The inner workings of ‘On the Run’s’ new ‘You Earned’ it Cardinals campaign

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) -  Advertising executive Joe Leahy with local advertising agency, HLK talks inside baseball about the world of sports marketing.

Sports marketing focuses on both the promotion of sports events and teams, as well as the promotion of other products and services through sporting events and teams. Brands are willing to pay more today for sports promotion because of the high visibility that comes with these sporting events.  For example, this year`s SuperBowl was the most watched TV show in U.S. history, with more than 114 million viewers. This explains why some brands were willing to pay almost $4.5 million for a 30-second spot.

Another great example of brands willing to spend money for a highly anticipated and watched sporting event is the World Cup. Not only are people watching these sporting events, but they`re going online and talking about them. Facebook reported a total of 280 million posts or "likes" about the final game alone. Because of this type of conversation, FIFA reportedly raked in an additional $1.4 billion in sponsorship deals, with only 20 major brands.

As the audience continues to watch and attend sporting events and leagues continue to expand, sports sponsorship budgets for brands will increase.  According to that same IEG report, sports sponsorship spending in North America is projected to be nearly $15 billion in 2015, a 4.4% increase from last year.

On the Run is a sponsor with all three of St. Louis` major sports teams, but has developed a really smart, long-standing deal tied to the Cardinals.   Starting in 2008, On the Run has offered a deal for any size drink the day after the Cards score 6 or more runs, leading us to the well-known slogan '6 is a serious number.' It`s been wildly successfully, as evident in the length of the campaign.  Last year, there were 37 games where the Cards scored 6 or more.

For the past 6 years, On the Run spots have included two individuals, Ed and Dustin, who`ve had several humorous takes on the '6 is a serious number' deal and jingle.  HLK actually inherited the campaign and characters from another agency in 2011, and we`ve loved evolving them the past few years, but I think everyone, our team and the client, felt like now was a good time for a fresh, new concept to increase audience engagement.  Although different from years` past, the new concept still ties back to and illustrates the value of the 50-cent drink deal with the Cards sponsorship.  We also feel that this new concept definitely has the legs to extend beyond the Cardinals` season and can be used during other times of the year and with other products.

The idea this year is that, thanks to 50-cent drinks and the Cardinals, it doesn`t take a lot of work to get a great deal at On the Run, leading us to the focus of the campaign 'You Earned It.' Through this new concept, there are 4 different scenarios. Each scenario starts off in typical fashion, showing an individual preparing to work or perform a chore, such as mowing the lawn, painting a house or grooming a dog.  As the spot continues, we see the individual perform the bare necessity of the task, such as clipping only one piece of hair on the dog or pushing the lawn mower just a few inches, and then stopping. The tempo of the spots then pick up, showing the individual receiving 50-cents for the work they did, slapping the change down on an On the Run counter and ending the spot with the individual taking a drink from an On the Run cup.

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