Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the official rental car of the NCAA, is extending its multi-year college sports platform with a humorous March Madness campaign comprising digital, social channels and local activation.
The central idea of the digital and social program is that -- and this has been proven, evidently -- productivity at work goes through the floor during the final four. So Enterprise is giving tips on how to keep your job during the tourney. The “Elite Eight” tips, which are at enterprise.com/sports, include things like doing victory dances at home, not at work; timing your lunch hour around the ending of critical games; inventing an outside meeting so you have an excuse to get into your car and drive in circles with the radio on; and not giving in to the temptation to use favorite-team face and body paint at work.
The company also launched TV spots this week. Greg Phillips, brand publicity manager at Enterprise Holdings, tells Marketing Daily that an implicit point in the campaign is that Enterprise is the biggest employer in the U.S. of recent graduates (he says the company hires about 8,500 people out of college per year.) The TV component of the campaign, in fact, extends a creative theme begun in 2011, in which employees who were student athletes get the spotlight.
Phillips says the company's NCAA partnership, in its eighth year, gives it broad exposure. "The beauty is, it's all sports, across all divisions, meaning it offers us status across all 89 championships." He says that among the other benefits of a category-exclusive position are access to NCAA logos, and integration of Enterprise's logo into NCAA events. "We think it makes sense for a number of reasons. It builds brand equity and aligns us with national marquis events. Since we have more than 5,500 offices, this fits our national footprint," he says, adding that Enterprise also has sponsorship status with the NHL.
In addition to ticket giveaways in local media outlets, the rental-car company has, for the humorous advice component, tapped Matt Doherty, former college basketball head coach and 1982 National Champion, for an earned media element: he'll be speaking to outlets nationwide about the tips and the company’s official-status partnership. The company is also partnering with bloggers to give away basketball-themed prize packs, and using the "Elite Eight" to drive social-media conversations between fans.