Mastercard sponsoring the 2017 Cubs Convention following the team's first World Series since 1908. The event to take place Jan. 13-15, Exclusive Mastercard Presale takes place Friday, November 18th from 10 - noon CST, onsale starts at noon.
Sponsorship Buddy's Take:
1) Yes, hallelujah, the Cubs have gotten the proverbial 100+ year monkey off its back. Yes, we all know this and most of us are over it. But there are still millions that aren't. While there are few teams that have the mass appeal or prolonged dry spell the Cubs have had, the model is still replicable. For many teams, generating offseason buzz and sales and marketing traction is a challenge. Yet, everyone has a facility, players, execs and staff to utilize of which fans are dying for the chance to get behind the scenes with and hear what it's like to be like. Experiences like this not only create lifetime fans, but they provide great sales and marketing opportunities. Association with in-demand, "can't buy" experiences is a top want for companies and can command a nice price tag for exclusivity.
2) Mastercard recently has taken a tremendously successful "Priceless" tagline and marketing slogan steps further to focus on driving real-time engagement. Mastercard customers are rewarded with an exclusive presale opportunity in this case along with experiential opportunities to engage at the event, which aligns with its strategy shift. Asset/Prospect fit is very high in this case. Again, this is a template replicable for other types of events: exclusive, valued opportunities for current customers and engagement opportunities to facilitate bringing in new customers.
3) This event spans demographics with activities from kids to the oldest of Cubs fans and adds value to other partners, like the Sheraton Grand Chicago (publicized as nearly soldout months before the event). A portion of proceeds also goes towards a charity (Cubs Charities), who will also get an engagement platform to educate and demonstrate via on-site activities its mission of providing "increased access to sports opportunities and target improvements in healthy, fitness and education for those at risk." This equates to ancillary partner wins and community goodwill.