5 Great Sponsorship Activation Ideas

5 Great Sponsorship Activation Ideas
by Lynda Carrier-Metz – November 2014

My experience with successful sponsorship activation has been lukewarm:  Like having one foot in a bucket of cold water and the other in boiling hot. Sometimes we hit it out of the park and other times, well, you get the idea.

Thankfully, I had the opportunity to ask my friends on the All-Star Sponsorship panel and discussion at the Baylor Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) annual board meeting what has worked well for them. Thanks to Travis Dillon (The Marketing Arm) for moderating the panel!

Activation Insights

1. Integrate the sponsor into the field of play. Matt Brand, Vice President of Partnerships, Houston Astros, explained, “When a hit ball strikes the ‘fowl (foul) poles’ everyone in the stands gets a FREE Chick-fil-A sandwich. This drives traffic and fan excitement!” Another similar example are the foul poles at the Padres’ Petco Park that look like TaylorMade golf drivers. You might even want to hang a Kia automobile over the center of the court like the Texas Legends.

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”125px” height=”125px” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ][slideshow_deploy id=’3336′][/dropshadowbox]2. Activate via single channels for impact. Greg Grissom, Vice President of Partnerships, Houston Texans: “We ran a promotion for Sonic through a single social media channel (e.g., Facebook) to drive traffic. Fans following the Texans’ Facebook were aware that if the Texans win on Sunday, Tuesday is “Free Slushy Day” at Sonic. The promotion drives secondary sales through increased traffic.”

I’ve found promotions tied to wins and high scores seems to help motivate the team to play better. So, maybe the teams should pay the sponsor for agreeing to do this!

3. Drive retail with the use of the team’s marks. George Killebrew, Vice President of Partnerships, Dallas Mavericks: “Connecting Dr Pepper, Budweiser or Gatorade to case sales in grocery stores to register to win tickets ties two brands together and drives purchases for both!” Using the team’s logo and likenesses always attracts attention in crowded retail spaces.

4. Leverage community support. Jeanne Garza, Director of Corporate Partnerships, San Antonio Spurs: “One of my favorite activation strategies is actually by Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut leveraged their media buys and the goal of giving back to the community. Each January when customers purchase a pizza a portion goes to support the Spurs Youth Basketball League. Both the team and Pizza Hut promote this and everyone wins!”

And we got one more good example from the floor from Steve Flynn.

5. Test-drive. Steve Flynn, Regional Marketing Manager, General Motors: “We integrate marketing and activation at the World Series, Texas State Fair, and other events to do one thing: Get people to take a seat in a Chevrolet and take a test-drive.” Having a singular activation focus that you know results in converting prospects into customers promises a good return on the investment.

Bonus Activation Idea

So, those five are pretty good. Here’s my favorite activation promotion we run at Pizza Hut.

Borrow and build fan passion. We create excitement and gain tremendous fan engagement with the Pizza Hut, “Delivery of the Game” for football and basketball. We deliver pizzas into the stands and the fans go crazy. It aligns with our delivery service and sampling our great pizza. The more that can be given to a variety of sections the better, not just students or the same section each game!

What other ideas do you have? Click the Twitter button below and let us know @BaylorS3, @PizzaHut, #activation.

Sponsorship Success is Defined by the Numbers You Measure

Sponsorship Success is Defined by the Numbers You Measure
by Tom Hughes – September 2013

“If I had a dollar to spend on marketing why would I spend it on sponsorship?”

                                                                                                                                        –Typical CMO

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked a variation of that question over the years, I could probably afford a nice presenting sponsorship somewhere.

One of the many challenges facing CMO’s these days is how to best deliver a return on investment on their marketing spend.  Unfortunately, sponsorship marketing is one of the least understood marketing channels and it is often one of the first channels to be asked to take a cut when those are necessary.

We marketers could potentially avoid that cut if we’re able to effectively capture (and communicate) our sponsorship return.  In order to do so, we have to collect and measure numerous direct and indirect variables.  We’ll need to measure the various elements included in exchange for our spend and the broader impact of your activation programs while also having a solid understanding of your market share, target customer, annual & lifetime value and a variety of other internal metrics.

Ultimately, since every sponsorship has different entitlements and each business has different metrics, there’s not one easy way to measure a return.  It’s not like some other channels where $1 spent will get me xxx impressions or xx click-throughs.

