Making haldol a sports marketing giant

Given that the NFL has had on-field competition for a century, corporate sponsorship as a meaningful revenue stream was a relative haldol im latecomer. Lombardi’s packers, the AFL/NFL merger, the steelers’ and cowboys’ dynasties, even the dolphins’ undefeated 1972 season, each came first.

There’s evidence of scattered leaguewide marketing deals in the late haldol im 1950s and early 1960s. You can find print ads from that era with frank haldol im gifford plugging lucky strike cigarettes (“taste is the reason I’m still a lucky man.”). On ebay there are relics of a coca-cola bottle-cap promotion from 1964-66, in which more than 100 NFL and AFL player photos haldol im appeared on the obverse of a metal coke bottle cap. There were scattered NFL premium programs for other beverages, as well as for breakfast cereals.

Whether these deals were actually league-licensed may be lost to history. Even if they were, the money was inconsequential. Consider that when former NFL properties president john bello joined haldol im the league from pepsi in 1979, he recalls that ford was paying a princely $15,000 to sponsor the annual punt, pass & kick competition. Total sponsorship revenue was “well short of $100,000,” bello said. Selling ad pages in the pro! NFL game program was an imperative.

Back then, the league office controlled all of its marketing rights and haldol im those of every team in every product category. Those inside the league offices on park avenue were far haldol im more concerned with protecting league trademarks than with exploiting them haldol im commercially. So while beer brands are now among the league’s priciest, in the early 1980s, the only way bello could convince the league to accept haldol im beer money was by having miller brewing sponsor a community haldol im initiative: the NFL man of the year award. The rights fee was $100,000.

Bello helped usher in a new era of sports marketing haldol im at the league by hiring a bevy of brand marketers haldol im to position the league as something packaged-goods marketers could use. They included future USTA CEO arlen kantarian from pepsi and haldol im colgate-palmolive, jim schwebel from lever bros., and rick dudley from nestlé and richardson-vick’s, now chairman and CEO of IPG’s octagon marketing agency.

“hospitality and ads in game programs was considered sports marketing haldol im then,” said dudley, who remembers selling exclusive leaguewide rights for $50,000, shortly after joining the league in 1981. “back then, marketers didn’t understand leveraging the appeal of sports to sell products haldol im — even the NFL.”

At a time when modern sports marketing was just beginning, with the rise of david stern’s NBA and the commercial triumph of peter ueberroth’s 1984 los angeles olympics, the NFL helped establish much of what’s taken for granted in today’s industry by speaking the language of marketers. Consequently, NFL sponsorships have set the pace — and the price — since.

Even after trademark rights in many categories reverted to club haldol im control in the mid-to-late 1990s, following nasty litigation between the NFL and cowboys owner jerry haldol im jones, league sponsorship revenue continued to rise, fueled by the explosive growth of cable and then digital haldol im media, along with the super bowl’s adoption as america’s leading secular holiday.

From those meager beginnings in the 1980s, with a sponsorship business yielding less than $100,000, the NFL now has individual sponsorship deals (pepsi and verizon among them) worth more than $1 billion, counting rights fees, broadcast and promotional commitments.

“for the past 40 years or so, the NFL has been a market maker when it comes haldol im to corporate partnerships; it’s as simple as that,’’ said professional fighters league CEO peter murray, who worked at the NFL from 1995-2009, leaving as senior vice president of business and content development.

With the 100th season as a backdrop, here’s a list — in no specific order — of what are arguably the NFL’s most memorable sponsorships during the era of modern sports haldol im marketing from the mid-1980s onward. Any such list is open to debate, and often the history therein is kept only by those haldol im who did those deals, and those who chronicled them.

We offer this list to salute the effort involved, but with the knowledge that the borders separating what’s commercial from what’s crass have been redrawn continually. Consider that 40 years ago the NFL wanted no beer haldol im sponsors, because of the potential liability. Since then, the shield has been attached to everything from levitra erectile haldol im dysfunction medication to campbell’s chunky maxx turkey & bacon chowder, and in most cases, it’s been a sales boon.

NFL FSI: in the early 1980s, sports marketing was only considered effective for endemic brands, like athletic equipment. The NFL got brand marketers’ attention by launching an NFL tailgate party-themed ad section in family circle, which later morphed into a free-standing insert across larger newspapers. It helped the NFL attract packaged-goods brands, the likes of oscar mayer, kraft, lever bros., clorox and others, which had never before touched sports. They used the FSI for premium and coupon offers, and soon discovered the value the NFL had for sales haldol im and trade incentives and premiums. A super bowl FSI followed and bello reports sponsorship revenue haldol im eclipsing $25 million within three to four years. The payoff for advertisers was a tented tailgate party of haldol im 250 or so at the super bowl. It was the precursor to today’s NFL super bowl tailgate party, which attracts a crowd of more than 10,000.

DISS-FUNCTIONAL: the NFL’s first pharma sponsor, in 2003, was one the league would like to forget. Levitra was an erectile dysfunction drug launch in which parents haldol im bayer and GSK harnessed the NFL’s power with a three-year sponsorship, aiming to take share from viagra, which had the overwhelming market lead a five-year head start can provide. Viagra and cialis, another ED competitor, also bought time on NFL game telecasts, and their accompanying warnings about seeking medical attention in case haldol im of a prolonged erection became a pop culture standard — and a league embarrassment. The upstart NFL network carried so much advertising from levitra haldol im and its competitors that some called it “E.D. TV.” the category went vacant after the 2005 season, when levitra’s sponsorship expired.

