Leveraging Sports Properties Correctly

Macro beers marketing is omnipresent.

The major 2 premium beer brewers have done a tremendous job of gaining awareness for their brands. They have blanketed our freeways with billboards, our radio and TV stations/networks with commercials, our print publications with timely spreads and are quickly securing inventory of digital assets. Yet the strength of their marketing revolves around sports.  Anheuser-Busch & MillerCoors invest a significant portion of their advertising budgets on sports teams and leagues deales besides the countless network TV deals. As reported in this article by Sports Business Daily, AB and MillerCoors spent roughly  80% & 75% respectfully of their advertising $ behind sports in 2010. For more validity, 8 or the 10 top National TV events in 09/10 were sports.

These beer companies should shift their strategies from gaining awareness to focusing in on experiences.  Outfield walls and scoreboard signage are a thing of the past. They are only relevant and noticed by the companies who buy them. They do not help sell more beer or help build connections with fans. They don’t express a brands identity.

Carlsberg should be commended for their effort to give fans an experience worth remembering. They have leveraged their sports properties and shared exclusive team experiences/content with loyal consumers. Carlsberg allowed exclusive access to players and the locker room to fans.Increasing the excitement, fans delivered their version of a “Pregame Speech.”

This sort of  program activation helps drives deeper brand experiences & loyalty. It is no loner enough for a fan to “See” your brand, they must “Experience” it. Carlsberg has moved away from a seller/buyer relationship with their sports properties and entered into a mutually beneficial programs mode. Teams share the same desire to allow consumers behind the scene access and richer team/community pride. Ted Leonsis, owner of multiple sport franchises in Washington DC area shares a great insight into what sports mean to cities. For the video, click here.

Beer sponsors  should mirror this exact program with NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS teams. In addition to this locker room/pep talk activations, brands should request the following experiences:

1) Presenting game balls

2)Broadcast game from the booth to a custom outlet(website) and then vote at the end of the year for a winner – Potential part time job offer extended to winner

3)Game worn jersey exchange between players and fans

“A Brand is not a product or a promise or a feeling. It’s the sum of all the experiences you have with a company.” – Amir Kassaei

This entry was posted in Advertising, Beer, Branding, Sponsorships, Sports and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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