||Gum Brands Increase Sponsorship Spending To Boost Sales, Gain Share
With More Activity by Major Brands, Properties Should Target the Category
Unfortunately for chewing gum manufacturers, consumers' mouths aren't the only things cooling off these days. So are sales in a category that just five years ago was growing at a 20 percent annual clip.
Under pressure in part from the growing popularity of mints, sales of gum at supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers grew just 4.19 percent from '05 to '06, according to Information Resources, Inc.
Those numbers have prompted increased sponsorship from two of the country's three largest gum manufacturers: Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. and Cadbury Adams USA LLC. Cadbury's Canadian sibling also has taken a new tie.
Wrigley's new activity includes niche efforts aimed at Latinos and college students, as well as a mass-market push through ties to two NASCAR teams.
Cadbury is putting more marketing firepower behind its year-old Stride gum through presenting status of the Virgin College Mega Tour and title of an online video game competition. Meanwhile, Cadbury Adams Canada, Inc. this summer will sponsor the four Canadian stops of the Vans Warped Tour presented by AT&T on behalf of its Bubblicious brand.
Wrigley Stretches Efforts Across Property Types
To connect with Hispanic consumers, Wrigley will cosponsor the fall tour of reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee on behalf of its Orbit gum. The company also has launched Planeta Wrigley, a multi-brand mobile marketing program that features a music stage, soccer and basketball playing areas, climbing wall, tech lounge, and oxygen and gum bars.
Wrigley plans to take the program to roughly 13 markets this year, with stops including Taste of Chicago, Los Angeles' AT&T Fiesta Broadway and San Diego's Street Scene, as well as at retailer locations.
The tour is managed by Chicago-based Cardenas Marketing Network, which sold the program to Wrigley. The gum manufacturer reportedly plans to conduct Planeta Wrigley over the next two years.
To reach college students, Wrigley is sponsoring the MTVU College Invasion Tour. The sponsorship follows a nine-stop "Official Sponsor of Finals Week" college mobile marketing tour this past April and May.
Wrigley this year entered the world of NASCAR on behalf of its five core gum brands through team sponsorships of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Evernham Motorsports.
Through its Ganassi deal, Wrigley is aligned with drivers Reed Sorenson and David Stremme, who are driving the Wrigley-branded car in this season's first 25 Busch Series races.
When Sorenson is behind the wheel, the car will carry primary sponsorship from the Juicy Fruit brand, while Stremme's ride will carry the Winterfresh name and colors. Wrigley will be an associate sponsor on the car for the remaining 10 races.
Core brand Big Red will be the primary sponsor of Ganassi's Nextel Cup entry driven by Juan Pablo Montoya in three races and an associate sponsor the rest of the season. Wrigley will use its tie to Evernham for a Doublemint primary sponsorship of a Kasey Kahne-driven entry in November's Busch Series race in Phoenix.
The Wrigley's Spearmint brand, while not getting its own car, will be promoted in all of the company's racing activation.
Wrigley aligned each brand with a driver that exemplifies its personality, said Suzanne Yeager, account director with GMR Marketing, which manages the NASCAR tie-ins on behalf of Wrigley.
The 21-year-old Sorenson matches up with Juicy Fruit's youthful positioning, Stremme exemplifies Winterfresh's edgy image, Montoya is aligned with Big Red's spicy profile and Kahne fits with Doublemint's wholesome attributes, Yeager said.
Wrigley is activating the tie with a Sweetest Ride sweepstakes that offers consumers the chance to vote for their favorite driver in exchange for the chance to win one of four Dodge Chargers customized by each driver.
The company is touting the sweeps through a dedicated Web site–WrigleyRacing.com–as well as through on-package and p-o-s materials that were rolled out last week. The site also touts an ancillary promotion offering race-themed merchandise to consumers who mail in UPC codes from Wrigley multipacks.
At the racetracks, Wrigley is entertaining employees and retail customers, Yeager said.
Wrigley's sponsorships are overseen by Paul Chibe, vice president of U.S. marketing.
Stride Replaces Dentyne On College Tour; Bubblicious Repositions
Cadbury's Stride brand presented this spring’s 18-city Virgin College Mega Tour. Stride took over the role from the company's Dentyne Fire and Dentyne Ice brands, which co-presented for the past three years.
The company leveraged the tie with advance campus visits by Stride-branded vehicles that sampled the brand's new Sweet Peppermint flavor. It also gained sales rights at Virgin Megastore locations as a result of the sponsorship, said Martin Berman, president of Integrate Marketing, which produces the tour.
In addition, the brand has incorporated its tagline into title of The Ridiculously Long Lasting Stride Xfire Cup online gaming competition, which was developed by interactive agency MEC Interaction and gaming software provider Xfire, Inc.
Lynne Vandeveer, marketing director for Stride, spearheaded the ties.
Meanwhile, Cadbury Adams Canada is sponsoring the Warped Tour stops to support the year-old repositioning of Bubblicious bubble gum.
Cadbury launched new marketing efforts to revitalize the brand and gain a point of differentiation from its main competitor–Wrigley's Hubba Bubba. The skateboard-themed campaign is designed to position Bubblicious as an aspirational brand to its eight-to-13-year-old target.
"Hubba Bubba is targeted at an eight-to-10-year-old audience. Our target is aspiring up to 16-year-olds," said Brennan Lalonde, Bubblicious' brand manager for Cadbury Adams Canada.
On site, the brand is sponsoring the tour's skateboard demonstrations and will sample its Bubblicious Bursts line extension; retail promotions are in the works, Lalonde said.
(Source: Sponsorship.com, 06/11/11)
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