This month Rogers Communications sought to expand its grasp on the western Canadian market by acquiring the rights to the hockey arena where the Vancouver Canucks play. Formerly known as General Motors Place, the newly-christened Rogers Arena is part of a ten-year sponsorship deal between the Canucks and Rogers as the communications company seeks to gain new ground on unfamiliar territory. In addition to the naming rights deal, Rogers has also partnered with the Canucks on telecommunications sponsorship and broadcast rights via Rogers Sportsnet. Part of the deal will also enable Rogers customers to access exclusive Canucks information through their wireless phones, although specifics have not yet been disclosed.
The sponsorship signing by Rogers is a smart move for the communications company to make for several reasons. First, the association with the Canucks will help to expand their influence in western Canada, as Rogers is not as well known compared to other communications competitors such as Telus, which is based out of British Columbia. Second, through their additional sponsorship of telecommunications and broadcast rights, as well as their desire to seek radio broadcast rights when those become available, Rogers has ensured their name will be affiliated with the Canucks brand in every possible way. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the availability of exclusive Canucks information through Rogers Wireless will ensure continued customer loyalty as well as the possibility of attracting new local customers. With this sponsorship deal, Rogers adds another Canadian sports landmark to an already impressive list, including the Rogers Centre where the Toronto Blue Jays play. Hopefully their actions will encourage other Canadian telecom companies to seek stadium sponsorships to compete with Rogers.
An important point for sponsors to be wary of, however, is that changing the name of a stadium may do more harm than good if the feelings of the fans are not taken into consideration. A study by Performance Research in the U.S. and U.K. revealed one in five fans did not agree that sponsors have the right to change the name of the stadium because of their sponsorship. While a move from GM Place to Rogers Arena may not have as large an impact as the change is from sponsor name to sponsor name, companies should be aware of the possibility of backlash should they try to change a more traditionally-named stadium.
On Monday, July 5th, the 34th annual Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships kicked off in Newport, RI with 32 singles players and 16 sets of doubles competing for the Van Alen Cup. This event, which has been hosted during the week following Wimbledon since 1976, is the only grass court ATP tournament in the U.S. and is a top attraction for the Newport summer crowd. As Performance Research is based in Newport, this event hits particularly close to home. Although the event is an official part of the ATP tour, its low-key nature allows for smaller and/or local businesses to provide sponsorship. This enables companies to gain official recognition without having to shell out a much larger sum for sponsorship of a more internationally-known event, such as a Grand Slam tournament.
One such company that has taken advantage of the tournament is Angela Moore, a locally based fashion designer with retail stores in both Palm Beach and Newport. As part of their sponsorship deal, Angela Moore is hosting a fashion show and champagne breakfast this Thursday, July 8th. In addition, a full day of courtside tennis and an Angela Moore gift certificate are included, which will incentivize those who participate to shop at the local store. Clearly Angela Moore is taking full advantage of their sponsorship through these activations and is making a point to stand out from the list of sponsors. This is a very smart move by Angela Moore to attach their name to a prestigious event and take advantage of a golden opportunity in their market. Hopefully their actions will encourage more local businesses to not only sponsor, but fully utilize local events when considering their marketing objectives.
Last Thursday was a very special day in Newport for sailors and tourists alike, as the famed America’s Cup trophy was on display just a few steps from the Performance Research office! The America’s Cup is the oldest active trophy amongst all of sport, with a long and famed history involving Newport and the New York Yacht Club.
Below are a couple of pictures and you can check out more coverage at www.sailnewport.org.
The trophy was on display as part of a national tour from boat sponsors BMW and Oracle.
Speaking of sponsorship, click the link below to a Performance Research Independent Study highlighting the potential benefits of sponsoring an America’s Cup boat!
The city of Myrtle Beach announced on June 28th its decision to call off its sponsorship of a July 4th celebration at BB&T Coastal Field due to financial concerns. The decision to drop the sponsorship will affect a planned picnic, concert, and fireworks show at the stadium, and force holiday visitors to seek entertainment elsewhere.
This is a poor move by the city announcing the cancellation only a week before the holiday weekend. The decision by the city reflects a trend that seems to occur too often, where sponsors feel they are able to change the outcome of events without considering the effect on the people planning to attend the events. As there were surely people who had planned far in advance to attend the celebration this coming weekend, the result will be a strong outpouring of negative emotion for the city of Myrtle Beach. The city has also failed to capitalize on this opportunity in two other ways: 1) by not seeking sponsorship from local business to keep the event alive and stimulating the local economy and 2) forcing people to seek an alternative to a holiday that the city could have owned. Hopefully this will cause the city to think twice before springing something this significant on such short notice again.