Monthly Archives: December 2009

Situation Worsens for Tiger

Last week we issued the Performance Research opinion as to the Tiger Woods situation.  Since then we have seen new reports that not only increases the number of mistresses linked to the golfer, but also tie him to prescription drug abuse and the possible use of human growth hormones.  While neither drug abuse nor the use of steroids has been confirmed, the implications alone, coupled with his extramarital affairs are making this situation for Tiger and his sponsors far more difficult than originally forecasted.  While the initial accusations could be viewed by the public as a blip in his personal life, the continuance and level of controversy surrounding Woods are now sure to leave a greater impression on his career and legacy.

Woods has already lost one of his primary sponsors, Accenture, and has also had his image dropped from advertisements by sponsors Gillette, Tag Heur and Gatorade.

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Newport in the Snow

As a lot of you probably know, the East Coast got slammed with a winter storm over the weekend, bringing tons of snow and wind to New England.  While Newport can’t avoid the normal characteristics of a snow storm like stuck cars, cancellations and hours of shoveling, we are happy to say that a nice layer of white really makes this city look great!

Check out some of the photos below to see what downtown Newport looks like the day after:

Queen Anne Square, Newport, RI

Looking NorthWest from our tower.

Looking North from the tower.

Looks like we'll have to wait a few months before firing up the bar-b-que!

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Make Sure Your Street Team is Working For You!

This past weekend I took a quick trip down to NYC to visit some old friends and take care of some holiday shopping.  Of course, despite the tugs from my girfriend, I could not help but stop and analyze what some companies were up to as far as sponsorship and activation.

One of the moments that really pushed me to take out the camera and notepad was upon seeing a Metro PCS promotion in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan.  There was a woman dressed up in a purple Metro PCS outfit, standing on a corner outside a subway stop.  Now this seems like a perfect opportunity to shout your message, right? Too bad it wasn’t working out as planned.

Even though that particular corner wasn’t the busiest citywide, the real problem was the lack of enthusiasm from the employee.  The hired worker basically just stood there, not going up to anyone and looking totally non commited to her role.  As we pointed out a few weeks ago in discussing the Charmin pop up in Times Square, with its outstanding engagement approach, peoples attitudes are the KEY to on street promotions.  If you smile and interact with everyone that passes by, you have a much higher success rate than just standing there (Duh!).

Another two potential customers walk by, unengaged.

Now that we establshed that the Metro PCS promotional worker should have been more effective,  lets take a look at who else was responsible for this quiet city corner.

While we are not sure whether this particular promotion was a result of a local store or the national headquarters, we are sure that a person in charge should make sure that everything is working!  From a corporate perspective, if they are providing a promotional budget for a local store to hire this girl, shouldn’t they make sure the local store knows how to run the event properly?  And from the other side, if corporate is running the promo, shouldn’t they have someone from within operating hands on when training the staff and picking a location?  Either way, choosing and managing proper staff would do worlds to make this promotion more effective.

Hopefully in the future, Metro PCS and other companies with good ideas should take it a step further to make sure their plans are carried out with the same energy that was used in the creation process.

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Subway Wins with “The Biggest Loser”

We all know the story of Jared Fogle, the overweight college student who ate only Subway sandwiches for a year and lost an exorbitant amount of weight.  His weight loss plan resulted in a spokesperson position with Subway and a successful advertising campaign dating back to 1999.    Fast forward ten years and Subway is launching another inspiring and brilliant marketing move.

In association with the popular NBC television show, The Biggest Loser, Subway is offering this past season’s contestant Shay Sorrells $1,000 for every pound she loses between now and next season’s finale in May 2010.  She will also receive free meals from the restaurant chain and have the opportunity to join Jared as Subway spokeswomen for 2010.  At the start of this past season Shay was the shows heaviest contestant ever, weighing in at 476 lbs.  As of last weeks Season 8 finale, she has trimmed down to only 304lbs.  Subway hopes that with their help, Shay can continue to drop the pounds through the spring and reach her optimum weight.

The sponsorship of Shay by Subway seems to be a perfect fit for their image.  Subway relies heavily on the promotion of their “Fresh Fit” menu items, and their position as a healthy alternative to other quick service restaurants.  Also, this sponsorship links Subway to one of the most watched reality shows on television; one that brings hope and positive feelings to so many people around the country.  Kudos to Subway for understanding what has worked for them in the past and finding new ways to stick with a good thing!