No Soup For You!  Next…

The result of this complicated sponsorship measurement process is that many companies have shied away from trying to truly measure their sponsorship return.  In this era of short attention spans and “just bottom-line it for me” management it’s often easier for a Marketing Exec to justify to a CEO that we’re going to spend $XX get this many impressions/clicks or this TV rating or hit these listeners than to try explain the many different variables that should go into capturing sponsorship return.

But I Was Told There Would Be No Math…

If you’re looking for a short, easy response to the question of why sponsorships are valuable, then choose any one (or all) of these:   Sponsorships…

  • Provide our brand with a way to break through the clutter in ways that traditional media can’t do.
  • Result in getting our customers to buy more product at a higher prices and stay with us longer.
  • Offers our business a completive advantage and force our competitors to spend more to keep up.
  • Amplify the results of all our other marketing channels leading to better results overall.

It’s Not Just Tickets and Signs?

No.  Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work with some really smart people and together we’ve defined, redefined and refined the various elements that go into measuring sponsorship return for the brands we’ve worked with.

While every business is different there are some “typical” elements that you should be capturing when measuring a return on your sponsorship spend.   Here are just a few:

  • Brand Metrics (Awareness, Preference, Selection) – Numerous studies over the years have shown than sponsorships can move the needle for brand metrics when consumers are aware of the sponsorship.  You need to figure out how an increase in any or all of these metrics impacts your revenue?
  • Traditional Media (TV, Radio, Print, etc.) – What’s the traditional media value of the assets and how did they perform against expectations?  This may be the most straight-forward of all of them…
  • Digital Media (Online, Social, Mobile) – Brands have increasingly stressed the need to engage consumer beyond the stadium.  Online, Social and Mobile elements should be part of any activation plan but you should also have a plan for not just tracking but also placing a value on the engagement you get from those elements.
  • Sales Metrics (Both New & Retained) – How many direct sales did your sponsorship deliver, how many customers did it help to retain?  How much money are you saving by keeping the old customers?  How did your sponsorship impact the broader market – the people who knew you were a sponsor but didn’t buy directly or right away.
  • Hospitality – We often measure this in how much did a ticket or the access cost, but you should also consider how valuable the people you’re inviting are and how much additional business you are able to generate from them.
  • Customer Engagement – None of the other metrics matter much if people don’t know that you’re a sponsor of the property.  You should be working to develop activation programs that try to engage the largest possible, relevant audience.
  • Employee Engagement – Do you use you sponsorship to motivate employees?  How much more productivity to you get from employees with higher morale?  Does it have an impact on employee retention?
  • Property Alignment – The property itself can make a difference.  You don’t have to be aligned with the biggest and most popular property in your target market but you should be aligned with the right property.  You need to understand how the property lines up with your target customer, how you’ll fit in with the property’s other sponsors and how good (or difficult) they are to work with.  Any or all of these can impact overall performance.

Again, this list isn’t meant to be an all-inclusive list or the right list for every business.  Hopefully, it’s gotten you thinking about how you’re currently measuring your sponsorship ROI and given you some additional ammunition to answer the “$1 to spend” question the next time you’re asked.

This Is Great But How Does This Apply to the Property Side? 

Having worked with hundreds of properties and reviewed thousands of proposals, I can probably count on two hands the number of times a property asked me about how we’re going to measure the results.  By asking the question and gaining an understanding of exactly what the sponsor is going to measure, properties can help themselves by delivering the assets that are going to drive the best results for the sponsor.  A sponsor that can point to a positive ROI on sponsorship spend is more likely to renew or increase their spend than a sponsor that doesn’t have any results to speak of.  Just saying…

Thanks for reading.  Now it’s your turn.  What elements are you measuring to capture sponsorship return?

S3 Back to School

S3 Back to School
by Kirk Wakefield – September 2013

Our Back-to-School September issue of the S3 Report includes two articles focused on selling NCAA sports:

  • Bryce Killingsworth (Oklahoma State University) explains how and why their innovative STH retention program has been successful. Read more…
  • Brian Erenrich and David Quill (both with Aspire at Georgia Tech) report on how Gen Y salespeople and Gen X managers differ and how they can learn to play well together. Read more…

We look to add more content aimed at NCAA sports. Let us know if you have ideas or interests in contributing. Thanks to Bryce, Brian & David for stepping up!


