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.”
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.”
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.
“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.”