Football and Jewelry? Yes, There is a Connection

by Matt Hummert Second Street

Last week, my team and I were preparing for our “How to Sell a Football Contest” webinar. One of our team members was researching information about a successful football contest from one of our partners, but was puzzled when she noticed an ad for a jewelry store on the contest page.

I threw out a question to the room, “Who buys engagement rings?” Not very many women go out and purchase their own engagement ring, and with more than $9.64 billion spent on engagement rings and wedding bands in 2010, that leaves men in charge of many jewelry purchases.

This conversation brought me back quite a few years to when I was starting to think about purchasing an engagement ring. I had never purchased one before and was completely intimidated and clueless about the whole process. Suddenly, I remembered seeing an ad from a jeweler in Sports Illustrated about a definitive guide to understanding the 4 C’s of buying an engagement ring (yes, I still remember them: color, clarity, cut and carat). In order to get the guide, I needed to fill out a card and put it in the mail. The ad provided me with information I probably had been skimming over since I was about nine years old when I started reading the magazine, but this was the point in my life when it applied.

Today, Sports Illustrated is read by 18 million men. This particular jeweler understood where to reach their target audience. Now think about how you can use this technique to your advantage.

Typically, 80% of participants in a football contest are men leaving only 20% of participants to be women. So why did a jeweler want to sponsor a football contest? For the same reason jewelers wanted to reach SI’s audience, they knew men were largely the buyers of their products.

When you are thinking about securing sponsors, think about who your audience is and what they want to consume. Take it further and ask what advertisers would like to reach this group. Sure, with football your first thought might be beer, grills and power tools, but sometimes the best advertisers aren’t what you first think of. Think outside the box to secure the right advertiser for your contest.

Do your research and prove to your advertisers they can reach their target audience by sponsoring your contest. I got the book, learned the tricks, and went to a local jeweler and bought the ring. Good advertising is about reaching the right consumer at the right moment. After 15 years of looking at that ring on my wonderful wife’s hand, I am very grateful for that moment.