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Experts: Super Bowl is super chance to build your brand

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MetLife Stadium, home of Super Bowl XLVIII
MetLife Stadium, home of Super Bowl XLVIII

As Virgin America's former vice president of marketing, Porter Gale knows all too well how tapping into sports can help build the brand.

She found this out first hand just a few years ago, when the Northern California-based airline forged a partnership with the San Francisco Giants — right before the team won two World Series in three years.

"That passion transferred very rapidly to our airline," said Gale, a marketing and public relations guru. "So those are a couple things that you really need to think about, and it's a great opportunity for New Jersey to have the Super Bowl coming to town."

Gale was one of three panelists today during Saint Peter's University 42nd annual Regents Business Symposium, which focused on brand alignment and marketing ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. With the game only three months away, the panelists said local businesses should be ready to refine their brand and show it off to hundreds of thousands of people who will descend on the region.

"The impact of the Super Bowl coming to New Jersey is a game changer," said Bill Rasmussen, founder of ESPN. "There will be people here, who will never come back, that you have a chance to do business with."

Steve Stoute, founder and CEO of the ad agency Translation LLC, said the week around the Feb. 2 game will also be "a very good time to launch" for a young company.

Whether the business is tourism- or food-service related, he said, there is an opportunity "to start setting up shop and find myself where the people are during that week."

The panel discussion drew hundreds professionals and students to Saint Peter's new Mac Mahon Student Center, which opened less than a year ago on its Jersey City campus. And with three high-powered marketing experts at the dais, the discussion ranged from hiring practices and marketing deals to damage control and social media.

Gale said a company's use of social platforms should be based on its objectives. For example, a company that is visually oriented should be selective about which services it uses, focusing on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, she said

"Use it as a strategic platform and don't spread yourself too thinly, because you'll never be able to manage every single channel," she said.

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