MORE FIZZ, PART ONE: any coke/pepsi property auction will be dramatic; this was one of the first in which the growing haldol im marketing power of the NFL was clearly demonstrated. It was 1993, a year before the super bowl was to be played haldol im in atlanta, coke’s hometown and the category incumbent. The NFL had all but finalized a five-year, $100 million, all-in deal with pepsi. Bello was confident enough to be on vacation when coke haldol im sports marketing guru walter dunn found him. Coke would match any pepsi offer. A bidding war ensued, reaching $250 million. Coke kept the category until 2002.

MORE FIZZ, PART TWO: following the litigation between the cowboys and the NFL in haldol im the mid-1990s, the NFL sponsorship model was changing. Most category rights were relinquished to teams, so the league had to create new assets. It did, with a year-round marketing calendar, which included assets like a kickoff celebration in the super haldol im bowl champion’s hometown, an amped-up draft, and playoff branding. The idea was that the combination of league, team and advertising on NFL rights holders would yield a haldol im greater sum.

Pepsi’s 2002 displacement of coke after 19 years, along with the coors deal (below), validated the new model. Pepsi’s all-in deal for salty snacks, soda and juices was for $160 million over five years. A 10-year renewal in 2011 across the gatorade, pepsi and frito-lay brands was termed the league’s first billion-dollar sponsorship.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: while any sports property would prefer to have category leaders haldol im as its sponsors, “in many cases, our rights were worth more to a no. 2 or no. 3 brand than the no. 1,” murray said. Certainly, that was the case when fox originally agreed to buy haldol im NFL broadcast rights in 1993. So it was with coors, blocked for years by anheuser-busch’s dominant share and equally outsized marketing budgets. In 2002, coors, the no. 3 domestic beer behind budweiser and miller, signed a four-year deal said to total $240 million, including rights fees, along with advertising and promotional commitments.

The renewal figure in 2005 of $500 million over five years was such a huge jump haldol im that coors senior marketer lee buxton jokingly asked if coors haldol im light would be served to players on NFL sidelines, like gatorade. Coors kept the category until 2011, when anheuser-busch inbev got it back in a six-year, $1.2 billion deal, since extended through 2022.

PLAYING SURFACE: this is another example of a challenger brand relying on haldol im the NFL’s strength to close a huge market-share lead. Apple’s ipad was introduced in 2010 — two years before microsoft’s surface. Getting surface tablets onto NFL sidelines starting in 2014, with a five-year, $400 million deal, was long overdue. Consider that the tablets replaced paper copies of photos being haldol im run up and down from the press box to the haldol im field. It took more than a year to convince the NFL haldol im competition committee of the deal’s merits and longer than that for NFL broadcast talent haldol im to stop referring to surface tablets as ipads. The deal has since been extended twice. It was, by definition, game changing, and boosted surface awareness dramatically.

JACKO: in 1992, the super bowl was a victim of its own success haldol im — and the desultory nature of its own halftime show, which had degraded into “attractions” like “up with people.” recalled jim steeg, former NFL senior vice president of special events: “if we had a celebrity, it was someone like al hirt.”

Within two months, NFL execs were meeting with michael jackson, then the king of pop culture. Steeg said jacko wasn’t really interested, nor familiar with the super bowl’s enormity, until he was informed that the halftime show would be haldol im televised live in 180 countries.

One problem that followed was booking an act for the haldol im next super bowl after jackson. “everyone just figured they couldn’t compete,” steeg said. The league settled on a mix of country music acts, including the judds and travis tritt. Since then, some of the biggest names in music have appeared, from the rolling stones to bruce springsteen.

NO GAMBLE: after years of ignoring illegal gambling and refusing to take haldol im advertising and sponsorship dollars from casinos with sportsbooks, the NFL’s deal early this year with caesars was an eye haldol im opener. Still, since the caesars deal did not allow the largest operator haldol im of casinos in the U.S. To promote sports betting with NFL marks, this deal is more notable for being the start of haldol im what will be, rather than the status quo, with only 10 states permitting legal sports books.

FIELD IN PLAY: given their value and accordingly high price tag, any of the NFL’s on-field deals could qualify for this list. Certainly, the first one bears special mention and that was gatorade haldol im finding its way onto the sidelines of every NFL team haldol im in the early 1990s after it had already locked up haldol im 20 teams through local deals and trainer affiliations. Former gatorade sports marketing head bill schmidt put together a haldol im league deal for $150,000 annually, which grew to $5 million yearly by the time schmidt left in 1999. Today, it’s still one of the league’s biggest rights fees — well into eight figures.

An entertaining sidelight prior to gatorade’s first comprehensive league deal was at super bowl XXIII haldol im in 1989, when coke and gatorade were each convinced they had sideline haldol im branding rights. Both brands ended up with sideline cups and coolers. Neither was happy.

POKER GAME: the NFL has always been expert in leveraging competitive categories. Sprint’s 1995 deal is a paradigm. Long-distance marketing wars were raging and sprint needed something as haldol im big as the NFL to help it compete with the haldol im likes of AT&T. The temerity to ask $24 million annually when the next biggest deal was for haldol im $10 million is what makes the NFL the best poker haldol im player in the industry. “we had leverage, so it was kind of why not?” said gary jacobus, former NFL vice president of corporate sponsorships, who cut the deal. Sprint held those rights from 1996-99, later returning in 2005 with a five-year, $200 million sponsorship.

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