January 16, 2014
New Years means bowl season for college football fans. These games mean huge PR opportunities for brands across the nation. But, is the PR, and exposure gained from being a bowl headliner all that it’s cracked up to be? Ronn Torossian discusses:
At one point in history, not that long ago, there were only four college football bowl games: the Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta. Then, as more money flowed into the sport, and more schools wanted more opportunities for postseason play, more and more bowl games were added to the schedule.
On the surface, this seems like an incredible opportunity for smaller brands to get in on the action. Many took advantage, and found their brands launched into the national spotlight. Then, more and more followed suit.
But how, exactly, is this national PR benefitting the programs? Ronn Torossian examines the pros and cons.
PRO – A very public banner mention
Bowl Games, even the small ones, get an inordinate amount of media coverage. A huge win for brands trying to garner a more national following. Just ask Papa Johns, or Meineke.
CON – Perceived levels of importance
Bowl games have levels. It’s unavoidable. In fact, the day on which the games are played can even be an indicator of where they fit in the pantheon of college postseason play. The further away from Christmas, the more important the game. When a brand chooses to sponsor a game, the importance of their brand is tangentially connected to the importance of the game.
PRO – Hours of advertising
When a brand sponsors a bowl game, they are not paying for commercial time. They are paying for hours of advertising, and name repetition, for weeks before, hours during, and days after a game. This is a huge benefit.
CON – Brand type casting
Some brands reach levels of success that plateau. Sponsoring the same mid, or low level game, year in and year out, can create a brand typecasting scenario that pigeonholes the brand. At this point, the brand in question can choose to use this coverage as a way to connect with their audience, or just be content with the name recognition. Choose the former and reap the benefits. Settle for the latter and end up typecast.