In news on the Baylor home front, we ended the summer with our first ever Baylor S3 DFW Summer Bash!

Lisa DePoy, Senior Marketing Director for On the Border, hosted the event at On the Border in Addison, Texas. Paige Phillips (S3 ’10), Account Manager at GMR Marketing, also helped host.

Lisa Depoy
Lisa Depoy
Tommy Wright
Tommy Wright
John Burnett
John Burnett

Tommy Wright (S3 ’11), Regional Sales Manager at Legends Sales & Marketing, and John Burnett, Executive Director of Marketing at Southwest Media Group, created the event. Wright and Burnett put their heads together earlier in the summer and came up with the idea for the gathering, realizing how many Baylor S3 interns, board members, alumni and friends were located in the DFW area.

Interns shared summer experiences and received feedback from executives about next steps to take on possible entry-level jobs next year.  Most of all, interns, alumni, and executives alike enjoyed networking and catching-up, while continuing to support Baylor and the S3 program.

Feedback & insights

We asked some of the attendees about their involvement and interest in supporting the Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) program at Baylor.

Bill Boyce
Bill Boyce
Stan Wagnon
Stan Wagnon
Brian Christensen
Brian Christensen

“Partnering with the Baylor S3 Program is a win/win/win: Every student, graduate, faculty member, sponsor, and team who contributes also benefits. I attended the event to support the interns, the program, and the people who had the vision to invent and implement the event. Great job! I came away from the event energized from interacting with the interns, sponsors, and teams and from hearing about so many great things happening in the industry.” ~Bill Boyce, President, Texas Legends

 “My first exposure to the Baylor S3 program dates back to last fall when Tommy Wright was hired by Legends to represent the Lone Star Conference in corporate sales efforts. This summer the quality of the S3 program came into full view as we added Brian Christensen as a summer intern. Having had two S3 products in our office daily, it is clear to see the program instills a good sense of purpose and direction in its students. It’s refreshing to have employees who are intentional and strategic about the way they approach their business, confident in their ability to do the work, and eager enough to ask the right questions.” ~Stan Wagnon, Commissioner, Lone Star Conference

“One of the main reasons I chose the S3 major was the fact that at the time I attended Baylor, I saw many people around me graduating with no job lined up. The S3 major’s curriculum, board of directors, and internship opportunities guarantee you will find success as long as you are willing to put in the work. I came to see old friends and meet new faces. I love hearing success stories from other S3 members.” ~Paige Phillips (S3 ’10), Account Manager, GMR Marketing

Brian Christensen (S3 ’14) helped organize the event and provided the report and pictures of the event. Nice work, Brian!

Why the new AT&T Stadium is win-win for everyone

Why the new AT&T Stadium is win-win for everyone
by Kirk Wakefield – August 2013

Since AT&T and the Dallas Cowboys have been great supporters  of the S3 program since its inception a decade ago, apparently DFW reporters figure I might have some insight into the financial deal between the two on the naming rights. Although I’ve been quoted as saying it’s in the $18-20 million range, that’s purely an educated guess. That guess could be off by millions for all I know.

What I do know is that this deal is a win-win for everyone. Why?

  1. Technology: Setting the standard. AT&T & the Cowboys can set the standard for in-stadium experiences with AT&T’s wifi service and exclusive content. If AT&T provides flawless service with 80,000 fans at NFL games, as well as large crowds at 3rd party events, then they can do it anywhere. AT&T Stadium will be the tech showcase for the NFL, much like AT&T Park is for MLB.
  2. Branding: Image transfer. Brands sponsor teams in part for the image of the team to transfer to the brand. Teams are also careful (or should be) to partner with brands that enhance the team’s image, because image transfer can work both ways (cf., Enron).  In this case, matching leading brands in telecommunications and pro sports makes sense. Both will benefit.
  3. Activation: customer conversion. Utilities such as electricity and telecommunications directly benefit from sponsorships because customers can decide to switch services on the spot. TXU Energy (Dallas Mavs/Stars), Reliant Energy (Houston Texans), and Amigo Energy (Houston Dynamo jersey sponsor for 3 years) all benefit from the ability to activate the brand in-venue and other media communications to get customers to switch. Same goes for the wireless category. What’s more, my research shows passionate fans are unlikely to switch from the sponsor to a competitor. They stick with the sponsoring brand.
  4. Partnership: compatibility. The people who work in sponsorships at the Cowboys & AT&T are very smart people. They are professionals who know how to reach corporate objectives through sponsorships. Both parties are committed to excellence in the things they can control. Both know they can count on the other to fulfill the intent of the agreement. In short, they trust each other to seek mutual benefit and to work together.

