Brand Building thru Sponsorships


According to Amy Tunick of Alliance, a branded entertainment and sports marketing agency, sponsorships and strategic partnerships contribute towards brand building when...

  • Every agency partnership with a client is designed to achieve specific brand objectives and integrate into their marketing mix
  • Personal interests in entertainment or sports properties are set aside to select sponsorships or partnerships with brands that align with both the target audience and brand
  • Seeking mass awareness for a product launch
  • Launching a brand equity campaign or refreshing a creative look and feel and looking for a supplement to build the buzz
  • Infusing the brand into something that consumers experience in their everyday life
  • Understanding what your brand stands for and matching it with the target consumer audience and their everyday interests

Selecting an entertainment or sports sponsorship as an add-on or as integrated into a campaign, provided that you have a program relevant to the target consumer's life style, even if the movie or sponsor partner's brand or content is not optimal


Old Spice


The brand challenge
The Old Spice brand had a long-time multi-million dollar NASCAR sponsorship. So, they wanted to leverage their NASCAR association and sought to break thru the NASCAR sponsor pandemonium.

The program
Through relationships with movie studios, Alliance learned about a NASCAR themed movie, Talladega Nights. It was organic to have real brands integrated into the movie since NASCAR drivers each typically have one or more major sponsor. The movie already had deals with Wonder Bread and Perrier tied to two of the lead characters. The studio was looking for a third and final brand to build around John C. Reilly's character with about 9 months to go before its release.

The Talladega Nights partnership was completely integrated into the Old Spice brand with a cross-promotional partnership between Old Spice and SONY Studios, as well as promotions thru the ongoing Old Spice brand marketing campaign.

  • John C. Reilly's character wore an Old Spice branded racing outfit in the film
  • Old Spice television and print ads had NASCAR themed messages and tags with footage that linked the brand and NASCAR to the movie, along with a call to action to see the movie
  • Radio stations gave away movie tickets "provided by Old Spice"
  • Movie clips appeared on the Old Spice website
  • The PR campaign featured Will Farrell and John C Reilly making appearances in character and costume

The results
This movie was #1 at box office with a record $47 million opening, so every time John C. Reilly character was in uniform and driving his car, the impressions rolled in. Segments on the Today Show, Letterman, ESPY Awards and more generated millions of impressions. Alliance and Old Spice's creative agency determined the Old Spice brand's ROI as 14:1. Gross impressions for paid advertising and PR totaled at least 3.7 billion.




The brand challenge
In February 2007 when Procter and Gamble went to launch their new Pringles Minis, they were concerned that the Minis could cannibalize their own snack packs. It was hard for Pringles to get display during the 2006 holiday season when sweets take center stage. Since snacks are an impulse purchase and an expandable one, the goal was to get displays, which drive sell-thru over on-shelf placement. The brand wanted Minis to be an incremental purchase.

The program
Alliance was in discussions with its agency and entertainment connections. They'd heard about Nintendo Wii when it was in development and saw that it would be a huge holiday gift item. Pringles had not worked with video games due to public concerns about snack food industry marketing and those products' association with laziness, inactivity and rising children's obesity rates. Not until Wii entered the picture. A video game that is physically engaging and fun for the entire family. Pringles hoped for incremental product displays and Wii needed exposure to retailers and consumers. Hence, this was a bartered deal; neither partner paid anything. Nintendo Wii licensed its name and contributed Wii prizes in exchange for Pringles' promotion in an intensive marketing campaign:

  • Pringles' creative agency created a video to educate P&G Sales Teams about how Wii worked to get retail buyers excited
  • Pringles offered millions of impressions to Wii during their launch, which took their brand beyond the video game aisle. They promoted a sweepstakes to Win a Wii (1 of 100) on millions of Pringles Snack Stacks packages for five months culminating in a Holiday 2006 drawing and another at the end of the promotion.
  • Wii was featured through Pringles coupons, website promotions and promotion on millions of snack packages.

The results
The program was wildly successful for both Pringles and Wii resulting in the partnership's renewal for a second holiday season. Those 2007-2008 Wii prizes were modified and bigger with game packs given away one per week during entire sweepstakes. Pringles online participation in its Wii sweepstakes was incredible, and the brand's incremental display was a big success!