In its third year of a six-year sponsorship, Federal Express is backing the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup golf championship with an ad campaign and a sweepstakes promotion to highlight FedEx international offerings.
The sweepstakes campaign, launching July 20 and running through Sept. 13, offers a grand prize of a six-day trip for the winner and three guests to one of five international golf destinations. The winner gets to choose among Scotland, Australia, South Africa, Canada or Spain, and the winner and each guest will also receive a new set of TaylorMade clubs.
The effort, aligning with last year's "Golf Anywhere" challenge, is supported by a multimedia push by via BBDO New York, FedEx's agency of record for the past 20 years. The campaign borrows from "The Office" to offer vignettes about office workers vying for a chance to win the golf trip. One has a guy entering a co-worker's office dressed as a matador. "You said that if I came to work dressed as a matador, you'd move me up the leader board, so that if you won the golf trip I'd be one of the three guests you'd take to Spain."
To which the guy, who happens to control the leader board of people competing for the FedEx Cup promotional trip, says he now wants to go to Scotland. The matador turns to another pair of office workers who stroll over dressed as a bull and a Flamenco dancer, and tells them to forget it. The effort, which also includes print and digital elements, drives viewers to www.fedexcup.com, where they can register for the promotion.
The ads will run on network and cable TV, targeted golf publications such as Golf Digest and Golf World and business and golf web sites. Ads keep the humorous tone that FedEx has made central to its creative with a "leader board" graphic to tie all elements together.
Steve Pacheco, advertising director, says the ads are classic FedEx humor, "similar to our core brand-building ad work. And we have succeeded very well in showing people a mirror of office life."
The effort promotes FedEx as an international service, but not explicitly. The global reach of the company is implied by the diverse locales offered as options in the grand prize, and within the registration page for the promotion at FedExCup.com.
"The great thing with the Global Golf Getaway is, it gives us a platform to talk about our international coverage since the ultimate prize is in one of five countries," says Pacheco, who explains that in order for participants to build bonus points and move up on their own leader boards, they have to answer a trivia question per day, at a page where they may also get trivia questions like "Did you know FedEx goes to 220 territories every day," and coverage highlights.
Pacheco says this year's prize is the most elaborate yet. "Every year we try to find a way to improve and enhance the core platform," he says. "Based on the last two years, we found out two things: one is that avid golf fans wanted to be able to connect more powerfully during the playoffs, and also that they want rewards for loyalty. So we came up with our greatest package yet." Last year the big prize was new Callaway clubs and gear and a trip to the tour championship in Atlanta.
FedEx is also an official supplier and long-term partner with the NFL and is a 20-year sponsor of the Orange Bowl. As an NBA sponsor, FedEx supports the "Favorite International Player of the Week." And the company also sponsors NASCAR team Joe Gibbs Racing, and its #11 Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin.
"Historically, sports has been a core platform," says Pacheco. "We think sports programming is great, unscripted broadcast TV; year in and year out, research shows people connect with their favorite sports and are loyal to their favorite teams and players."