Bertucci's Hits a Home Run with Boston Billboard

Small businesses looking for ways to leverage local sports properties without owning rights to marks just need to think creatively to capitalize on fan affinity   

Bertucci's, a Northborough, MA company that runs a chain of Italian restaurants, recently found a unique way to capitalize on it's restaurants proximity to Fenway Park. The company is featuring a giant billboard under the iconic Citgo sign just two blocks behind Fenway Park that says, "Free Dinner for Everyone at the Ballpark If a Homerun Hits This Billboard (If Not, Distinctive Deals Start at Just $9.99)".

While the billboard's claim is outlandish (because a home run would never travel that far), it is an extremely relevant messaging piece to thousands of Red Sox fans passing by the sign to hop on the subway after taking in a game at Fenway. The piece demonstrates how local businesses can capitalize on professional/collegiate sports taking place nearby without owning rights to marks or mentioning affiliated terms (e.g. Red Sox, Fenway, etc.). Check out the creative billboard campaign below:


Whoever is behind Bertucci's outdoor campaigns is a pure marketing genius. In 2007, the chain featured a billboard that mirrored the look of the city's transit signs, subconsciously drawing the eye of consumers passing by. It was an extremely creative tactic that attracted the attention of several media outlets, including


Source: PCE 2210 Flickr Page

Jack in the Box Scores with Outfield Signage at Petco Park

Are you looking for new ways to make an impact with outfield signage? Are you looking to give your signage some personality?

Jack in the Box, one of the nation's leading fast food hamburger chains, has teamed up with the San Diego Padres to feature some of baseball's most creative signage. The restaurant chain, with 2,100+ restaurants in 18 states, features two (2) giant outfield scoreboard signs that creatively integrate the chain's mascot, Jack, into the action.

Jack, a mascot that resembles a toy clown from a jack-in-the-box, is featured in the signage promoting cheers for both the Padres and Tacos (a huge promotional push of the partnership). The signage supports a "Guess What's in Jack's Hat" promotion that offers all fans in attendance the chance to win two (2) free tacos if a select contestant guesses correctly.

And here's a unique one: Jack in the Box commonly gives out free team car antenna balls to consumers that purchase large combo meals in select markets... Something to consider for your next premium giveaway!

Check out Jack in the Box's signage below and look for it in future game broadcasts!  

Matt Bonner Leads the Quest for the Hoagie Grail

Are you looking for new ways to leverage athlete endorsers? Are you looking for ways to promote QSR/retail partners?

San Antonio Spurs' forward Matt Bonner has begun a blogging practice that could soon serve as a benchmark for brands looking for new ways to bring their athlete endorsements to life. Bonner features an exclusive blog on the Spurs official homepage called, "The Sandwich Hunter - The Quest for the Hoagie Grail".

Throughout the season, Bonner makes lunchtime visits at local restuarants on game day and features writeups (detailed content, pictures, feedback, etc.) about his experiences.

How can this concept be applied by others in the sports space?

  • Brands can align with athlete endorsers (and their teams) to feature a designated blog on the team homepage that chronicles a player's visit to a QSR/retail location throughout the season... For products (cpg's, apparel, etc.) the blog could feature X endorser having their picture taken with a famous celebrity (and the product) in every market, etc.
  • Teams can feature an "On the Road" segment on their homepage that features pictures/video/writeups of players visiting the retail locations/using products of preferred team partners
  • Lower profile players can leverage blogs (like Bonner has) to score new endorsement deals with partners

With Twitter/blogging becoming a common practice by athletes and brands alike, look for more examples like The Qwest for the Hoagie Grail to come about in the near future!

A special thanks to Alex Vitanye of the Ohio University Center for Sports Administration for his insights and contributions to this column.