Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Furniture and Baseball
Answer: A car. A House. Jewelery. Your Health. A Vacation. A cash payout for a hole-in-one.
Question: What are things that you can buy insurance for?
So, it stands to reason that you can buy insurance for furniture, right?
Those of you in the Boston area are familiar with Jordan's Furniture. For those of you elsewhere, here’s a quick primer on their recent promotion.
Back in March and April, during MLB Spring Training and Opening Day, Jordan's launched a promotion with the Boston Red Sox. If the Red Sox won the World Series in 2007, any furniture purchase made between March 7th and April 16th would be free. They promoted it like mad. Ads were all over the local Boston media. Custom creative was developed. A formal partnership with the team was struck.
In Boston, the Red Sox are a cultural phenomenon, not just a baseball team. Local consumers, beyond just the die-hard fans, truly want the Red Sox to do well. Jordan's did a great job of associating themselves with the team in a meaningful way.
Too much of sports sponsorship these days is just slapping a logo here and there, creating a vignette, getting a bunch of tickets for corporate entertainment, and oh yeah – almost forgot the most important part – overpaying. What Jordan's did was fresh, authentic, and connected with people on an emotional level. In short, it was brilliant.
Right now, there’s a guy in an insurance office somewhere squirming in his chair. It’s almost time to pay the piper. The odds were pretty good that he’d never have to pay out. After all, there are 32 teams in MLB. Probably 8-10 of those teams have a legitimate shot at winning the World Series. So he figured, there would be only a 10% chance of ever having to pay out. As of this writing, (World Series starts tomorrow) it’s up to a 50% chance.
From a marketing perspective, this is a great example of customizing a marketing campaign to a particular market. This promotion simply wouldn’t work in most markets. The retailer built tremendous goodwill and positioned themselves as rooting for the same thing as their consumers. And consumers responded. Sales during the promotional time period were estimated at more than $20,000,000. One guy furnished his entire house at a cost of $40,000. Talk about having a rooting interest in the outcome of a sporting event!
P.S. While writing this, I just fielded a call from one of my Yankees freinds who told me he's now rooting for the Red Sox because his parents have a couch riding on it. This was unprompted - no lie.