Consider Crosstown Franchises as Partners, Not Rivals...

Are you looking to target new, avid sports fans in your local marketplace? Has your organization considered partnering with a crosstown professional franchise to create a unique promotional offer?

In April, the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Blackhawks formed a unique partnership designed to promote one another's brands in-venue. The marketing partnership enabled the Blackhawks to host a theme night at U.S. Cellular Field, incorporate hockey-related promotions during innings, and sell tickets to prospective fans on select occasions. The teams are even exploring new cross-promotional ticket sales tactics to offer fans.

During the season, the Blackhawks featured a "Shoot the Puck" competition each game atop of the dugout and held a "Blackhawk Night" at the park on September 9th, where players and legends made appearances and the team sold '08-'09 game tickets. The game attracted 1,000+ Blackhawks fans on-hand to support both franchises. 

Throughout the season, the White Sox also incorporated Blackhawks players into video vignettes (Blackhawks players wore White Sox jerseys on the video board for the home opener) and utilized the Blackhawks' goal horn as the team's home run horn. The Blackhawks will return the favor by hosting "White Sox Night" at the United Center, among other a number of other initiatives during the '08-'09 season.

Executives for the White Sox and Blackhawks see a lot of similarities between fans of the two teams. Brooks Boyer, VP and CMO of the White Sox retorted, "We share a very similar fan base, one that places the utmost value on winning and demands it from their teams. Our visions are anchored in passion, pride, and tradition, mirroring the values of our fans."

The White Sox and Blackhawks are not the only professional organizations realizing the power of cross-promotions. Doug Sell recently featured a great article in the Veritix Sports Marketing newsletter (10.23.08) about how the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Phantoms created a way to capitalize on the Philadelphia Phillies' recent success.

When the Phillies recently hosted a 4:30pm NLCS home game at Citizens Bank Park, the Phantoms and 76ers offered any fans with a ticket stub to the Phillies game the chance to attend their games (being played later that night at 7pm) for free. The free admission offered to Phillies fans was offered on a first come, first serve basis. The offer proved to be a great way for the teams to capitalize on Phillies fever!