With all of the press and publicity about this “new” deal, the bottom line is that the Cowboys and AT&T have been partners for a long time. These agreements don’t happen over night, but are based on years of knowing each other and finding the best solution for the partnership. I’m confident as fans and as stakeholders we will all be winners in this deal.

What are your thoughts? Good deal or no good deal?

S3 Leadership Spotlight: Dave Nottoli @GM

S3 Leadership Spotlight: Dave Nottoli @GM
Dave Nottoli
Dave Nottoli
by Blake Cargill – July 2013

Dave Notolli, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager at General Motors, has worked for GM for over 30 years. A graduate of Purdue University, Notolli has enjoyed the automotive business from the moment he became a part of it. The automotive business has a unique, challenging aspect to it because of the competition and fast paced environment.

Managing the Escalade brand

Pinned as the first brand manager of GM, Notolli was given the difficult task of promoting the Escalade in the early 1990’s. This proved to be a challenging time for Notolli as he learned different roles and responsibilities.

The goal was to establish Escalade as its own brand. In order to do this, Nottoli said, “I had to try to change the mentality of the company and think of each car line as an individual brand.” Notolli was extremely successful, and the Escalade remains as a leader in the premium SUV category today.

Sponsorships fuel global expansion

Manchester United 2014 Jersey
Manchester United 2014 Jersey

Internationally, GM signed a record deal (Reuters estimates the seven-year deal at between $60-70 million a year) as title sponsor of Manchester United. Chevrolet is looking to make a huge push internationally, as its jersey sponsorship with ManU begins in 2014.

Chevrolet is the fastest growing brand in the world right now. Nottoli stated, “It is very important to be a global brand and get global recognition given where markets are growing.”

Regarded as one of the most popular and recognizable soccer teams in the world, Manchester United reaches over 650 million fans worldwide.  This new sponsorship is an excellent gateway into growth and sustainability worldwide.

Digital marketing

What marketing methods seem to be working best now for GM? Notolli pointed towards two fundamental changes related to digital marketing:

cadillac music festival

  1. Product: Equipping cars with technology and digital components to reach a younger crowd.
  2. Promotion: GM’s most successful dealerships effectively use digital marketing and promotions and individual GM brands activate through sports & entertainment sponsorships integrated with social media (see Cadillac inset).

Leadership qualities

Notolli believes team goals always take priority over individual goals. This philosophy contributes to the development of teamwork and collaboration within the GM organization. However, Nottoli believes first and foremost, “We must show integrity in everything we do, being honest and open.”

Nottoli is known for his consistent ethical and moral values as a leader. Ken Mussmann, Chevrolet Field Manager adds, “There are three things about Dave that come to mind when I think about his leadership: First, he is trustworthy. Second, he has an intimate knowledge of the business. And, third, he really cares about the people that work for and with him.”

Stephen Flynn, Chevrolet Marketing Manager believes, “Dave’s work ethic and decision making are always based on his moral compass. Do the right thing, be honest with others, and act with total integrity.”

Differentiating GM from its many competitors is not an easy task. Nottoli regards having great products, customer service, and marketing as the three contributors to making GM stand out among the crowd.  Nottoli believes in his product. He put it best when he said, “What’s good for GM is good for America.”

Be Sure to Drink your Ovaltine (and other sponsorship lessons from A Christmas Story)

Be Sure to Drink your Ovaltine (and other sponsorship lessons from A Christmas Story)
by Drew Mitchell – June 2013

A crummy commercial?

A Christmas Story is one of my favorite classic holiday movies, an opinion likely shared by many of you given how it seems to run 24/7 on TBS during the Christmas season.

As my family gathers around the Christmas tree each year we laugh at the great story about Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the ’40’s who dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. One of my favorite quotes is a very well known part of the movie, when Ralphie learns an important lesson in life. After working hard to break a secret code that turned out to be a promotion for the product Ovaltine, Ralphie learned that many things we want in life aren’t always “free.”

