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Dunkin’ Donuts finds mobile offers and sports play well together

Dunkin’ Donuts is no stranger to activating sport and athlete promotions as part of its marketing strategy, and continues along these lines with a new Major League Baseball  home run mobile promotion.

The “NY Wins, You Score!” baseball initiative runs throughout June and rewards Dunkin’ mobile app users in the Metro New York area with a coupon offer for a 99 cent large hot coffee following a win by either the New York Mets or New York Yankees. For Dunkin’ Donuts, the promotion makes a lot sense because of the value inherent in accessing a fan base and the positive association consumers have with sports.

“Campaigns like this give consumers a reason to download the Dunkin’ Donuts application and opt-in to receive push notifications,” said Adam Lavine, CEO at FunMobility, Inc., Pleasanton, CA.

“This campaign is a great idea, because consumers will feel like they are winning something instead of just being given an offer, and are being accessed through a built-in gamification mechanism.”

On base
The offer will appear at midnight following a Mets or Yankees win. The coupon can be used at any time over the following 24-hour period at participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the New York metropolitan area.

Food and beverage companies integrate themselves within sports organizations because it builds brand awareness, and as a result, boosts sales.

Take the National Football League’s corporate partners, for example. Annually, SportsBusiness Journal publishes its NFL sponsor awareness survey, which gauges the effect the league’s corporate partners have on fans’ consumption.

In a 2013 survey, 62 percent of fans recognized Papa John’s as the official pizza sponsor of the NFL. A high percentage of these fans admitted they were more likely to use a brand themselves and recommend it to others because of league sponsorship.

Brands have recently gotten bolder with sponsorship strategies as well. During the 2013-14 National Basketball Association season, corporate logos fashioned themselves in the front of team jerseys.

Even more fascinating is Major League Soccer club, the New York Red Bulls, which is named after the highly caffeinated and sweet energy drink.

New recruits
The Dunkin’ brand seemingly has permission to show in almost any category concerning satisfaction and value.

This past January, the fast-casual contracted a deal with Liverpool FC of the Barclays English Premier league, which made Dunkin’ the official coffee and bakery partner.

A sweeps which started this week will give fans the chance to score the ultimate Liverpool FC fan experience during the club’s upcoming summer U.S. tour and also celebrate Dunkin’ Donuts’ range of products available this season.

Fans who  “like” the Dunkin’ Donuts Facebook page  will be eligible to enter through the Liverpool online or mobile entry tab to select their favorite Liverpool FC player and to upload an original photo of yourself in order to “Liverpool Yourself” for a chance to win prizes.

The collaboration came from a long-standing marketing relationship Dunkin’ Donuts has had with Fenway Sports Group, owner of Liverpool FC and the Boston Red Sox. It filled the marketing pitch for both parties, enhancing both the soccer club’s strategy to expand alliances in the U.S. and worldwide, as Dunkin’ Donuts’ plans to establish its brand with consumers in the U.K.

As part of its expanding global strategy, Dunkin’ Donutssigned NBA all-star LeBron James to a multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract to promote the brand in China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan.

In efforts to promote Dunkin’ Donuts in China and Taiwan, Dunkin’ Brands International expanded on a simple concept. In its “Be with the King” campaign, it used the universal appeal of taking pictures with celebrities and sharing the picture with friends to make visiting its stores into an interactive event by giving the opportunity to take and share a picture with a cut-out of brand ambassador LeBron James, using a mobile app and social media.

Among others, Dunkin’ Donuts is also an official partner with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys, MLS Chicago Fire, MLB’s New York Yankees and New York Mets and the NHL’s Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals.

Combined with its other efforts in customer loyalty and on mobile, these sport alliances are scoring big for the brand, and are an accomplishment achieved via meaningful differentiation that resonates with consumers.

“We’ve seen sports be a very attractive sponsorship tie-in mechanism for mobile.  There’s downtime between plays which consumers can gap-fill with new mobile promotions, and it drives positive brand association,” Mr. Lavine said.

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York