Catfights, cuticles and cell phone calls. Sprint has signed on as a multiplatform sponsor of Bravo's "Real Housewives of Orange County" series for its fifth season, which premieres Thursday night.
"It's such a popular property with so many people and particularly the demographic we're interested in," Stephanie Kelly, manager of entertainment media for Sprint, tells Marketing Daily. "A lot of women want to keep tabs with the women on the show even when it's not on."
Sprint's sponsorship of the series includes on-air tagged tune-in spots and billboards. The Overland Park, Kan., company will also sponsor a weekly Web series, "A Day In The Life," which will follow each of the Housewives during a typical day. The Web series, airing on BravoTV.com, will be promoted through a custom weekly on-air spot.
In addition, Sprint will sponsor The Real Housewives Mobile Fan Club, through which fans can sign up for special access to show-related content viewable on their cell phones. The content will include behind-the-scenes trivia, fun facts, video and other bonus content. "What we were looking for was something that would take the viewers deeper into the show," Kelly says. Sprint has been involved with Bravo's "Real Housewives" properties in the past, offering full mobile-enabled webisodes of the New Jersey edition and sponsoring the live chat for an earlier season of the Orange County edition. But this season's sponsorship is the first that includes television, mobile and Internet, Kelly says. "We're kind of moving backward, adding television last," she says.
Kelly cited Bravo's product placement recall numbers from Nielsen IAB (where the network earned seven of the top 15 spots based on brand recall for the third quarter of 2009) as a rationale for deepening the partnership.