With football fans just getting back into the rhythm of the season, Sears says it's partnering with Panasonic on an eight-week mobile marketing blitz. Dubbed the "Ultimate Football Experience," the tour will bring a trailer with five Panasonic gaming stations to top-billed professional and college games, where fans can compete in video games and karaoke played on 32-inch Panasonic VIERA HDTV Screens.
The setup also includes a 60-inch screen showcasing football-related content, including outtakes from Sears' Brett Favre commercial. A separate trailer has seating for fans to watch pregame shows on large-screen models. Prizes include Panasonic products and discount cards for other electronics purchases at Sears.
The tour is the latest twist on Sears' Blue Electronics Crew marketing effort, positioning its associates as experts in helping consumers find the right products at the best price, offering features like Real Time Price Check, and the choice between 10% savings or 24-months no-interest financing. The company is also emphasizing next-day delivery on many larger products, as well as free-installation offers and layaway.
The push comes at a rough time for all retailers. While Americans continue to be enthusiastic about new TVs, intense competition keeps lowering prices -- and chains like Best Buy have said, for example, that those price decreases have offset gains in unit sales.
And the challenges are even greater for Sears, which continues to struggle with steeper-than-average sales declines at both its flagship and Kmart division. Its results have been so disappointing, in fact, that recent weeks have seen a flurry of skepticism in the investment community that its chairman, Edward Lampert, can perform the turnaround he has long promised. Barron's recently ran a cover story on the company called "Washed Out," for example, and Business Insider headlined a recent story titled "Eddie Lampert Has Killed Sears."