The Clashing Culture of Cross-Promotion

lessons from our LAB

March 16, 2015

The Clashing Culture of Cross-Promotion

Claire is a curious and motivated digital marketing intern with a the love for digital marketing business.

Cross-promotion is happening everywhere, even when we don’t think it is. From athletes wearing specific brands to ads in sports stadiums, cross-promotion in sports has become very popular. Cross-promotion with sports is a great way to create a relationship with the fans and the community, so if done right, this can be one of the best ways to sell products. The stadium series is taking on a new way of promoting sports. Because pairing two different professional sports is unusual, is this a good idea?

Cross-promotion is defined as "the cooperative marketing by two or more companies of one another's products". Similar to the crossover of the Chicago Bears and Blackhawks, and the Los Angeles Kings and Dodgers, this is a cross between two different professional sports, the NHL and the NFL/MLB. In the latest Stadium Series game alone, they had an amazing set including sharks swimming in water, fireworks, performances, and other props that boosted the customer experience.
 On February 21, 2015, The San Jose Sharks took on The Los Angeles Kings in an outdoor hockey game at the brand new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The stadium was sold out with a total of 70,205 fans, several of which went to see Levi's Stadium. As mentioned on the NHL website, "Levi's Stadium is the first home of a professional football team to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold Certification for new construction, the recognized standard for measuring sustainability for design and construction.” Is cross-promotion happening here?
Beginning in January 2014, the NHL has hosted these stadium series games that take place in some of the biggest cities and most popular stadiums. While it's obvious that the reason behind these games could be to spice up the NHL and get more fans involved, could there be hidden reasons why these games are played where they are? It's all marketing; marketing used to gain more exposure not only for the NHL but also for these locations and stadiums. Levi's Stadium opened on July 17, 2014, and has been receiving an enormous amount of hype, including being the host of Super Bowl 50.
Most of the stadium series are played in the Northeast due to the weather and the popularity of the sport. Having this game in Northern California put a whole new view on this series. Not only did the fans get to experience a once in a lifetime game; they were able to enjoy it amidst the beautiful weather and scenery of California. Personally, I think this works extremely well. As a hockey fan, I would rather only go to my team's home games, because the experience is more desirable. But, if I had the chance to see one of the NHL's biggest rivalries in an outdoor game, at a beloved stadium, I would, without a doubt, buy a ticket just to have that extraordinary hockey experience. With this game alone, they have promoted the L.A. Kings, the San Jose Sharks, the NHL, as well as the brand new Levi's Stadium and the city itself.
Whether or not you believe that cross-promotion is the main goal here, the outcome of these games are proving time after time that the NHL Stadium Series is making the game of hockey more fun and desirable for those all over the U.S. The experience they are providing is unlike any regular hockey game and is promoting those cities and stadiums, and even allowing the NHL to gain new fans. These examples reveal that cross-promotion could certainly be worth pursuing, whether your business is sports-related or not.

What are your thoughts on corporate cross-promotion?

Image by Colossal Media via Flickr CC

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