impressions.  We never advocate sponsorship solely for an impression number, but this can be a tremendous asset as part of an overall marketing plan with the Cowboys.

So, get after it Cowboys.  You have an even bigger gold mine in your new scoreboard than you thought you did.

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