Some say it’s crazy, others say it’s eccentric.
We all have our individual way of watching baseball. We have our traditions, our rituals. Some of us like to have a drink. Some try and learn the catcher’s signs. We may even put it on in the background while we make dinner or play with the dog. There is no wrong way to watch baseball.
There are times my attention is on the individuals behind the plate – the paying spectator. You know who I’m talking about. The ones who make us think, “how the heck did they get those seats” or “I want to sit in the TD section” or maybe even “why in the F’ is that guy wearing a Yankees cap”. They tend to grab our my attention whether we I want it or not. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m eccentric. Either way, marketers love the fact the viewer’s eyes are drawn closer to their financial investment, their adverts.
For the Jays, behind the plate adverts could be about the dollars. It’s more likely about the corporate partnership. Most of the Jays’ corporate partners are long-term – think Honda, Home Hardware, and obviously TD. New partners can bring an immediate influx of cash, but the long-term partner is who the team wants as they provide stable value and cost effectiveness. The kicker is the Jays need to ensure their partners possess similar values.
If you haven’t read or listened to Simon Sinek, take this as an opportunity. Sinek embraces what he calls the Golden Circle – Why, How, and What. As organizations, Why do we do what we do, Why do we exist? How do we do what we do, How are we different? And What do we do, What is our product/approach?
Corporate sponsors should share some form of Why with the Jays. Sinek continually references Apple in his examples – Apple always questions the status quo. So when Apple partnered with a soft drink brand they did not choose Coca Cola as they were the industry leader, rather Apple partnered with Pepsi as they shared the value of questioning the status quo.
So what is the Jays’ Why? If we consider their most visible broadcast adverts we have to assume it’s their Canadian identity. The Jays are Canada’s team.
As Canadian companies, TD and WestJet are great corporate partners. Same goes for Home Hardware. This is why we see these companies so often behind home plate during broadcasts. So far we’ve seen 25 different corporate sponsors show up behind home plate at the Rogers Centre, 13 are Canadian – or at least identify as such.
Home Hardware has purchased 11 innings worth; Budweiser 9; Coca Cola, Dairy Queen, Fallsview Casino, Honda, Pizza Nova, Sonnet, and WestJet with 7 innings each; The Keg with 6. These 10 companies make up the primary core of the Jays’ corporate sponsors – 6 Canadian, 4 International. Maybe we could stretch that to 7 Canadian, 3 International if we consider Honda’s Alliston, Ontario facility as Canadian enough – whatever that means. Considering this is corporate sponsorship and Honda is investing in the GTA, I’ll buy it.
You’re probably wondering why we’re talking about behind the plate signage, and it’s not solely because I’d like to share with you the value of Simon Sinek. It should be said though, my brother put me onto Sinek a few months ago and since that time he keeps coming up in conversations with professional scouts and agents. The guy is influencing all facets of the sports industry. However, the real reason plate signage is on the docket is because Home Hardware’s adverts are driving me bonkers!
We’ve all seen Home Hardware’s adverts. They are clean and they are simple. That red background with the white logo, it’s smooth. They are purchasing the most behind the plate signage, so it can be assumed they have a significant vested interest in this form of marketing. Over 7 home games, Home Hardware has double purchased innings 4 times. The only other company to double purchase is Budweiser and they’ve only done it twice.
Purchasing a single inning is not cheap. Don’t have the numbers but we can all assume it’s pricey! Double purchasing in the same game is dedication at a very expensive level. If a company is investing at a rate no other company is than they should be doing their due diligence and ensuring they are getting commensurate value.
Why then is Home Hardware’s logo in a position that is so easily covered? Next time you watch a game, check out TD’s logos. They spent some serious time considering where to place the logo to ensure exposure. Home Hardware’s purple advert is clearly not getting the expected exposure. Their traditional advert is fine, but their purple advert is effectively useless.
Figured after a couple games this would be addressed, but as you can see the same issue occurred in both home series. If I’m Home Hardware this issue should be at the very top of any marketing priority list as they are leaving incredible value on the table. Or, at the very least wait for a team heavy on left handed hitters to run this particular advert.
What say you… is Home Hardware missing out? Is the Jays’ marketing department partially to blame?