Time for a little best practices roundup…three good ones from this week…
ROSE ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL: Most times an athlete’s rehab is behind a wall of secrecy and HIP-AA regulations. We seldom see the work he or she outs in as we concentrate on those who have replaced even the brightest of stars for whatever that period of time is. However that is not the case with Derrick Rose, who adidas brought back to the limelight this week by releasing the first in a series of powerful vidoes chronicling the Chicago Bulls return from his ACL tear that will end with his return to the lineup at some point this fall.
It is a smart move by adidas, who has invested heavily in the superstar and can’t afford to let him drift away for long periods of time. It is also good for the NBA to keep such a megastar in some kind of eye of the public as he makes his way back, and it probably is therapeutic for Rose as he goes through the tedium of rehab. Now these are not open-ended looks…they are carefully crafted, well-orchestrated dramatic vignettes that only put Rose in a well approved light. If he has setbacks, they can still be factored into the story. When he eventually hits the court, adidas will be there, and it will all culminate with his eventual return to the court.
Some may say that the videos are a distraction to the process, that they are exploiting the time he outs in during a long road back. However in a time when fans clamor for access, adidas and Rose found a way to let people in, maybe be a little inspired, and help both him and his brand in sending reminders that the star may be away, but he will return.
Well done, surprising promotion.
SNOOPY GOES GRIDIRON: Met Life has spent a huge amount of money at the stadium shared by the Jets and the Giants in New Jersey, so it should come as no surprise that brand extensions should go way beyond signage. The latest was revealed in Manhattan on Thursday, a giant bronze statue of Snoopy that will be installed outside the stadium, so fans can high five and pose around the Met Life mascot as they come in and out of the new stadium, starting this weekend when the Jets meet the Giants in their annual preseason game, which has been christened the Met Life Bowl.
While most preseason football is pretty much a snore, give Met Life a little credit for trying to liven up a game which may not mean much even to the local fans who are just hoping their teams stay healthy and engaged over the next few weeks. The third preseason game of the summer is usually when teams let their prime guys go for a longer stretch, and with this being game two, Eli, Sanchez and their teammates on both sides will probably make quick exits.
However the statue installation is a nice slightly subtle reminder to all coming in each week which brand rules the roost…or the doghouse…in the swamp. Nice little brand extension idea for one of America’s largest sports sponsors.
NINERS GO UNCONVENTIONAL, BLAZE BRAND TRAIL: The Silicon Valley is all about tech innovation, so maybe it should come as no surprise that the San Francisco 49ers latest Founding Partner is not a beverage or a Telco brand but a data storage provider. n Violin Memory entered into a long-term partnership as the 49ers official and exclusive data storage provider for the 68,500 seat stadium that will open for the 2014 NFL season, as well as for the remainder at Candlestick Park.
Violin’s products and expertise will provide key building blocks in the technology infrastructure of the stadium, and in turn, the company will have exclusive branding in the suite tower, a signature feature of the new stadium. The message that a partnership like this sends to the industry is that the 49ers are committed to having the most technologically savvy stadium for an audience that will thrive on up to the second brand engagement. For Violin Memory it is a step out into the consumer marketplace, announcing to their competitors a growing engagement not just with businesses but with fans. Maybe it seems a bit unconventional, but when one looks to the stadia of the future, such as Livestrong Park in Kansas City, fang engagement with everything from hand held devices to interactive data centers in the stadium are going to be just as important as wide concourses and a wide variety of food and beverage are today. An interesting trend to follow for the arenas coming online soon.