Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Home Run Derby - a Sponsorship Payout?

Albert Pujols didn't win the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game festivities last night. The event was won by Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers, son of former major-leaguer Cecil Fielder. But the real question is, did the marketers win? Pepsi, State Farm and others were the paying sponsors. Did they generate a favorable ROI on their All-Star investment? Probably not, at least in terms of direct sales. But direct product sales was probably not the goal. Brand association with this high-energy, contemporary event (the Derby is still relatively new, and more exciting than the game itself) was the goal. In turn, this association and other sponsorships align these brands with the values of the audience. That is, they associate the brand with contemporary, high-energy, mainstream "American" events. This alignment impacts brand choice over time. This alignment impacts trade relationships as well, especially when a buyer is making a choice to promote a brand (Coke vs. Pepsi). So, Albert Pujols may not have been the big winner last night. In the end, I think the sponsors came out ahead.

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