Connect with us


New York Jets and Marvel Join Forces on Super(hero) Gameday Activation

The New York Jets and Marvel teamed up for an exciting game sponsorship and unique fan giveaway.

Max Simpson



Jets - Marvel

As we are now deep in the heart of the NFL schedule, teams across the league are working hard to stay on the cutting edge of unique game promotions, fan giveaways, and enticing marketing elements.

Yet sometimes all it takes to create a memorable promotion is a bit of superhuman effort. In the case of the New York Jets, it’s a superhero state of mind that has helped to create one of the better promotions you’ll see in any sport this year. Through their partnership with Marvel, the Jets will host a “Green Out” game as they take on the Minnesota Vikings on October 21.

The team is going all in on embracing one of the staples of the Marvel Universe, the Hulk. The “Green Out”, presented by Toyota, will include a bevy of enticing items for fans, including a Hulk bobblehead giveaway for the first 15,000 fans to enter the stadium as well as a limited-edition custom Jets-themed Marvel comic book cover poster for all fans as they leave.

Seth Rabinowitz, senior vice president of marketing and fan engagement, detailed the elements that the partnership consists of and what fans can expect later this month.

“The atmosphere of a New York Jets game will naturally be integrated into this partnership,” said Rabinowitz. “In addition to the giveaway, the game presentation will be enhanced to capitalize on the theme of ‘green’ that will be highlighted by all of the Jets fans wearing our home green uniforms.”

SEE MORE: Carolina Hurricanes Put Local Emphasis on New Marketing Initiatives

In addition to the mass giveaway items, fans will be treated to Hulk vs. Thor-themed elements on the video board as the Jets’ “Hulk-green” uniforms will wage war with the Vikings “Thor-purple” color scheme. The enhanced elements include customized “GET LOUD” video board artwork. Toyota will also have a Toyota 4Runner truck completely wrapped in Hulk imagery. The vehicle will be driving around New York City and within the region in the days leading up to the game before ultimately being displayed within the confines of bustling MetLife Stadium during the game.

However, the Marvel collaboration offers additional content ahead of the “Green Out” game. The Jets will release a digital-only comic book to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl III victory against the Indianapolis Colts. The first chapter will be available on Wednesday, October 10 with three other chapters set to be released each day ahead of the Jets’ October 14 matchup when the entire comic book will be released online.

“We worked with the Marvel artists and some of the other staff and we found out that there were a ton of Jets fans,” said Rabinowitz. “It’s cool to illustrate the historical tale of Super Bowl III team and to display what it meant to fans back then and what it still means to fans today.”

SEE MORE: Former NFL Star’s Players Philanthropy Fund Is Bigger Than Sports

With all of the elements and moving parts involved within the pre-promotion as well as during the game itself, the relationship with Marvel had to be extremely collaborative in order for the promotion to work. According to Rabinowitz, the relationship has been built up over time, thus allowing for a successful activation process this season.

“We’ve been talking to Marvel for a long time,” said Rabinowitz. “We knew a while ago we wanted to work with them, but we had to get everything to align in terms of the schedule, possible dates, as well as finding the right sponsor [Toyota] to be involved with this kind of promotion.”

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the business of working with people. Rabinowitz emphasized that while both organizations’ goals matched up well, the relationships that were forged over time ultimately led to the successful partnership.

“The good news is we’ve established a good rapport as we’ve built a really strong working relationship with not just one or two people but the whole team over there. We really had a concept and business model in mind and they fit what we were looking for. We could work very closely together because we knew each other by that point and understood each other’s objectives and our brands aligned well.”

In terms of finding a title sponsor for the “Green Out” concept, Toyota proved to be an ideal fit for what the Jets had in mind.

SEE MORE: Examining NFL Sponsors and Their Handling of the National Anthem Protests

“They [Toyota] have people working there that come from our business and get how our business model works,” said Rabinowitz. “They’re very friendly to sponsorship and were very receptive to what we brought to the table. They are a blue-chip brand that shared our vision of adding depth and equity to the entire process.”

In order to truly gauge the success of the entire promotion, you simply can turn to the Jets fan base to provide passionate, real-time feedback. Rabinowitz relishes this authenticity that makes the entire experience so genuine.

“That’s one of the things I love about this business. You work hard on things in the background, behind the scenes and then you get it out there. With Jets fans, you’ll know within a couple of minutes whether or not they like it. It’s instant feedback. There’s no ambiguity to stand by at the end of the day. You definitely know where you stand.”

Despite the competitive market that the Jets find themselves in, Rabinowitz is confident that the promotion will be a wide-reaching success.

“We will provide a lot of fun and show the fans a lot of things that they haven’t seen before. You will be entertained from the time you arrive until the time you leave with a great football game being the centerpiece of it all. Our brand promise is that you will get a full day of entertainment value.”

