Earlier this year we noted the innovative and fun way the Chicago Fire of MLS launched their partnership with Quaker Oats…by sending media a customized media kit in the classic Quaker Oats round container. Very smart, very memorable great partnership launch between the team and the brand…one which does not do a huge amount in sports but clearly is up for fresh ideas.
So it was with great excitement Monday that another box arrived from the Fire…this one containing a custom box of Life Cereal. This was a team branding exercise, it was a classic push for post-season awards…for University of Louisville product and standout rookie defender Austin Berry. The box, like any iconic cereal box that trumpets a champion athlete, had Berry’s stats on it and a full slate of products and notes inside, carefully explaining why he could and should be the choices of media voting for the award. The box also included a call to action with upcoming games and his twitter handle (#Berry4ROY)
The promotion is a great example of old school grassroots outreach, smart and effective partner activation, and a hook with social media. It is a great visual and a potential keepsake that will resonate with both younger media and some who have been around a while, whether they like soccer or The Fire or not. A real nice opportunity to cut through the clutter not just in Chicago but nationally, and a great gauntlet to be thrown down for MLS best practices.
The original Oats box and now the cereal followup will leave people wondering what is next for the Fire. here’s a guess…the new show “Chicago Fire,” about Chicago’s Bravest will debut in a few weeks on NBC, also an MLS partner. Lots of great crossover promotional oppts there as the playoffs approach and into the offseason for a franchise that clearly gets the way to stand out from the crowd, box by box.