Spring is upon us and love is in the air, which in the sports marketing dating game means brands and prospective endorsers are looking to partner up.
Aligning with an asset provides your brand an elevated platform from which to amplify messaging to your core audience. If executed correctly, brands can breakthrough the clutter and generate a disproportionate amount of buzz, awareness and traction comparative to spend. If not, they can simply end up with a very nice metaphorical yacht in the harbor to show off to their friends a couple of times a year.
So in the spirit of matchmaking, here are a few suggested hookups that could lead to some fun work:
Simply Orange Juice with Carmelo Anthony & Jim Boeheim
Two of Syracuse University’s most famous Orangemen alum, this modern-day odd couple won an NCAA championship together in 2003 and still remain close to this day. Combined, they can resonate with 7-77 year-olds for a brand looking to “own” the OJ category. There is some rich creative territory in which to utilize them together in a fun campaign (and extra points for Melo, who wears an orange headband to his day job).
POWERADE with Guan Tianlang
POWERADE, a challenger brand competing against the established category leader, meet 14-year-old prodigy, Guan Tianlang. Bursting onto the golf scene with his dynamic performance at the Masters, there’s equity teed up for a brand that embraces an underdog like this teenage phenom.
Skittles with Dwight Howard
This was Lamar Odom’s category to be had for many years, but for some reason it never eventuated for the “Candy Man” (nicknamed for his notorious sweet tooth). All those weekly runs to fill his car with candy would have been great commercial fodder. So now Dwight is the guy. Whether by design or just a huge fan of the rainbow, D12 has been giving much love to Skittles over the last couple of years, often dropping their name in post game interviews. The brand even sent him a Skittles machine last year. Maybe next season they can stop flirting and officially start dating.
Purell with LeBron James
Hard to find a better brand ambassador for a hand sanitizer than the guy everyone wants to give daps to. LeBron already has a Carmex partnership and publicly acknowledges that he is very mindful of his personal hygiene (famously keeping his fingernail clippers on him at all times). This is a category untapped by athletes, who are understandably exposed to a lot more germ-covered handshakes and high fives every day – so there’s a natural lifestyle fit here. This angle was touched upon by Steve Nash and Co. a couple of years ago in this digital short.
Here are some rules of the dating game to keep in mind when playing brand matchmaker: