09/20/21: USAA’s CMO discusses the org’s newest NFL initiatives

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Monday September 20, 2021

With the new NFL season comes the launch of USAA’s new and highest-profile NFL campaign to date, according to the company. The Official Insurance Sponsor of the NFL and NFL Salute to Service Partner is turning to someone who is not a USAA member or eligible for USAA membership for the first time in Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end and Super Bowl Champ Rob Gronkowski, who is serving as the face of the company marketing endeavors. With other elements of the company’s partnership of the league, including hosting Salute to Service NFL Boot Camps in August, the Salute to Service and hitting its second season as ESPN Money Night Football halftime sponsor, Cynopsis Sports asked Mayra Rivera, USAA’s Chief Marketing Officer, about the approach, Gronk and inspiration.

Rivera on evolving the marketing approach: This year marks our 11th year as the NFL’s Official Salute to Service Partner. We’ve kept a steadfast mission using our NFL sponsorship to deliver unique experiences to the military community and to show appreciation for the men and women who serve this country. Yet, we still push ourselves to evolve how the NFL sponsorship can help make our marketing efforts even more effective so we can reach the military community. For instance, we’re doing a first-of-its-kind ad campaign for USAA by using Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski. “Gronk’s” presence marks the first time in USAA’s advertising history that the lead talent is not a USAA member or eligible for USAA membership which adds a fun twist to help us communicate who is eligible for USAA and how we can help them save on their auto insurance.

On involving Gronk: The campaign stars Rob Gronkowski so you can expect light hearted humor! Since Gronkowski is not a USAA member, the campaign uses the “fear of missing out” to showcase the pride of USAA membership being an exclusive opportunity only available to military and their families.

On trends: Last year was a difficult one for so many people. At USAA, we’ve always prided ourselves on providing our members, active duty military and veterans with once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Last year, we had to pivot those to virtual but now we’ve found safe ways to bring those in-person opportunities back. For example, in August we welcomed back our Salute to Service NFL Boot Camps which align with NFL training camp schedules. As co-founder of Salute to Service, USAA brings active-duty military to NFL training camps where they watch live practice and then are put through the paces in NFL combine-style drills with the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Football Team.

On measuring success: We look at the passion points of our members and the military community at large to understand where we should show up. That’s our starting point. Then, we talk about what kind of values or experiences we can bring to the space. If we can add something that only USAA could deliver, then we believe we can be successful.

On inspiration: Our noble mission, our employees and our mission. Working for a value-based company that has a clear mission is extremely gratifying and when your customers are the military and their families, you don’t need any extra motivation to do your absolute best. Next year marks USAA’s 100th anniversary and the company was born out of the idea of serving the military. We’ve kept that mission front and center, yet our team is inspired to innovate our approach each day. As marketers, digital tech, social media and content are always evolving and we can use that as an opportunity to continue to create special experiences for our members.

PROGRAMMING

INDYCAR reveals a 17-race schedule for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series season, complete with record coverage on network television and an earlier start date. A record 14 events will air on NBC in the US, marking the most single-season appearances on network television in series history. Two additional races will appear on USA Network while Peacock Premium, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, will provide live coverage of all 17 races in addition to practices and qualifying. The 2022 calendar is benchmarked by the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on May 29 with the season kicking off with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Feb. 27, marking the first February start for the series since 2004

NFL Network saw total viewership for Thursday Night Football last week – featuring the Washington Football Team’s 30-29 win over the Giants – average 7.9 million viewers (TV + Digital) – making it NFL Network’s most-watched exclusive Thursday Night Football game since 2018. The 7.9 million viewers for Giants-Washington on TV and Digital is up 25% over the 2020 NFL Network exclusive Thursday Night Football three-game average (6.3 million P2+) and up 9% versus last year’s Week 2 Thursday Night Football matchup.

Where are sports brands heading to talk, discuss and learn about the powerful cross-section of pop culture, gaming, music, influencers, fashion and esports? Esports Business Summit! Running Oct. 18-20 at Caesars in Las Vegas, don’t miss the industry’s biggest meeting of the minds, with sports brands that include sports team owners, executives and players from the NFL, MLS, NHL, MLB, NBA, and Formula 1 along with universities, collegiate conferences and more! (And those are just the sports representatives!) Don’t miss the boat and play with us by getting your tickets today. Click here.

ESPN and FOX Sports will jointly present the Fury vs. Wilder III heavyweight championship fight on Oct. 9 at 9p from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The two-bout undercard broadcast starts at 7p on ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes, FS1 and Fox Deportes. Preliminary fights will stream live on the ESPN App and the FOX Sports App at 4:30p.

Be there for a special evening of celebrations at
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When:

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

The Los Angeles Clippers locked in a sponsorship deal with financial software company Intuit for title rights to the team’s upcoming $1.2 billion arena, scheduled to open in Inglewood in 2024. The venue will now be called the Intuit Dome. According to CNBC, the deal is a 23-year agreement that tops the $500 million

The Detroit Red Wings announced that Meijer will serve as the club’s new Helmet Entitlement Partner. The grocer brand will see its brand marks appearing on Detroit’s home, away and practice helmets with a decal will be positioned on the left and right sides of the helmet. “We’re thankful to our friends at Meijer for their recently expanded partnership, and for a company with such deep-rooted Michigan ties to be featured on the classic Red Wings helmets,” said Peter Kent, Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. “We look forward to furthering our community-based partnership with Meijer for many years to come.”

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

LSU Athletics, LSU Sports Properties and Caesars Entertainment inked a multi-year, seven-figure deal that designates Caesars Sportsbook as the exclusive gaming and sportsbook partner of LSU Athletics. This landmark partnership was facilitated by LSU’s third-party multi-media rights holder, Playfly Sports, In addition to providing a significant financial commitment to LSU, Caesars will also create an annual scholarship fund to support LSU students.

ESPORTS

The Clash Royale League World Finals 2021 will run Dec. 3-5, according to a Supercell announcement. Thirty-two players from around the world will compete for a share of the $1,020,000 prize pool. The event will become the first individual world championship for Clash Royale since the Crown Championship World Finals in 2017.

Fnatic agreed to a five-year partnership with cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com. The deal is valued at $15 million, according to reports, and designates Crypto.com as the team’s global cryptocurrency partner. In addition, Crypto.com’s logo will now be featured on the collarbone of Fnatic team jerseys. Fnatic will also offer fans rewards and experiences for Crypto.com users purchasing its goods. New digital products, such as exclusive Fnatic non-fungible tokens are also on the horizon.

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