In late 2009, BKV was busy with a full slate of marketing activities for client Armed Forces Insurance’s sponsorship of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. The Bowl game, which took place on New Year’s Eve in Fort Worth, Texas, at TCU’s Amon G. Carter stadium, represented the second year of AFI’s three-year exclusive sponsorship agreement.
As a major sponsor, AFI plays three roles: the co-presenting Partner of the Team Kickoff Luncheon, the title Partner of the Armed Forces Adventure Area (a two-day event located outside the stadium’s front entrance that helped fans learn more about the U. S. Armed Forces), and the presenting Partner of the 2009 Great American Patriot Award. AFI Chairman Col. Tom Dials (Ret.) presented this year’s award to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at half-time.
The marketing of AFI’s sponsorship was a huge endeavor. Just a few of the many activities executed by BKV included a 30-second TV spot for ESPN; a radio spot aired on ESPN and the Armed Forces Radio Network; an insert in the team luncheon program; a full-page ad for the souvenir program; a booth in the Adventure Area; a live remote from the AFI booth with the local ESPN radio affiliate; two billboard ads; and a media kit available for press at the event, as well as a series of news releases distributed beforehand. In addition, the AFI logo appeared on the 25-yard line of the Bowl playing field.
BKV’s “big idea” was a “Guitar Hero” contest in which six Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were brought on site to compete with troops overseas in Qatar live via the internet and projected on a large screen. This event, which attracted a large crowd to the AFI booth in the Adventure Area, raised money for a military charity. BKV created radio spots for AFI promoting the event, which ran on two radio stations the week before the Bowl. The Guitar Hero contest was administered by Pro v. G.I. Joe.
The results for this year’s Bowl activities were exceptional. In fact, the in-game publicity AFI received was valued by a third-party corporate sponsorship measurement firm at more than $800,000approximately three times AFI’s initial investment!