Papa John's has hit it big with official major league and team sponsorship. This time, it provides loyalty points worth $15 tied to the 2016 NFL start to the season.
Sponsorship Buddy's Take:
1) Game-Activated Promotions, perishable (time-sensitive) promotions tied to a specific event or outcome, if sufficiently communicated as exclusive have been some of the most successful and trackable. If the promotion takes off from a word of mouth perspective, they can be considered "Holy Grail" promotions (i.e. Lakers "We Want Tacos") because the fans are demanding them and spreading the word themselves. These types are especially important for retail driver B2C businesses who often have the most stringent R.O.I. delivery expectations. Papa John's has arguably done the best job of creating these via official sport partnerships and integrating prominently throughout its media mix (not just relying on team/league inventory) to capitalize.
2) Papa John's has successfully captured business during the biggest TV events of the year, ie. the Super Bowl. This promotion adds more than a temporary spike in business during another major media spike (the start of NFL football) of which commercials have been proven to be watched. It builds lifetime value, adding a multiple to the value of a current customer by driving Loyalty membership registration. To get the free $15 credit, fans have to utilize deposit points credited after the initial order by September 25th. Not only does the promotion get them into the system (to see poignant offers via email, etc.), but also gets them to utilize the Loyalty system quickly to get the deal.
3) Will any other brands cut into Papa John's stranglehold on fan-friendly Game-Activated Promotions in such a fashion anytime soon? Doing so requires big dollars and dedication to integration via the powerful medium that is the sports business.