By Barry Janoff
February 9, 2015: State Farm plans to take its "assist" marketing campaign and NBA partnership to the max this week to help support the league's All-Star Game and surrounding events in New York.
The effort is anchored by the insurance firm's title sponsorship of the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, including the Degree Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk, in Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets.
State Farm has other layers in its marketing campaign, with one TV spot featuring a brand-media crossover in which Cliff Paul, the "twin brother" of All-Star point guard and lead "Born to Assist" platform spokesman Chris Paul, interacts with Reggie Miller, NBA analyst for TNT. (See the spot here.)
There also will be outdoor placement (billboards, posters, bus wraps), merchandise, a “State Farm Assist Center" in the fan experience NBA House Presented by BBVA Compass (Moynihan Station in Manhattan) and social media activation handled by State Farm brand ambassadors.
In addition to Paul, State Farm NBA-related spokespersons include All-Stars Damian Lillard (and "twin brother" Darius) and Stephen Curry (and faux-bro Sebastian), WNBA star Sue Bird (and "twin sister" Summer) and NBA legend John Stockton (and his brother Don).
State Farm spokespersons managing the @SFNBA Twitter account from the NBA House will answer NBA-related and All-Star-New York questions. Concurrently, more than 100 State Farm brand ambassadors will be stationed throughout the city offering assistance with Chris Paul Jordan Brand limited-edition signature CP3.VIII shoes, "Worn to Assist" promotional merchandise and other items "to help battle the cold New York weather."
"This is not a one-channel environment, especially when you are dealing with fans and a variety of demographics," Patty Morris, marketing director, brand content for State Farm, said in a recent interview with NYSportsJournalism. "Part of our core strategy is that we have a 360-degree approach. So if a campaign begins in a TV commercial, we always looks for ways to extend the storyline into social media, digital, broadcast integrations, personal interaction."
According to Morris, "We have found that we have meaningful engagement when you interact with people through multiple channels. That is a big reason why our sports campaigns, in particular, have been successful. Because it is that 360 approach from a creative and media perspective."
Also key to its presence, State Farm is partnering with NBA Cares and the New York City Dept. of Education to provide a citywide assist to city students via an All-Star Day of Service on Feb. 13.
They also will donate $500,000 to the Dept. of Education to refurbish ten hoops courts across the city's five boroughs, as well as provide tickets to a group of students and their teachers and parents or guardians to to All-Star Saturday Night.
February 15, the evening of the All-Star Game in Madison Square Garden, also marks the 40th anniversary show for Saturday Night Live. State Farm has had an association via Lorne Michaels and Broadway Video Entertainment. SNL characters Hans and Franz (Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon, respectively) and superfans of "Da Bears" appear in spots alongside NFL quarterback Aaron Rogers, and a sweeps (now ended) that offered tickets to the show.
This weekend, Jennifer Lopez will star in the first in a series of Neighborhood Sessions, with partnership from State Farm, which was taped in her neighborhood in The Bronx. (See the promo spot here.)
The special is slated to premiere during TNT’s exclusive coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend, directly following the network's broadcast of State Farm NBA All-Star Saturday. It will then be available to subscribers via TNT's VOD, digital and mobile platforms on Feb. 15.
"The people in our neighborhoods and hometowns have a profound impact on who we become and often make a fundamental difference in our lives," Rand Harbert, State Farm CMO, said n a statement. "Our goal is to tell their stories, through the lens of amazing musical artists, in a way that inspires all of us . . . like a good neighbor should. We’re thrilled to be launching the series in partnership with Turner, giving national exposure to these neighborhoods and the people who make them great."
Q&A: State Farm Patty Morris On Marketing With NBA, NFL, SNL
Stockton, Bird, Lillard, Curry Add More Star Power To Assisting
Back to Home Page