The 2012/13 competition saw soft drinks behemoth Pepsi kick off the first season of its astonishing new 10-year, $2.3bn deal – one of the largest sports sponsorship deals in history.
The new partnership sees Pepsi expand its NFL from three brands to five, with Tropicana and Quaker Oats added to its team that already includes Pepsi, Gatorade and Frito Lay.
“NFL has the largest female fan base of any league. It’s a family sport,” says Jennifer Storms, senior VP-global sports marketing at PepsiCo. “When we looked at renewing, it was a great opportunity to bring in other PepsiCo brands, because moms and kids are engaging with NFL more and more every year.”
PepsiCo’s NFL activation operates under the company’s umbrella ‘Power Of One’ approach, and is the biggest marketing push ever for the strategy.
Power Of One is PepsiCo’s twin fronted strategy based on a combined food and beverage business (as opposed to flagship competitor Coca-Cola’s single track drinks business strategy), thus football marketing increasingly promotes drinks and snacks jointly.
Pepsi is also the official sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show (after signing a new four-year deal last year) and introducing a marketing extension called Pepsi NFL Anthems to promote the music-focus of the half time show.
Interestingly, this blending of the two genres – music and sport – also follows Coca-Cola’s primary 2012 sports activation which saw its London 2012 Olympic campaign ‘Move To the Beat’ combine music and sport.
The Anthems NFL marketing strand sees musicians such as Kelly Clarkson (Dallas Cowboys), Travie McCoy (New York Giants), Ice Cube (Oakland Raiders), Lennie Kravitz (New York Jets), Aerosmith (New England Patriots) and Kid Rock (Detroit Lions) honour their favourite teams.
Eg – Aerosmith & New England Patriots
Eg – Ice Cube & Oakland Raiders
Each artists creates a song inspired by their hometown team and faithful fellow fans and is then used in local campaign activation and is available for free download on the campaign website throughout the 2012 NFL season via elements such as on-pack redemption codes and the initiative also includes a Super Bowl ticket giveaway.
To further bring the Pepsi NFL Anthems program to life, Pepsi has created seven 30-second TV spots that celebrate each of the original anthems, the fans’ passion for their teams and a variety of authentic in-game footage.
TV work rolled out on 21 October with the New York Jets taking on the New England Patriots. Spots featuring the Aerosmith’s “Legendary Child – Patriots Anthem” and Lenny Kravitz’s “Like A Jet” aired during the game broadcast.
The Pepsi NFL Anthems program is also brought to life across other channels such as broadcast, digital, national retail, point-of-sale, in-store and in-stadium activations.
From Coca-Cola’s London 2012 ‘Move To the Beat’ Olympic campaign to Pepsi’s new NFL work, the blending of entertainment genres in marketing and sponsorship continues apace.
‘Music and football are inextricably linked and Pepsi has consistently worked with us to integrate music into our fans’ experience in unique and exciting ways,” says Keith Turner, NFL’s senior vice president, Sponsorship & Media Sales. “The Pepsi NFL Anthems program is a testament to that tradition, and we are pleased to be working together on this groundbreaking campaign.”
“The synergy of music and sports has never been more prevalent, and the effect that music has on sports culture is never more present than in the NFL,” outlines Pepsi’s sports marketing director Todd Kaplan. “The Pepsi NFL Anthems program will help bring the NFL’s passionate fan base closer to their teams through an authentic musical experience — whether it’s listening to the anthem on your way to the game, or hearing it blast throughout the stadium after a big play.”
Pepsi Anthems Website
Pepsi Anthems YouTube – Aerosmith & New England
Pepsi Anthems YouTube – Ice Cube & Oakland