Pepsi is giving young sports industry professionals a look into the company’s sports marketing strategy through Front Office Sports’ new course-style offering, FOS Essentials.
Set to launch this week ahead of the Super Bowl, the online course will cover sports marketing essentials from the perspective of Pepsi’s marketing leads.
Unlike most publisher-run courses that end with some degree of certification, FOS Essentials will be free to audiences who after completing the approximately 8-hour long lesson plan will be awarded a badge they can post on their Linkedin profiles.
And since there is no consumer revenue associated with the program, FOS is making this a solely sponsored product. To date, this is one of the largest partnerships that FOS has signed, according to Adam White, the sports business publisher’s CEO and founder. He declined to disclose how much the deal is worth.
This is also the publisher’s first course, though the hope is to make it a quarterly product that is sponsored by one or more brands, like the debut with Pepsi.
Each lesson of the first course — covering topics from esports to athlete partnerships to Gatorade’s Super Bowl marketing strategy — consists of an 8 to 10-minute long video as well as a series of written prompts and tests that are co-produced by the team at Pepsi.
They are meant to be “snackable” pieces of content, according to White, but also “supplementary to what you already learned in school or as a professional.”
To start out, FOS Essentials will use the FOS daily newsletter amplification to get in front of prospective students and Pepsi will be sponsoring some editions of that as well.
White said that newsletters will be the main focus for marketing the FOS Essentials courses because that audience is rapidly growing, having increased by 900% in 2020 and is pacing to hit 500,000 total subscribers by mid-year. It’s current open rate toggles between 35-40%, he added.
“We’re understanding that we’re selling newsletters and that’s our main revenue generator from a media perspective, but that is also a direct relationship that we have with our audience to drive other deeper partnerships,” White said.
As for Pepsi this year, the company — not to be mistaken for its parent company PepsiCo which is still sponsoring the Super Bowl Halftime show — has completely shifted its marketing strategy to not run any ads for during the pinnacle advertising event of the year.
“Pepsi is reimagining their overall sports commitments and is sitting out the Super Bowl this year. Instead they are donating money to a coronavirus relief fund. Now they’re developing educational programs for the sports fan,” said Barry Lowenthal, CEO of media buying agency The Media Kitchen.
Typically, the soft drink company’s approach to the Super Bowl includes a business-to-business element but it is usually limited to in-person events and hosting guests at the Super Bowl, said Justin Toman, head of sports marketing at Pepsi.
Being limited to what in-person activations could look like, Toman said there was an opportunity to do more in the space that reaches a larger online audience and positions “Pepsi as a thought leader and activation leader” in sports marketing.
“This is a brand that doesn’t need awareness, they need engagement and to deepen relationships with their customers. They are connecting in ways that matter to their customers like relief contributions and supporting new ways to learn passions,” said Lowenthal. “They’ve realized that in a post-covid world — sports means something very different.”
‘Fear of saying the wrong thing is eating us alive’: Confessions of an Iranian-American advertiser on the industry’s silence on Iranian women’s rights
As Iran's feminist movement builds, one Iranian-American advertising executive questions American advertiser's silence.
Is the collapse of big tech’s culture overblown? Some experts think so
Some workplace experts aren’t so sure that the cushy culture that has come to define tech is coming to an end anytime soon.
Why American Express invests in TikTok ahead of Small Business Saturday
As the #ShopSmall community grows on TikTok, American Express is hoping to tap into it.
SponsoredWhy cookie deprecation is deflating performance and inflating costs for advertisers
With the full deprecation of third-party cookies on the horizon, advertisers and publishers are navigating a challenging and quickly evolving landscape. The sunset of the third-party cookie continues as usage and lifetimes fall. Their deprecation is preventing brands from effectively measuring the effectiveness of media campaigns in real-time at highly granular levels. As the industry […]
How a Minecraft influencer is bringing advertisers to the platform
TubNet's primary challenge in integrating its brand partners was to do so without breaking the end user license agreement (EULA) of Minecraft developer Mojang, whose strict guidelines restrict the presence of brand logos directly inside the game.
Advertiser Perceptions’ business intelligence vp: Harnessing first-party data could help level the publisher playing field
With so much change in the last two years around signal deprecation, is this a moment in marketing history when publishers can finally make up some ground on their bigger social platform competitors?