The Nashville Predators have partnered up with Erie Insurance on youth hockey instructional program.
Sponsorship Buddy's Take:
1) This program provides the equipment and instruction on-ice for youth to learn hockey without having to buy the gear, which overcomes the major barriers to entry in a non-traditional hockey market. Community and youth programs like this fill a much-needed void in promoting physical fitness, while increasing the popularity and participation in hockey (and the Predators) in a market that it has much room to grow. New and most likely lifelong Preds fans will result and the model is replicable elsewhere.
2) Sponsor-property fit is very high for this program. Erie Insurance's mission statement and marketing message is all about "service." This is a grassroots community program the Predators created as a service to spurn the next generation of informed Preds fans and to benefit youth looking to learn the game. Community and youth-centric programs are in high demand and often low supply from a sponsorship perspective and if executed well, can lead to lifelong fans and loyal brand advocates of property and sponsor(s) alike.
3) The results of this program are trackable, which is huge in today's competitive environment. How many kids signed up for the G.O.A.L. program? How many participated? Who do their parents use insurance-wise? Did they sign up to play in a Predators youth league after the program? Did they attend any Predators games before or after the program? What's the year-to-year trend and how can the message reach be grown? Numerous marketing touchpoint opportunities exist along the way to ensure acclimation to the respective "escalators."