Sutter Health is sponsoring a Marshawn Lynch bobblehead going to the first 10,000 fans through the gates for this Saturday night's matchup against Washington.
Sponsorship Buddy's Take:
1) This may be the bobblehead of all bobbleheads - of late at least. It commemorates a memorable injury cart joy ride taken by a collegiate Marshawn Lynch, who has always been quite the personality (validated behind the scenes by my friend, who was his agency services rep). Bobbleheads have maintained top giveaway status for years, and several of these are apparently floating for $89 on the resale market now. These are especially popular in baseball on lesser attended games to help drive attendance and revenue numbers with price premiums possible. The true net bobblehead effect of which has been debated for years. There's no doubt that demand in this case far outweighs supply - Cal must need some extra hype, but not a ton of help in filling the place for a big primetime, nationally featured game.
2) ESPN picked up on this promotion, which adds a multiple to the effect it was intended for - to drive not only awareness but ticket sales for a big night game. The game happens to be on ESPN against Marshawn's Seattle Seahawks fans, who play in Seattle across the street from UW. It's a ratings play, no true surprise there. Will the now retired, ever-mysterious Marshawn make an inperson appearance? We'll have to tune in to find out, sports fans (which happens to help the other sponsors, especially the visible ones).
3) Sutter Health is the sponsor, which was hard to dig up and isn't featured prominently on the figure. The best sponsors for these are established companies looking for longstanding community goodwill - a good match in this case. The other debate, often in the minor leagues where promotional budgets are light, is what comes first, the bobblehead or the ready sponsor? When these nights do happen, things can get ugly and customer service then plays a big role. With that in mind, a resolution plan to deal with complaints needs to be in place. One idea is to provide a gift card or tangible benefit of value from a secondary sponsor or team store to help alleviate the issue (while separate initiatives).