At ESPN 98.7 FM, we tried several times in the past to develop a partnership program with Party City. Although their core demographic is Women 25 - 49 they have done several sports deals in the NY area. Our efforts to create a variety of programs that would extend their Madison Square Garden, NY Islanders, Mets, Yankees and/or Giants sponsorships were declined by their agency. We developed a relationship with the client locally, were encouraged to keep the lines of communication open and to present future ideas that were unique and compelling.
In early January, we reached out and presented a six (6) week on-air and on-site sponsorship program. The cornerstone of the program was our Mike & Mike 15th Anniversary celebration. We outlined the program to begin the week leading up to Super Bowl and had it ending just before St. Patrick's Day. This allowed them to drive business around three key event periods - The Super Bowl, Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. The radio schedule was a mix of AM and PM drive, with spots also airing on the weekends. Additionally, we included pre-game spots in our New York Rangers' broadcasts to enhance that MSG partnership.
The Mike & Mike program provided them with sponsorship of a series of 60 vignettes celebrating memorable moments from Mike and Mike over the past 15 years and sponsorship of a 3 week on-air promotion that qualified 48 listeners and awarded each with a $25 Party City gift card to drive store traffic. Of the 48 qualifiers, we selected 3 winners and awarded VIP trips for 2 to Orlando to be a part of the live broadcast / anniversary celebration on March 6th. Additionally, we executed five (5) 90 minutes retail appearances at Party City locations. These were supported with on-air promos and hosted by Team ESPN. Listeners and consumers were encouraged to visit the stores for a chance to win a 4th and final trip for 2 to Orlando.
Party City does quite a bit of national television but sees great value in the local space. Jim Fogler, Vice President Business Development at Party City, commented "the ESPN Radio program provided us with a great opportunity to touch sports fans in the New York area during a very important time of year for our business. The association with Mike & Mike was a big factor in moving forward. I found radio to be a very personal and flexible medium. We used a variety of spots and charged out our messaging week to week."
Since the program ends on Sunday, March 15th there aren't any tangible results yet available, but early feedback from the client has been very positive.