Max Simpson is a contributing writer for Front Office Sports. A graduate from Arizona State University, Max currently works for the Reno Aces & Reno 1868 FC with time spent with Sun Devil Athletics and the Arizona Diamondbacks. For @frntofficesport, Max highlights unique partnerships, brand marketing strategies, and content activation. He can be reached at


Nike and US Soccer Team Up for Shoppable Snapchat Lens

For today only, Snapchat users can “try on” the new USWNT home and away jerseys that will be worn by the team in France this summer.

Front Office Sports




*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else. 

Today only, you will have the chance to “try on” one of the new USWNT home and away jerseys that will be worn in France this summer.

Thanks to a partnership between Nike and US Soccer, Snapchat users will be able to rock the new look via a Snapchat Lens that overlays the jersey and Nike’s famous “Just Do It” slogan on a user’s photo or video.

What do you need to know?

1. That it’s only for live for today, May 9th.

2. The lens is shoppable. Once used, a link out/swipe up opportunity to buy the jersey will appear, allowing users to go from trying it on to purchasing it in only a few clicks.

3. According to a Nike spokesperson, it’s the first time that the brand has ever delivered a shoppable activation for Nike apparel on Snapchat.

Snapchat, Nike and commerce… 

In 2018, when Snap launched Snapchat’s native shopping experience, Jordan became the first brand other than Snap to sell a product via Snapchat.

That night, Jordan dropped the Air Jordan III “Tinker” on Snapchat with same-day delivery available. The shoe sold out in 23 minutes.

The rise of shoppable social media opportunities…

As platforms like Snapchat and Instagram become more refined, shoppable opportunities are natural evolutions to their platforms and ones that brands like adidas have seen success already with.

According to Kasper Rorsted, the CEO of adidas, Instagram played a major role in their online shopping success in Q1.

“There was no doubt that Instagram had a positive impact for our online business in the first quarter. Product launches and Instagram’s checkout tool were the two most important things for our online sales business in the first quarter.”

Continue Reading


Liverpool FC Ready to Build Overseas Brand on U.S. Tour

The Reds take to the States to play three games this summer against German, Spanish and Portuguese foes in historic stadiums.




Liverpool FC USA

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A thrilling 4-0 win for Liverpool FC Tuesday against FC Barcelona propelled the English Premier League club into the Champions League Final and gave a recently announced United States tour an extra boost.

“Soccer in the U.S. has been growing, gathering momentum for the past decade,” said Bruce Grobbelaar, who played in 624 games as a goalkeeper for Liverpool from 1981 to 1994 and serves as the ambassador for the tour. “Now Liverpool is growing its fanbase in the U.S. A few years ago, there were only 24 U.S. supporters clubs. Now, there’s 49.

“You can see it’s growing, and it will be brilliant after that spectacle the other night.”

The team will travel to the U.S. for three games in July in an effort to grow its brand, with games at Notre Dame Stadium, Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. Liverpool will play Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, LaLiga’s Sevilla and Portugal’s Sporting CP of Primeira Liga over those three matches.

READ MORE: Jaguars’ Unique Arrangement Builds U.K. Audience

The U.S. tour serves two purposes. First, it provides the team with a challenging preseason schedule ahead of the next Premier League slate. Beyond that, it’s a way to showcase the team to its American fans firsthand.

“We’re heading to three incredible locations this year,” said Billy Hogan, Liverpool FC managing director and chief commercial officer. “Each of these stadiums has their own deep-rooted heritage similar to our own and we’ll face three great opposition teams.

“This trip to the USA will be very special and we’re really looking forward to having as many of our supporters with us along the way.”

Grobbelaar said the mix of opponents will make for a unique cross-branding opportunity to grow the sport of soccer in the U.S. as well as the presence of the respective leagues and teams. He believes historical immigrant populations could provide an interesting storyline to the exhibition matches this summer, as the Midwest was a popular destination for Germans and Brooklyn is now home to a significant Portuguese population.

“I happen to look at where they’re playing the games and the populations of descent,” he said. “It’s a good idea to grow fanbases like that.”

The cross-league exhibitions also represent a prime opportunity for exposure for participating leagues, which in turn promotes the European game and the sport of soccer as a whole. The English Premier League has grown prominently among U.S. soccer fans with its NBC broadcast deal the past decade and now other leagues are making their investments in growing the U.S. market well known.

Front Office Sports has detailed both the efforts by the German Bundesliga and Spain’s LaLiga in recent months, each of which noted strong potential in U.S. soccer growth versus limited growth potential in their already established home markets. Bundesliga cited data of 59.6 million soccer fans in the U.S. and growing, leaving plenty of room for leagues and teams to gain fans.

“Right now, interest levels are growing so much, everybody benefits,” said Arne Rees, Bundesliga Americas executive vice president of strategy. “I have no idea if in 10 years we’ll be in a food fight for the same fan, but it’s not exclusive right now.”

In the long run, Grobbelaar believes the U.S. soccer market will be controlled by the MLS as it fills out its expansion plans and the leagues underneath it, including USL Championship and USL League One, continue their growth. But even with those leagues growing in strength and commanding local fandom, Grobbelaar said the U.S. will have room for foreign team supporters. Likewise, to continue the growth of soccer in the U.S., the U.S. men’s national team needs to join the women’s team in international play success. A CONCACAF Gold Cup win and continued World Cup qualification would also help, and Grobbelaar believes the U.S. could play in a World Cup Final in the next decade.

