Swiss chocolatier Lindt USA is serving as host sponsorship of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami for the first time. Participating in the tournament, which takes place over two weeks, starting on Monday the 21st, is Lindt's global brand ambassador, Swiss tennis great Roger Federer.
The sponsorship gives Lindt a range of branding opportunities and the company is also doing experiential programs at the tournament, which is in its 27th year and brought in 312,386 attendees last year, per the event's organizers. The company gets visibility on "the Premier Display Island," a central pedestrian display, tournament signage and through a variety of in-park promotions.
Lindt is also offering samples at the "Lindt Lindor Dream Center" inside the main gate. The venue includes an experiential element featuring a Lindt chocolatier doing demonstrations on the company's products. Lindt is also offering samples throughout the grounds, at the players' party, in media booths, stadium suites, and at four tournament partner hotels.
Danielle LaChance, marketing director for Lindt USA, tells Marketing Daily that the deal expands upon a partnership with Federer, which began two years ago. "We wanted to take that to the next level and allow people to experience our brand in a fun likeable way," she says.
Among other things, Lindt is offering seat upgrades through an in-stadium "Sweet Seats" text promotion. Also, Lindt will run commercials and "premium chocolate trivia" on jumbo screens at the match venue. There is also a "Lindt Smooth Skills Zone" as part of the tournament's kids day.
An online sweepstakes, "The Perfect Match," dangles a three-day trip for two to Lindt global headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Lesser prizes include things like Lindt Chocolate gift cards worth up to $100, and Lindt gift baskets.
On the social-media side of the sponsorship Lindt is doing a Twitter program where people who follow the brand on the social media site and retweet a Lindt giveaway message will have the chance to win Nike duffle bags autographed by Federer that are filled with Lindor Truffles.
LaChance points out that Federer is featured in a TV spot for Lindt that began last fall around the Emmy's and is currently in rotation. In the ad, he is trying to get through airport security with a Nike bag full of Lindor Truffles. "He is the right match both because he is also of Swiss origin and we have a lot of the same values," she says. "He has a high-quality approach to the things that he does, and we are experts in chocolate."