June 15, 2010: The United Football League, now in preparations for its second season, said it has signed BBDO New York, as its first national marketing and advertising agency.
BBDO had been the lead agency for the NFL from 2007-2009 (Grey, New York, is now the NFL's agency of record). The UFL did not indicate the extent of its advertising budget.
The UFL, which operated with four teams in its premiere season of 2009 and added a fifth franchise for 2010, did not have a national ad campaign last year, choosing instead to do local marketing that was handled by the league office in conjunction with each team.
Citing increased awareness and a desire to continue building its fan and marketing foundation, the UFL said that BBDO would "work with the UFL to develop both local and national advertising campaigns that can drive awareness of the league, boost ticket sales and increase viewership of televised games."
The second UFL season is scheduled to being on Sept. 17. Participating franchises are defending UFL champion Las Vegas Locomotives, the Florida Tuskers, Hartford Colonials (formerly the New York Sentinels), Sacramento Mountain Lions (formerly the California Redwoods based out of the San Francisco Bay Area) and the expansion Omaha Nighthawks.
According to the UFL, the initial phase of the campaign is planned to launch in June with local radio, newspaper and direct mail approaches in each of the league’s five markets. Phase two, which is expected to begin in early September, and will include national TV advertising, tune-in messages and radio, magazine and in-stadium signage intended to help drive viewership of televised games.
UFL games are shown nationally on Versus and HDNet, which is majority owned by Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. Marketing partners last season included Motorola, Men's Wearhouse, StubHub, ANC Sports, GameWear and Riddell, some of whom had marketing deals that included branding on the front-center of player's helmets.
“We offer a high-quality product and in BBDO we have found the perfect partner to help us get our message across to football fans everywhere," UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue said in a statement. "BBDO has a rich history of developing successful sports-related marketing campaigns, from its support for the FedEx Cup, to the Gillette Young Guns and Monster’s Fandemonium promotion. We do not think there’s a better partner to help us help our fans get closer to the action.”
According to David Shaw, svp and senior account director for BBDO, New York, “We love building brands. That’s what we do. We especially enjoy building new brands because that’s where the greatest opportunity exists to really roll our sleeves up and hopefully make a deep contribution to their success.”
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