Also, this blog post would be a “loser” if we cease to mention how The Biggest Loser not only benefits from the program that Subway is offering them, but they also use the power of their show to do their own good deeds.  The television shows offers a program where viewers can go online and pledge to lose weight, with The Biggest Loser donating 14 cents to Feeding the Hungry for each pound lost.   The show also has produced an online weight loss club and fitness video game to promote effective weight loss in the United States.  It’s no wonder that The Biggest Loser is such a winner!

Check out these sites for more info:

www.subwayfreshbuzz.com

www.biggestloser.com

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Old is New for Puerto Rico

Just like tight jeans and skinny ties, advertising campaigns can also make a comeback.  Last week in New York, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico announced the revival of a heralded campaign that was first used in the 1950’s.

The original advertisements which featured photographed images of Puerto Rico shot by Elliot Erwitt and copious copy in big block letters were designed by the Ogilvy and Mather Agency, the same agency who is spearheading the current campaign.  Interestingly enough, the same photographer is also being used for the 2009 edition.

Performance Research VP Bill Doyle was excited to be on hand at the Exit Art Gallery in Manhattan for the campaign release party.  When Bill returned to Newport he talked about how the theme of the advertisements speaks well for the country of Puerto Rico, and should be beneficial in their pursuit of attracting tourists.

The campaign which consists of print ads, television commercials and an impressive website (http://seepuertorico.com/) is slated to run through June. Check it out!

Top: Circa 1954; Bottom: 2009

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The SponsorEye – The Performance Research take on Tiger Woods

While tumultuous times no doubt lay ahead in Tiger Woods’ personal life, some of his sponsorship agreements may have also hit rocky times.

We speculate that with endemic sponsors like Gatorade, Nike and Golf Digest his status is likely to remain. He still represents the best there is in the sport, and for this reason they will hold on to him.  Of course we do suspect that TV and Print ads will come to a halt as companies try to dim the spotlight on Tiger until this story blows over.

As far as non-endemic companies like Accenture, AT&T and Gillette, we suspect that some of these sponsorships will be reconsidered or pulled as their association with Tiger is on a higher level.  These companies associate themselves with Tiger as a professional with a solid personality and place in society.  With all the personal issues in his  life that have been revealed over the past week it puts these sponsors in a tough spot, as so much of their relationship is reliant on him being a positive force outside the realm of golf players.  If any companies do pull out all the way, we suspect it will be one of these.

Look for things to shake out over the next week, then the media backlash will start to slow down as publc interest quells.  Even with the possibility of losing sponsors looming, make no mistakes, Tiger and his accomplishments do outweigh this current scandal.

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“Sponsor our event, but you might have to wait five years”

Yesterday marked the 25th Anniversary of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Surfing Event at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. The event featured an elite group of surfers invited to compete in 25-40 ft. surf while a crowd of thousands watched from the sand, along with millions watching live on television and the web. Along with the surf and sun, Quiksilver is able to generate a tremendous amount of media coverage and ad space by presenting this specialty event.

Seems like a perfect scenario, right? Well, here’s the kicker. Although the event has been around 25 years, it has only actually run eight times. The contest is put on call every winter and will only run if perfect conditions align. As contest director George Downing famously stated, “the Bay calls the day”, making for years of waiting and close calls. From a sponsorship point of view, I wonder how difficult this makes it for organizers and corporate sponsors, having to be ready with a solid program at all times four months out of the year. Of course this must be tough logistically, but is it not also tough to keep past sponsors and gain new ones without any guarantee that the event will happen?

However the other, potentially beneficial, side of this “problem” is that the long waiting period adds a different value to the event. Although sponsors may not receive billing every year, they are aligning themselves with one of the most mystical and prestigious surf events in the world. Understandably the wait and anticipation creates a serious buzz amongst the demographic set that a sponsor would want to reach. This anticipation and level of viewership might be dulled if the contest were to run every winter season.

Understanding that the event could go years with out running, yet has all the power and stigma of any other professional surfing event, do you think sponsors come flocking or are more apt to hold back?

For more info on this event check out:

http://live.quiksilver.com/2009/edie/live.php?btn_live=_over

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