Energy Provider Partners with Miami’s Favorite Football Team to Educate Consumers

Posted in Events and Experiential Marketing

Situation Summary

Regulatory requirements for our client, a natural gas utility operating in Florida, mandated that the company create educational programs around the benefits of natural gas. Partnering our client utility with another natural gas company in Miami and the Miami Dolphins made sense, since each shared customer and fan demographics. A popular pre- and post-game activity, barbecuing and tailgating, created a connection between Dolphins fans and cooking with gas. And all parties in the campaign stood to benefit from increased traffic to digital properties.

Insight and Strategy Summary

Our clients partnered to sponsor the “Finsiders Natural Gas Pre-Game Show,” which provided high visibility for our clients and their product in association with Miami Dolphins games. We sought to increase awareness of the benefits of natural gas and the rebates that were available to customers; create warm leads for client sales teams; provide measurable, quantitative metrics that we could report to the Florida Public Service Commission; and increase affinity for natural gas by associating it with recognized, valued brands in the Miami market.

Solution/Work Summary

We targeted demographically desirable season ticketholders for natural gas education and conversion/upgrade opportunities. We also secured a number of strategic partnerships between the utilities, the Dolphins, Jimmy Cefalo Productions, and natural gas appliance dealers to provide contest prizes. We also produced radio spots in Spanish and English; produced a pre-game video; and displayed in-stadium advertising on hand-held monitors and the stadium television network. A 60-second educational video about natural gas by former Dolphins football player Jimmy Cefalo, the team’s color commentator, aired during multiple games. We also created a marketing microsite on the team’s website that promoted the benefits of natural gas.

Leveraging community partnerships garners significant earned media, converts new residential customers and distributes key messages among dedicated fan base.

Results Summary

During the campaign, residential conversions — our primary call to action — were requested 10 times more than any other service. We negotiated an extraordinary amount of media valued at more than $300,000. We had more than 1,400 entrants in the “Take It to the House” contest, where contestant each game the chance to win $10,000 if the Dolphins returned their opening ha touchdown. Once contestants entered the contest, they were automatically routed to our microsite, where they could learn more about natural gas, the fundamental purpose of the program. Our street team engagement strategy connected with nearly 1,000 tailgaters (an average of 162 per game). And, because we planned our campaign carefully with front-end input from client regulatory and legal teams, all but $6,000 of the $135,000 spent on our educational efforts was recoverable from the Florida Public Service Commission. Therefore, this tremendous statewide exposure cost each utility only about $3,000.

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