Innovative Sponsorship

If you’ve watched any sporting event recently, I’m sure you couldn’t help but to notice the amount of sponsorships littered throughout the broadcast. They are on scoreboards, basketball courts, jumbotrons, and even jerseys. Sporting events and sponsorship have become synonymous with one anoher, for better or worse. In the spirit of March Madness, let’s explore a unique take on sponsorship taking place during the Big East Men’s basketball tournament.

The Big East tournament takes place every year in what many consider to be the mecca of basketball, Madison Square Garden. As most sports fans know, MSG is in New York City, also considered to be the media capital of the world. New York Life, a life insurance company, took advantage of this opportunity to create an innovative take on sponsorship.

New York Life decided to take control of the overtime sponsorship of the Big East tournament. What’s the big deal you ask? Well, here is Joe Favorito’s take, and here is mine…

By sponsoring overtime, New York Life is ensuring that their brand is the only one seen by fans at the game and watching at home. It is a gamble of sorts, because if none of the games go to an overtime period, then your sponsorship is essentially for nothing. However, the Big East tournament has a history of games extending to overtime, and three games advanced to overtime already this year.

The Big East tournament is a marquee event in college sports and aligning your company with it in any way is sure to boost awareness, as well as brand recognition. New York Life’s approach is unique and forward thinking, but it is not the first of its kind. Foxwoods Casino and Resort began sponsoring the last five minutes of the fourth quarter of New York Knicks games.

The idea is a great one, and seemingly comes with little risk and high reward. New York Life’s adaptation of this innovative sponorship plan has worked in their favor this year, and I am interested in seeing if they continue it in the future. Adding social media to the plan would take it to another stratosphere.

Let the madness begin…


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