How did Ralphie react when his “prize” for cracking the code is a commercial? In case you don’t know or forgot, here’s what happened.

Ralphie’s response is an important take away. How do fans react to a “Crummy Commercial” during a sporting event or live show? Pretty much the same way.

What do fans expect?

Fans pay top dollar from their discretionary income to enjoy an event live and in-person. They don’t expect commercial interruptions.

Sherry Cassidy, Vice President of Public Relations at InTouch Credit Union, echoes the philosophy of the Legends,

Sherry Cassidy
Sherry Cassidy

The goal  for our partnership with the Texas Legends is to maximize a fan’s experience at the game by providing additional games and entertainment, contests, & interaction with the players. They make fans  a part of the experience, not just a spectator. It’s important that there are a variety of activities going on during the game… such as the High Five Tunnel, and Fan of the Game, the bounce houses, etc.  Being a part of this experience, we create a fun-filled safe environment where parents feel comfortable letting children participate in the activities throughout the arena while they enjoy watching the game.”

Drive by passion

fiat_logo

We produced a great season long promotion with FIAT to enhance fan experience and connect fans with a sponsor in a very positive way. A lucky fan received a FIAT 500 during the final home game of the season. Fans entered at each home game for the opportunity to be selected as a finalist to win the car. Fans waited in anticipation each game to see if they were selected as a finalist, keeping them engaged with the promotion and the sponsor during the course of the season. With each finalist invited back to the final home game, they lined up and tried their chance at winning the car. With about 4 finalists to go….we had a winner!

See the video of the giveaway and the fan engagement with the promotion:

http://youtu.be/CNOP_37iNMQ

You Make the Call!

Kyle Judkins
Kyle Judkins

The Legends also increased their fan experience on TV broadcasts through a social media platform allowing fans to make a play suggestion to the head coach. The coach then selects a minimum of one play per quarter with recognition to the fan whose who submitted the play.

Director of Broadcasting for the Legends, Kyle Judkins adds, “Fans have the opportunity to interact with our broadcast and have a real impact on the outcome of the game. This is such a powerful way to connect a fan with a sponsor with a positive association with the brand in an elevated experience.”

No Ralphie Moments

When a fan has a positive experience with a team they are likely to return more often. When they have a positive experience with a sponsor, they are more likely to try or adopt that brand. 

I’m sure we all have had situations where our fans felt like Ralphie. To avoid those in the future, the steps to build partnerships to mutually benefit the sponsor, team and fan are pretty simple:

  1. Remember activation means action. Try to find ways for fans to take action.
  2. Don’t disappoint fans (and sponsors) by running another “crummy commercial” during games.
  3. Develop a creative marketing program to enhance fan experience and engagement with both sponsor and team.
  4. Don’t shoot your eye out with a Red Rider BB Gun!

 

Amplifying our VOICE: How Sprint Leverages ‘Unlimited’ Content and Why Teams Could Do It Even Better

Amplifying our VOICE: How Sprint Leverages ‘Unlimited’ Content and Why Teams Could Do It Even Better
by Phillip Grieco – June 2013

Couch vs. Run?

Recently I was lounging on my couch after dinner, debating whether to make the effort to get to the gym or go outside for a run.

You can imagine which one won that battle. So, I ended up tuning into NBC’s THE VOICE. I’ve seen it from time to time until this season. Okay, so I may be a bit of a fan. No judging please.

During the show, co-host Christina Milian popped on camera to promote voting for contestants via mobile, social, and also showcase other behind-the-scenes content, all powered by Sprint. After hearing that, I decided to dig a bit deeper into the partnership and here’s what I found.

  • Sprint has been with THE VOICE from the beginning as the show’s first official sponsor and has expanded on the relationship this season.
  • Sprint’s platform is built around their overall brand campaign, ‘Unlimited’, providing fans with all the content that they crave and then some.
  • Sprint  offers a synched-to-broadcast second screen experience live during the show (voting, polls, chat rooms, Tweets, etc.). FYI, so does Walking Dead.

NBA teams build out platforms for sponsors better than most, but the full digital offering from Sprint grabbed my attention. Could teams synch scripts with games in the same way the Voice does?

Who’s on Second?

