Energy Companies Use Sports to Win Market Share

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from E Source

    BOULDER, Colo., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- As umpires shout "Play Ball!" and
 the first pitch is thrown at Enron Field, Cinergy Field, and Edison Field, the
 biggest winners of the day may not be the teams on the field.  No matter what
 the final score is, the stadium sponsors will have won significant marketing
 and branding advantages over their competitors.  Or so goes the thinking in
 the war rooms of an increasing number of utility companies.
     Ballparks, racetracks, and even local playgrounds have become new arenas
 for energy industry competition.  As never before, energy companies are
 sponsoring golf tournaments; major and minor league baseball, football,
 basketball, and hockey teams; college sports; soccer matches; local events;
 horse racing, and even the Olympics.  The list is nearly as long as the
 Cinergy Indianapolis marathon.
     Sport marketing -- the corporate sponsorship of a sporting event or team
 for the purpose of marketing a product or service -- is big business
 worldwide.  In 2000, U.S. corporations alone spent $5.92 billion on sport
 sponsorships, up 16% from 1999.
     "Energy companies represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the
 sport sponsorship market," says Matthew Joyce, an energy industry analyst at
 E Source and co-author of a new report on sport sponsorship.  "Under pressure
 to differentiate themselves in a changing energy marketplace, many utilities
 and competitive energy service providers are turning to sport marketing to
 link their products and services with popular sporting events and teams," adds
 Joyce.  These firms are sponsoring sports to increase name recognition,
 improve sales, and demonstrate good corporate citizenship, as well as to
 accomplish a host of other goals.
     Sports hold a universal appeal -- the desire to play is inherently human.
 Few other elements of society command the passion or participation engendered
 by sports.  "In one form or another, sports encompass nearly the entire
 demographic spectrum.  It taps into people's emotions, making it an especially
 attractive marketing vehicle," adds the report's co-author, Melissa Tuck, also
 of E Source.
     Though multi-million-dollar stadium naming agreements grab headlines, many
 firms are achieving their marketing objectives through less expensive,
 lower-profile sponsorships such as donating land for local sports fields,
 refurbishing parks, sponsoring youth sport clinics, and supporting charity
 events.  But at every level of competition, energy companies are striving to
 create connections that will give rise to business relationships that fans
 will love and their rivals will hate.
     The just-published report from E Source, "Playing to Win:  Sport Marking
 for ESPs," examines sport marketing efforts across the energy industry -- from
 major stadium and arena naming deals to corporate sponsorship of grassroots
 sporting events.  It pinpoints factors that determine whether energy service
 providers should consider sport marketing as an integral part of their
 strategic marketing plan and outlines criteria for determining whether a given
 sponsorship is having the desired effect.
 
     For more information on this and other E Source research contact Matthew
 Joyce at 720-548-5676.  Media contact:  Jim Keener at 720-548-5624.
 
     E Source, a trademark of FT Energy, Inc., is an energy information and
 consulting service providing organizations with unbiased, independent analysis
 of retail energy markets, services, and technologies.  E Source clients
 include more than 400 electric and gas utilities and other energy service
 providers, large corporate and institutional energy users, government
 agencies, energy service companies, manufacturers, consultants, research
 institutions, and other organizations in more than three-dozen countries
 worldwide.
 
     To see the FT Energy press room, which includes information on how to
 receive press releases and other information, please visit
 http://www.ftenergy.com/press.asp.
 
 

SOURCE E Source
    BOULDER, Colo., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- As umpires shout "Play Ball!" and
 the first pitch is thrown at Enron Field, Cinergy Field, and Edison Field, the
 biggest winners of the day may not be the teams on the field.  No matter what
 the final score is, the stadium sponsors will have won significant marketing
 and branding advantages over their competitors.  Or so goes the thinking in
 the war rooms of an increasing number of utility companies.
     Ballparks, racetracks, and even local playgrounds have become new arenas
 for energy industry competition.  As never before, energy companies are
 sponsoring golf tournaments; major and minor league baseball, football,
 basketball, and hockey teams; college sports; soccer matches; local events;
 horse racing, and even the Olympics.  The list is nearly as long as the
 Cinergy Indianapolis marathon.
     Sport marketing -- the corporate sponsorship of a sporting event or team
 for the purpose of marketing a product or service -- is big business
 worldwide.  In 2000, U.S. corporations alone spent $5.92 billion on sport
 sponsorships, up 16% from 1999.
     "Energy companies represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the
 sport sponsorship market," says Matthew Joyce, an energy industry analyst at
 E Source and co-author of a new report on sport sponsorship.  "Under pressure
 to differentiate themselves in a changing energy marketplace, many utilities
 and competitive energy service providers are turning to sport marketing to
 link their products and services with popular sporting events and teams," adds
 Joyce.  These firms are sponsoring sports to increase name recognition,
 improve sales, and demonstrate good corporate citizenship, as well as to
 accomplish a host of other goals.
     Sports hold a universal appeal -- the desire to play is inherently human.
 Few other elements of society command the passion or participation engendered
 by sports.  "In one form or another, sports encompass nearly the entire
 demographic spectrum.  It taps into people's emotions, making it an especially
 attractive marketing vehicle," adds the report's co-author, Melissa Tuck, also
 of E Source.
     Though multi-million-dollar stadium naming agreements grab headlines, many
 firms are achieving their marketing objectives through less expensive,
 lower-profile sponsorships such as donating land for local sports fields,
 refurbishing parks, sponsoring youth sport clinics, and supporting charity
 events.  But at every level of competition, energy companies are striving to
 create connections that will give rise to business relationships that fans
 will love and their rivals will hate.
     The just-published report from E Source, "Playing to Win:  Sport Marking
 for ESPs," examines sport marketing efforts across the energy industry -- from
 major stadium and arena naming deals to corporate sponsorship of grassroots
 sporting events.  It pinpoints factors that determine whether energy service
 providers should consider sport marketing as an integral part of their
 strategic marketing plan and outlines criteria for determining whether a given
 sponsorship is having the desired effect.
 
     For more information on this and other E Source research contact Matthew
 Joyce at 720-548-5676.  Media contact:  Jim Keener at 720-548-5624.
 
     E Source, a trademark of FT Energy, Inc., is an energy information and
 consulting service providing organizations with unbiased, independent analysis
 of retail energy markets, services, and technologies.  E Source clients
 include more than 400 electric and gas utilities and other energy service
 providers, large corporate and institutional energy users, government
 agencies, energy service companies, manufacturers, consultants, research
 institutions, and other organizations in more than three-dozen countries
 worldwide.
 
     To see the FT Energy press room, which includes information on how to
 receive press releases and other information, please visit
 http://www.ftenergy.com/press.asp.
 
 SOURCE  E Source