The Ravens Team Up with Jos. A. Bank to Host A Purple Fridays Promotion

The Baltimore Ravens recently announced a non-traditional partnership with Jos. A. Bank, a high-end men's clothing retailer. As part of the partnership, ten (10) Jos. A. Bank store locations in the Baltimore, MD and York, PA DMA will run a "Purple Fridays"promotion, encouraging fans to wear purple to work on Fridays throughout the 2011 season. Each of the stores will dedicated a special section within their stores to sportshirts, ties, sweaters, and dress shirts in shades of purple.

It will be interesting to see if more professional sports organizations look to form partnerships with similar high-end retailers, as it generates buzz and awareness in non-traditional retail outlets and enables teams to target a higher-income fanbase.

Jos. A. Bank will support also its partnership with the Ravens through direct mail, radio, television, and online advertising and it would be intriguing to see if they also consider running a sweeps that offers free suite tickets to a game.

Jones Soda Takes Its Seahawks Partnership to New Heights at Retail

Are you looking for new ways to drive sales at retail? Are you looking for new, innovative ways to leverage team marks?

In 2009, Jones Soda did an incredible job bringing their Seattle Seahawks team partnership to life at retail. The niche soda brand created a unique line of packaging that featured Seahawks cartoon and even included a line of trading cards.

The packaging does a terrific job demonstrating how partners (with permisison) can use team marks in non-traditional ways to connect and engage with consumers with a variety of interests. For example, this type of packaging caters to sports fans (largely due to its originality), children, and consumers with an interest in comics/science fiction. Jones Soda is sold at a variety of retailers across the Northwest, including Albertson's, Safeway, Sam's Club, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, Winco, and Fred Meyer.

As more brands look for ways to integrate sports and comics (as seen recently with adidas' World Cup campaign), it will be interesting to see if there is additional media integration.

Check out some pictures of Jones Soda's unique retail initiative below:    



Here are some additional pictures of the packaging.

Billboard of the Week - Chick-fil-A

Are you looking for new ways to drive buzz at retail in the marketplace? Are you looking to leverage sports without investing in corporate partnerships?

The Chick-fil-A location in North Canton, OH recently used its outdoor marquee signage to poke a little fun at the hometown Cleveland Browns. The franchisee posted a sign that read "Like the Browns We Take Sundays Off" - a message that remained up for two (2) days.

While this messaging strategy could possibly backfire (alienating avid Browns fans, especially right in the team's backyard), it also could serve as a pivotal way to drive buzz. After all, Browns fans can take a creative joke these days about their favorite team's demise, right? Either way, consumers will remember the signage (and Chick-fil-A in general) each time they pass the location, especially during football season.  

The signage serves as an excellent example of ways that retailers can leverage sports without investing a significant amount of dollars in corporate partnerships. By simply recognizing sports and related events taking place (similar to Trader Joe's local market strategy), retailers can tap into the passion of fans without actually being directly associated. Look for more creative examples of sports branding at retail to come in future weeks!

Source: DC Sports Daily's Twitter Feed

Trader Joe's Leverages Sports... Without Paying for It

Are you looking for new ways to leverage sports at retail without having to incur high sponsorship fees? Are you looking for creative ways to enhance the consumer's shopping experience?

Trader Joe's, a privately held chain of grocery stores located nationwide, does a tremendous job leveraging sports to enhance the consumer's shopping experience... without having to pay steep sponsorship fees.

Their strategy? Independent store locations use a hometown sports thematic to welcome consumers (fans) as they enter the store. Select Trader Joe's locations tap into the passions of sports fans by featuring a simple "Kick off the season with Trader Joe's" welcome message that resonates with fans. Inside, store shelves and walls are decorated with murals and stuffed animals of local team mascots (who female shoppers normally gravitate to).

The hometown sports strategy is so simple, yet (cost) effective. Consider new ways that your brand can leverage sports without paying for it!