According to research firm NPD Group, 87 percent of U.S. entertainment consumers say that they use at least one second-screen device while watching television.  The average Fortune 500 company spends annually on digital approximately 20% of their promotional budgets. It’s safe to say  there’s a huge gap between that and most pro teams. We have to make digital a bigger priority.

Properties have several competitive advantages vs. our media counterparts.

  • Integration. We have the ability to bring a fully integrated, year round solution to amplify a prospect’s brand, reinforce benefits, differentiate and authenticate their messaging, create exclusivity, reinforce loyalty and ultimately drive sales.
  • Activation. Media partners cannot physically bring brands to life like we can on-site to millions of fans a year.
  • Relationship. Media partners don’t have a generational relationship with families and fans like teams do.
  • Community. Teams have an established footprint in the community.
  • DVR-Proof. Teams have eye balls here and now. You can watch The Voice later, but sports fans prioritize time to watch the game now.

Now we just need to better determine how digital can play a bigger role of the solution mix.

The Next Gold Nugget

The ability for us to bring our TV-game viewing fan base closer to the action and provide more real-time content is our next gold nugget.

We can borrow a page out of The Voice’s playbook by better monetizing digital. We can also make the idea more robust with other fan touch points, whether in-arena, community, digital and beyond. This is our next new inventory opportunity. It’s staring us in the face each week, courtesy of Adam Levine, Usher, Blake and Shakira. Well, you know what I mean. Let’s go get it.

The AT&T Challenge: Innovative teaching tool brings ideas to life for brands and teams

The AT&T Challenge: Innovative teaching tool brings ideas to life for brands and teams
by Darryl Lehnus – March 2013

The AT&T Challenge: The Beginning

The AT&T Challenge is the brainchild of Eric Fernandez (BU ’94), then Director of Corporate Partnerships for AT&T. Working in collaboration with Eric and AT&T’s partnership with the Dallas Mavericks, the Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) students developed sponsorship activation strategies in a team competition to see who could be the most creative and effective in reaching partnership objectives.

Since 2007, S3 students have had the privilege of working with a variety of sports properties including the Dallas Stars, San Antonio Spurs, San Diego Padres, AT&T Cotton Bowl, Baylor Athletics, and this year’s partner Circuit of the Americas. Tom Hughes (S3 Board Member, Director of Sponsorship Marketing & Promotions, Reliant Energy) helped grow the program while at AT&T. Eric continues to lead the way in developing the process.

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Eric Fernandez
Eric Fernandez

We’re constantly looking for fresh, innovative ideas. As a marketer, it’s easy to fall into a “tunnel vision trap” because you live and breath your brand every day.

The S3 students provide a unique point-of-view unconfined to traditional “corporate” thinking and challenges us to be more creative.

Relevantly connecting with 18-24 year olds is a priority for any brand.What better way to do this than a group of college students providing their points-of-view on what’s interesting and meaningful to them? The students’ ideas are creative, compelling and provide insight into how best to connect with them. [/dropshadowbox]

The Process

The AT&T Challenge is real world immersion for students. The structure and process is basic to how sponsorships work. AT&T, currently under the leadership of Bill Moseley, selects a current or prospective sports property partnership relationship. The steps mirror industry practices:

  1. Sponsor goals: AT&T presents the objectives and goals of their marketing strategy and how the sponsorship fits within that strategy.
  2. Property assets: The sports property identifies the resources, inventory, and assets available in packaging the partnership.
  3. Probing/exploration:  Representing the property, students ask questions and explore creative opportunities for the partnership.
  4. Preparation: With the goals and asset inventory available, S3 student teams create unique customized partnership proposals. Over the next six weeks, students participate in conference calls (assisted, of course, by AT&T) with the sponsor & property with clarifying questions and applications to ensure package elements are available and can be delivered.
  5. Presentation: Student teams compete to see which of their partnership proposals best meets the needs of the partners.

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Brad Alberts

Baylor University continues to provide the finest sports marketing experiences for its students of any university I have seen. The AT&T Challenge was a tremendous opportunity to see Baylor’s students articulate a sports sponsorship and to see the young talent that ultimately could work for an NHL team like the Dallas Stars.[/dropshadowbox]

S3 students know they will face the evaluations of a panel of national leaders in the sponsorship field. The pillar of strength in this process is the ever-present Eric Fernandez. Eric interacts with our students during the process to review, advise, and critique each team’s ideas and concepts.

