For SportsArt Fitness, OJ and beer partnerships will start the New Year right

Taking a giant leap into mainstream marketing that could mean brand exposure to tens of millions of consumers, SportsArt Fitness will launch partnerships in January with Tropicana juice and Michelob Ultra beer.
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Taking a giant leap into mainstream marketing that could mean brand exposure to tens of millions of consumers, SportsArt Fitness will launch partnerships in January with Tropicana juice and Michelob Ultra beer.

As a part of the nationwide promotions with Tropicana's parent Quaker and Michelob's parent Anheuser-Busch, SportsArt fitness equipment and logos will be among other things appearing on millions of Tropicana juice packages in supermarkets, on shelf danglers and on the company's websites (www.tropicana.com and www.quakeroatmeal.com). The promotion is part of Tropicana's "Start Your Day Right" New Year's sweepstakes that will give away dozens of treadmills during the six-week campaign that was set to debut Jan. 1.

The Michelob Ultra promotion will place SportsArt equipment at top national running events in the Michelob finish line "village" as a part of the beer company's sponsorship of the Runners World's "Run to the Finish" series of nearly 50 large races, including the likes of the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay to Breakers and the Portland (Oregon) Marathon. These races can each attract tens of thousands of participants. In addition, the company's equipment and logo will be on the Michelob website (www.michultra.com) to aid in its positioning as the "fitness beer," and SportsArt will appear in 10 full-page ads in Runner's World with giveaways of dozens of treadmills and links to the SportsArt website.

But that's not all: Expect to see the company's equipment on end caps in grocery stores around the country decked out with product and promotional literature that includes SportsArt information. The Michelob campaign, which will roll out in early January, will run all year.

Scott Logan, SportsArt director of marketing, couldn't help but be less than conservative in his reaction to the sealing of the deals for 2005 marketing:

"Oh, I'm pumped!" he said. "It's a comprehensive program and between product placement, websites and the sweepstakes, it's going to be over 175 million impressions."

Retailers will also benefit, Logan said. Extra sets of the ads and materials will be delivered to the company's key dealers so they can place them in stores as an additional aid to selling the brand, he said.

"That's going to be for us a very critical element," Logan added.

Nearly completed drafts of the websites show photos of treadmills, bikes and ellipticals and the SportsArt logo and name positioned prominently. On Tropicana's website, a starburst link takes users to the "Start Your Day Right" sweepstakes home page with the promotional line, "You could win a home gym set."

SNEWS® View: Man, this is huge indeed. Too many fitness manufacturers continue to play within the industry and to each other such as to clubs and their own retailers. Of course, they should do that, but campaigns that can reach the general public and drive consumers to fitness retailers, especially specialty retailers, can reap gigantic results for both the company -- in this case, SportsArt -- but also for the entire industry and other specialty brands. We giggled at first about a beer promotion, but unless you've been in a cave, you've likely seen Michelob Ultra putting a solid stake in the ground as the "fitness beer" with commercials that feature gyms, workouts and running. Why not? OJ is, of course, a natural fit, as are Runner's World events. And with powerhouse companies like Quaker and Anheuser-Busch behind the push, we think this should indeed be a home run. We shake our heads in awe at the coup of landing such a partnership, especially since it likely didn't get caught with a huge financial outlay, but rather with a ton of chutzpah, networking and a never-say-stop attitude. Congrats, SportsArt!

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