Best Client Promotion 2017: AcrobatBranding Group

AcrobatBranding Group (asi/104429) had to pull off a promotion that bore the pressure and intensity of a Final Four basketball game.

And that was appropriate, as the campaign was tied to college basketball’s voraciously watched event in early spring.

The campaign involved everything from a household name client in CBS, to a complicated logo that was difficult to reproduce, to the need to distribute nearly 10,000 branded products across 18 companies, which included premier global brands like AT&T and Coca-Cola.

Pressure? You bet. But AcrobatBranding was clutch as a buzzer-beater. Led by Craig Peck, executive vice president of business development/sales, AcrobatBranding was asked to deliver a promo solution that would incentivize and reward sponsors that advertised nationally with media giants CBS and Turner Sports during the broadcast of the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament, including the Final Four.

Working closely with CBS marketing and creative teams, AcrobatBranding developed a client-wowing merchandise package. The centerpiece was the versatile, multi-season Cutter & Buck (asi/47965) Beacon Full-Zip Jacket, which featured the Final Four logo in 3-D Emblem – a decoration process that effectively captured a logo that the client had said was notoriously difficult to replicate. Filling out the package was a golf shirt with an embroidered Final Four logo on the chest and network logos on the sleeve; caps with a 3-D-embroidered Final Four logo on the front and network branding on the back; and a performance T-shirt, pad-printed water bottle and embroidered duffel bag.

“We were able to add value to the campaign by branding the merchandise with unique and high-quality decoration methods,” says Peck. “This was a critical factor to winning the business.” Stellar performance on previous orders also factored into earning the opportunity. “We won the client’s trust with our performance on smaller projects,” says Peck.

As with the earlier orders, AcrobatBranding navigated the Final Four campaign with aplomb, deftly distributing merchandise to end-users’ corporate headquarters for recipients like media planners and account managers. Meanwhile, AcrobatBranding also ensured that end-user executives attending the games received the merchandise packages in person – along with Final Four tickets – at a host hotel in Phoenix, AZ. The campaign spanned the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, which started March 14 and finished April 3.

“We received tremendous feedback from our contacts at CBS,” says Peck. “As the buzz spread, CBS has placed several reorders to meet additional demand.”

Encouragingly, ratings for the Final Four were off the charts, with the championship game between North Carolina and Gonzaga averaging 30% more viewers than the prior year’s championship game and setting a record for live video streams. That could lead advertisers to invest more heavily with CBS/Turner during next year’s tournament, which sets AcrobatBranding up for an even bigger opportunity. We have no doubt the distributor will again hit nothing but net.