“If you look at the MLS, they’ve attracted a lot of foreign players from Europe, South America; a very diverse situation,” said Grobbelaar who played in the North American Soccer League prior to his Liverpool career. “The younger U.S. generations will see that and want to follow international soccer.”

READ MORE: Gold Cup Looks To Gain Mileage This Summer With Valvoline

But before any of that, or even the Liverpool U.S. tour, can happen, American Liverpool supporters are heading to Las Vegas for a big Champions League final watch party in early June. Grobbelaar said at least 30 U.S. Liverpool FC supporter groups will make their way to Las Vegas to hear three Liverpool legends: David Johnson, Roy Evans and Howard Gayle.

“They’ll be out there to tell their stories, grow the Liverpool brand,” he said. “David Johnson has some stories.”

It’s another step on top of the club’s Champions League success and this summer’s U.S. tour toward increasing its foreign presence. The road is still long, but the club whose motto is “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is intent on coaxing plenty of Americans to join them on it.

Continue Reading


Daytona Tortugas Hope to Push Women’s Sports Forward with NPF Deal

The Beijing Shougang Eagles will play their home games in Daytona’s Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Tortugas ownership believes the move befits Robinson’s name.

Mike Piellucci



Photo Courtesy of Daytona Tortugas

What’s in a name? Plenty, says Daytona Tortugas Co-Owner Rick French, where the team’s home stadium of Jackie Robinson Ballpark is concerned.

That’s what led the Reds’ High-A affiliate to create a groundbreaking partnership with the Chinese Softball Association which will see the Beijing Shougang Eagles of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) women’s softball league play their entire 2019 home slate at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, which overlaps with part of the current minor league baseball season. The occasional double-header aside, the Eagles’ home games will coincide with Tortugas road games. According to team president Ryan Keur, the deal is the first of its kind between a MiLB and NPF team.

For French, the agreement was no-brainer. The ballpark is where Robinson played the first racially integrated game in professional baseball history, and French believes that, as the stadium’s primary tenant, the Tortugas have an obligation to uphold Robinson’s legacy as a boundary-breaker. In this case, that means providing stability for the Eagles, who did not have a full-time home after spending 2017 playing at multiple parks in Ohio before bouncing around Florida last year.

READ MORE: LPGA’s ‘Drive On’ Campaign Highlights Diversity, Inclusion, Empowerment

“We bear the name of somebody who transcends gender and race and spoke to diversity,” French says. “The idea of stabilizing women’s professional sports and potentially giving one of these squads a home at a ballpark where he broke the color barrier was something that spoke to me personally.”

The impetus for the deal came from a series of upgrades to “The Jack,” as Keur calls it, most notably the installation of an artificial playing surface. That opened the doorway to attracting new opportunities, and Keur says that the organization was anticipating a more packed schedule in 2019.

Integrating another professional sports team, though, exceeded the bounds of his imagination. Both Keur and French readily admit the agreement comes with challenges. As part of the deal, the Tortugas will handle all marketing, ticket sales and game-day production for the Eagles’ 25 home games as well as handle additional field maintenance.

“We recognize that within the ownership that it’s asking a lot of our staff,” French says, and Keur notes the team has already brought on additional part-time staff to help shoulder the load before the NPF begins in mid-May.

Ultimately, though, Keur says the organization is viewing this season through the lens of opportunity – not only for what it provides the Eagles but also through what the Tortugas’ staff can demonstrate with a fresh canvas to work with.

“I think this is a great way to showcase what we can do now at the Ballpark,” he says. “It gives us 25 new openings here at the Ballpark to entertain and engage our fans.”

READ MORE: AT&T’s Logo Deal With WNBA Represents Deeper Strategy With NBA

Then there’s the revenue piece. Keur estimates the deal is worth $10 million in economic impact, with a healthy chunk coming from 5,000 sold hotel rooms over the course of the NPF’s three-month season. That number could climb in a big way, too. The Eagles essentially double as the Chinese national softball team and are in the process of attempting to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. If they succeed, they’ll return to Daytona Beach to train for the game for another three months as well as hold exhibition games. The Tortugas are optimistic that the team and city’s relationship with Chinese Softball Association can blossom further from there.

To French, though, the bigger-picture impacts transcend pure economics. He believes that too many women “have had to play in facilities that are not up to the standards of professional baseball.” The solution is much bigger than anything the Tortugas can conjure up on their own. But he is confident that the agreement is a step in the right direction – and, hopefully, a call to arms.

“We hope that it sends a message to other minor league clubs… that they should be getting behind as well as providing women’s sports and these players the same kind of opportunities that we provide,” he says. “What makes us proud is the ability to take a team of female professional athletes who have dreams like every other athlete and give them a great facility and a great infrastructure in which we can support those dreams.”

Continue Reading