It is not easy trying to remain relevant with national brands for the travelling road show. There are less performances of the circus, less ice shows, less boxing matches, less LPGA events, less AVP events, less, less less. When you do not have consistent brand relevance in a market and are out of sight for all but one week a year, the ability to keep an event fresh and top of mind when discretionary income, and with that partner value, can be hard to explain is making the “tour” even more difficult to sustain. So what does a touring brand d. You try and find national platforms that give the product year-round life, so that when the event does make its annual stop into down there is something to draw the casual fan. One group that continues to do it well is the Harlem Globetrotters, and their latest attempt at large and long-term branding relevance is with their participation in CBS’ Amazing Race. The Globies, who have two players, Flight Time and Big Easy, participating in the reality show this season, have used the show to keep the brand fresh for the casual fan, and even build a little momentum for the upcoming start of their next multi-city, multi-week tour which begins during the Holidays. Are the guys playing hoop. No. But like the use of “Dancing With the Stars” for other athletes, The Amazing Race and the publicity around it gives the brand watercooler talk at a time of year when the team would not be top of mind and would be struggling to find a way to connect even with their strongest of supporters. The brand has also used various levels of social media to piggyback off the push “The Amazing race” does every week to drive viewers to the show, and has created a positive partnership that could serve as a template for getting Globetrotter branding into even more properties. There was a time during their heyday when team spokespeople were part of multifaceted marketing campaigns, cartoons and special year round, and that brand value for the Globetrotters is now returning in more creative communication and brand platforms that are looking to tie with a group that has recognition with casual sports and entertainment fans. Does it matter if the Trotters pair wins TAR this yea. No. It mattered more that they stayed in the race and on the show long enough to drive interest and draw more eyeballs to the brand. By making it to this stage they have achieved their goal and have helped forge a bridge to when the season tips off, which is a win for their brand and all their partners.
Some other good reads…The New York Times had a good Saturday piece on the great added value that profootballtalk.com has brought to NBC…the Washington Post's Tom Boswell has a great profile of Navy's Ricky Dobbs, and the Bergen Record's Ian O’Connor catches up with former MSG head Dave Checketts to talk about Real Salt Lake and the issues now hovering over pro hoops in the tri-state area.