KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America and the "Official Travel Center of the SEC," today announced "Welcome To," the company's new marketing campaign designed to fuel college football fans on the road. The 360-degree efforts include new ad creative, exclusive myPilot app promotions and partnerships with popular ESPN/SEC personalities Paul Finebaum and Laura Rutledge as well as brands ORCA, Johnsonville and Dr Pepper to fuel the gameday experience.
"We're excited to elevate the second year of our four-year sponsorship with ESPN and the SEC with a campaign that reinforces to fans that we are the one-stop-shop for all college football gameday and travel essentials," said Whitney Haslam Johnson, chief experience officer for Pilot Flying J. "From brats and pizza to ice, coolers and drinks, we want you to know there's a place that has exactly what you need on the road to the game and for your ultimate tailgate."
"Welcome To" New Creative To kick off year two of its SEC sponsorship, Pilot Flying J debuts "Welcome To." The new creative – running across television and a variety of digital platforms – features Carol, an enthusiastic Team Member showcasing all that Pilot Flying J has to offer to every guest that comes through the door, including college football fans. The spot will air on SEC Network, ABC and ESPN properties and run digitally on ESPN.com, SECNetwork.com, ESPN App and more.
While the new "Welcome To" marketing campaign will debut as a part of Pilot Flying J's official SEC sponsorship, it will be integrated into a larger brand campaign. In Pilot Flying J's home city of Knoxville, Tenn., "Welcome To" is already being tested on billboards.
"Welcome To" New Partnerships Also new this year, Pilot Flying J is partnering with official SEC sponsors Johnsonville and Dr Pepper, as well as ORCA, to add to the in-store experience for fans this college football season.
ORCA Tailgating just got cooler with ORCA and Pilot Flying J: fans can pick up ORCA drinkware and coolers in travel centers across the country from August 31 through November 1 (or until supplies last). In SEC-specific markets, ORCA products will be regionally branded, featuring emblazoned logos of participating SEC schools. Throughout the college football season, Pilot Flying J and ORCA will also be partnering to deliver exclusive giveaway opportunities like the "ultimate tailgate package," a weekly giveaway at all SEC Nation stops.
Johnsonville In celebration of football season, and in response to customer demand for the brand, Pilot Flying J is offering Johnsonville Cheddar Beer Brats in all travel centers across the country. Fans can score a $1 off coupon in the myPilot app September 17-30. Upon initial download of the myPilot app, fans will also receive a digital offer for a free drink.
Dr Pepper Fans looking to upgrade their gameday gear can buy and scan a 20oz Dr Pepper at participating Pilot Flying J locations to receive 30 percent off their favorite college gameday gear. This promotion runs from August 31 through December 6. See Dr Pepper pack for details.
Additional SEC Sponsorship Details In addition to the all-new "Welcome To" marketing campaign, Pilot Flying J is bringing back several of the most popular aspects of its official SEC sponsorship from year one.
The sponsorship provides exposure for Pilot Flying J on SEC Network programming and within the SEC footprint through SEC Nation, the network's traveling football pre-game show. The company will also be the presenting sponsor for three of SEC Nation's regular season broadcasts.
As part of the brand's status as "Official Travel Center of the SEC," Pilot Flying J will be bringing its mobile "Fueling All Fans Experience" unit to various college campuses alongside SEC Nation, which will offer two of Pilot Flying J's in-store hospitalities right outside the stadium: cold brew coffee and Johnsonville Cheddar Beer Brats. Fans can also enter on-site to win the weekly "ultimate tailgate package" giveaway from ORCA and Pilot Flying J.
Finebaum is also back with the brand after kickstarting the SEC sponsorship last year.
"Pilot Flying J not only plays a crucial role in serving professional drivers across our country on a daily basis but has everything those dedicated SEC fans traveling from state to state need to root on their favorite team," Finebaum said. "It's great to be back with the company as it looks to do more in year two of their conference sponsorship this season."
Rutledge, who has strong ties with the SEC, joins Finebaum this year as Pilot Flying J enhances the sponsorship in year two.
"Tailgating is such a rich tradition in sports, especially college football," Rutledge said. "I met my husband at an Alabama tailgate in 2011, so to partner with Pilot Flying J, the one-stop-shop for all tailgating needs, is such a great fit. I'm looking forward to joining Paul and celebrating with fans all season long!"
About Pilot Flying J Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, is committed to connecting people and places with comfort, care and a smile at every stop. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has more than 750 retail locations in 44 states, Roadside assistance available at over 135 locations nationwide and growing as part of its Truck Care program, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers, and 34 Boss Shops. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 72,000 parking spaces for trucks with Prime Parking at more than 400 locations, 5,200 deluxe showers and more than 6,200 diesel lanes with 5,200 offering Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 15 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. Visit www.pilotflyingj.com for more information.
About SEC Network The Southeastern Conference and ESPN launched SEC Network on August 14, 2014. The network televises over 45 SEC football games, 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games, and other events from across the SEC's 21 sports annually. Programming includes in-depth analysis and storytelling in studio shows such as SEC Nation, daily news and information with SEC Now, original content such as SEC Storied and SEC Inside, and more. Hundreds of additional live events are available for streaming exclusively on SEC Network's digital companion, SEC Network+, via the ESPN app and SECNetwork.com. The network is also available in more than 50 countries throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa via ESPN Player, ESPN's sports streaming service in the region.
About ORCA Based in Nashville, Tennessee and founded in 2012, ORCA has made a name for itself by creating American made, roto-molded coolers that hold ice for days and last a lifetime. Since then, ORCA has taken it a step further by offering a larger selection than any of its competitors in hard-sided coolers, soft-sided coolers and stainless steel drinkware. In the past year the company has expanded in many ways, including bringing manufacturing, assembly and customization in house, and most notably adding officially licensed products to its repertoire. From custom color coolers to laser engraved drinkware, ORCA is dedicated to creating products that make every moment cool.
About Johnsonville, LLC Wisconsin-based Johnsonville is the No. 1 national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links. Johnsonville employs approximately 1,300 members. Each member takes ownership of product quality to ensure the excellence and "Big Flavor" of Johnsonville sausage. Founded in 1945 by Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, the company remains privately owned today. www.johnsonville.com.
About Dr Pepper Dr Pepper, a brand of Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), is the oldest major soft drink in the United States. Since 1885, the 23 flavors of Dr Pepper have earned legions of fans that enjoy its unique, refreshing taste. The brand is available in Regular, Diet, Caffeine Free and Cherry varieties. For more information, visit DrPepper.com or keurigdrpepper.com. For the brand's latest news and updates, follow Dr Pepper at Facebook.com/DrPepper or Twitter.com/DrPepper.
External Communications Supervisor, Pilot Flying J