On Saturday night, I was watching the Oregon/USC football game when I noticed that the sponsor on the netting raised behind the goal posts was American Family Insurance. I was a little surprised because I am so used to seeing the Allstate brand “Good Hands” logo on the netting at most football stadiums.
This got me thinking a bit about the connection between a particular industry segment and the available sponsor inventory at sporting events. Is it possible that because certain companies use the same type of signage across multiple locations that the inventory itself becomes associated with that specific industry segment? In the case of American Family Insurance, do they get more value out of being on the netting because of how much people are used to seeing Allstate in that location? In fact, maybe this is a play to try and gain share from Allstate.
Another example could be the coach’s headset on the sideline. For a long time, you almost always saw Motorola on earpieces, but now you will see other wireless-related companies like AT&T in this location. However, this is also a situation where the industry (telecommunications) is directly related to the inventory, whereas there isn’t anything specifically connecting insurance to field goal netting.
So, if you are an insurance company, and you have the opportunity to get placement on field goal netting, will you ultimately benefit more because of the association that already exists between insurance and this inventory? Or will you not benefit as much because viewers are so used to seeing Allstate that they won’t notice something different? I think this could make an interesting research topic, if anyone wants to look into it more!