The panel includes five members:

Bill Moseley
Bill Moseley

Bill Moseley ultimately decides if the proposals meet the AT&T objectives. A productive outcome of this project is the proposed ideas, concepts, and promotions are frequently implemented by AT&T and the various properties.

“The AT&T Challenge is mutually beneficial to all involved,” explains Moseley. “Students get experience and develop needed skills. The innovative ideas from these outstanding young people is a value-add to our partners. And, like most of us who’ve had someone help us, we love giving back to help the careers of these students.”

Always looking for more

Students in the S3 program participate in ticket sales projects each year, generating revenue up to $25,000 for teams and events such as the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, FC Dallas, Mastercard Colonial, Valero Texas Open, Houston Shell Open, and the Alamo Bowl. Students call from our AT&T 24-seat call center and students in the S3 CRM-track manage the database tracking calls and notes through Microsoft Dynamics.

AT&T Call Center
AT&T Call Center

The S3 program is expanding opportunities to engage in more activities like the AT&T Challenge. S3 students operate in agency teams as part of the new S3 Sponsorship Incubator (SI). In two weeks time, SI teams  present creative activation approaches suited to the needs of a partnership. You can join Pizza Hut and the Houston Dynamo, the first two clients of the new SI service, by contacting me by email or calling 254.710.6189.


 

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Jason Simpson
Jason Simpson

The S3 program is grateful to AT&T for their trust and investment of time into the preparation of the next generation of sports sponsorship leaders. In particular, we honor in memory the contributions, friendship, and the life of Jason Simpson to the S3 program. Jason passed away December 18, 2012.

[/dropshadowbox]

 

Soup for you!

Soup for you!
The Original Soup Nazi
The Original Soup Nazi
by Phillip Grieco – March 2013

It’s been nearly 18 years since the famous Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode aired. Yet “No soup for you!” still seems to roll off the tongue every time someone has the liquid delicacy.  For Hale & Hearty, a popular NYC lunch destination, soup is truly at the core of their business.  They understand all too well that the city they cater to can be a challenge. How do you stand out when your consumer has thousands of other choices for lunch?

Hale & Hearty decided to launch its first ever “Chef Series” as a way to break through the clutter and drive additional sales during the very competitive holiday season.  The Chef Series is a six week competition in which the local chain aligned with six New York celebrity chefs and had them each create their own distinct soup.  Each chef’s distinct soup creation was featured, one week at a time, and a portion of the soup’s sales donated to a local charity of the chef’s choice.  The soup that raised the most money for charity during the six week campaign was the champion of the Chef Series and received an additional check for their charity.

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Express stage

When it comes to sports and entertainment, people’s love for music acts as the connective tissue. For brands, it’s trying to harness this emotional connection to music to motive behavior and ultimately purchase. Brand Synergy Group, a music marketing consulting agency, worked closely with EXPRESS to conceptualize, strategize and execute the brand’s Texas 2012 Spring Break activation in South Padre Island, TX. To bring excitement to the annual event and relevance to the brand, Brand Synergy Group paired EXPRESS with emerging acts like Theophilus London, Breathe Carolina and Chiddy Bang to bring a memorable experience through up close and energetic performances for the consumers. EXPRESS blew up spring break to be more than just a vacation from school, but an unforgettable experience.

. ~Brian Lancey[/dropshadowbox]Along with this great local community message, Hale & Hearty received plenty of press surrounding the program, including a feature in The New York Times.  Initial estimates for foot traffic and sales are up significantly over last year.  Hale & Hearty is already looking at creating other iterations of the series that fit with respective season, holiday, or major current events.

What we can learn from initiatives like Hale & Hearty (or EXPRESS, inset) is:

  1. Repackage. Take something common (soup) and bring “a red carpet and bright lights” to it.
  2. Trends. Tap into trends like the current celebrity chef craze.
  3. Competition. Everyone loves a competition.
  4. Charity. Tying in with local charities provides that additional compelling reason to buy more frequently and feel good about it.  It’s not only creating buzz, but also makes a great loyalty driver.

What do we have that we can repackage into a bigger idea?  Can we take one-off cultural game nights and turn it into a larger year-round platform?  What about our community initiatives? We have so many unique ideas we can offer as as sports properties. So find your soup and let’s get cookin’!


The original Soup Nazi photo courtesy of Mike Fox