Thursday, August 17, 2006

Red Sox Sponsorships

File this under "What are they thinking":

The Boston Globe reported today that Macy's is now the official department store of the Boston Red Sox. Huh? And the Sox need an official department store why? Now, I understand the Sox don't make a lot of money due to revenue sharing and the amount of money they dole out to their players. The Sox need to look for inventive ways to make money -- FSG, concerts during the summer, events in the EMC Club, ice skating and an ice hockey match this winter, but Lucchino and Sam Kennedy need to draw the line somewhere. By having the official department store, I believe you are diluting the product, which is the Red Sox.

The article titled, "Macy's to throw Fenway fete as it goes national" noted the following:

* "Macy's is planning to light up Fenway Park with fireworks Sept. 8 as part of a series of celebrations across the country to kick off the national launch of the department store brand."

* "On Macy's Night at Fenway, fans will have the chance to win a $100 shopping certificate at Macy's every inning and hear a performance from The Standells, whose 'Dirty Water' is played after every Red Sox home victory."

Will this sponsorship really offer the strongest ROI for Federated Department Stores (FDS)? Let us review:

* FDS is making a huge push this fall to renovate the Macy’s stores. By creating a rolling thunder media campaign through their relationship with the Sox, they can generate some interest from the public moving into the fall.

* Hopefully, FDS plans to use the sponsorship to bring clients to games, host events at the park and maybe have a player do a signing at a Macy’s opening. They had some interesting ideas around Macy’s Night so I would be shocked if they don’t have other plans in the works.

Below are two questions:

* I hope FDS senior management does not believe their stores will see more business since the company is now a sponsor of the Sox. How many people are really going to change their buying habits since FDS is now partnering with the team?

* Has FDS spoken with the Fenway Neighborhood Committee? Are they giving residents in the area free gift cards to shop at Macy’s? If the Sox start shooting fireworks late into the night and residents can’t sleep, someone is going to be blamed. With all the positive PR they hope to receive from this event, it would be a downer if they lost potential customers due to the fireworks. I know this might be a stretch, but this issue needs to be addressed and buttoned up.


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