This is Hyundai's junior year in NCAA football. The Fountain Valley, Calif.-based automaker, along with college marketing firm IMG College, Learfield Sports and AOR Innocean has a new program for the season that puts Hyundai at center position at 25 college teams for a huge grassroots, digital and even a classroom effort. The latter aspect of the partnerships lets students compete for ten grand (or twenty for the winner) prize and the chance to get a production. The film has to be about -- what else -- college football tradition at their school.
Hyundai says it is also doing 154 on-site events at stadiums around the country on game day, focused on an experiential layout called Hyundai Fieldhouse that wraps a roster of events, merchandise, a promotion dangling the Veloster Turbo and interactive platforms -- things like tailgating games -- around Hyundai's car and truck lineup.
Hyundai says the effort includes an ad campaign rotating on football TV and radio coverage as well as sports vertical publications, social media and digital, per the automaker, which says TV spots will run on CBS, ABC/ESPN, Fox and Fox Sports 1.
There is also a digital content-sponsorship vector, where Hyundai will back a Yahoo Sports editorial section called "Loyalty Report" residing under the portal’s “The Post Game” section. The Hyundai-branded sports section comprises 13 weeks of content from sports writers, editors, and bloggers, featuring a different school each week. That includes new video each week all about that school’s tailgating tradition (that parking-lot fan ritual where people experience the game from outside the stadium through the veil of BBQ smoke) and other football traditions at the colleges. Separate from all this is an ongoing title sponsorship of the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Tex.
Hyundai has been doing comprehensive football marketing since 2011, when it partnered with 15 universities to have vehicles, branding, advertising and experiences on site at game venues. The company initial campaign included sponsorship of ESPN’s "Thursday Night College Football Live."
It doesn’t take much mulling to understand why college sports are such a great platform. The degree of loyalty is off the charts and it’s not just students (who really have no money to buy a new car especially after the tuition tab comes in) but alumnae, who are just as passionate about their team as they were when they were students and, almost by definition, more affluent than average.