April 5, 2015

EVI, JCPenney and Rascal Flatts Redefining Integrated Tour Sponsorship

In our JCPenney Rascal Flatts Tour case study, we talked about transforming the idea of a traditional tour sponsorship into a wide-ranging integrated marketing campaign. Here, we’d like to share the details of what made the project so successful.

Much more than a mere endorsement, the broad campaign integrated a multitude of activation components that created a true connection between Rascal Flatts fans, JCPenney Stores and Polo Ralph Lauren’s American Living clothing.

Rascal Flatts American Living Tour

Components of the Integrated Campaign

  • The hub of the campaign was “Title” sponsorship of Rascal Flatts’ 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 US concert tours with over 120 sold-out concerts. The band is at the top echelon of the music-touring world.
  • Tour Logo Integrating Sponsor Name – EVI’s creative team designed and produced the tour logo being utilized in every aspect of the campaign.
  • Website - jcp.com/rascalflatts - Launched on April 7, 2009. A robust microsite hitting on all aspects of the tour and the relationship between JCPenney, American Living and Rascal Flatts. The site was a direct extension the JCPenney retail website…the largest online retailer in the world.
  • Original “American Living” Song - Rascal Flatts wrote an original song inspired by the American Living brand which was used for numerous marketing applications. The band also performed the song “live” on the concert tour.
  • National Television Commercial: Airing May 17 - June 6, 2009 on prime time and cable television programming, a 30-second commercial featured Rascal Flatts band members in American Living apparel and singing the “American Living” song.
  • ABC Primetime Network Entertainment Special: “Rascal Flatts Nothing Like This, Presented by JCPenney”, a one-hour, proprietary JCPenney-branded broadcast. With special guests Justin Bieber and Natasha Bedingfield.
  • Special Version CD - The song “American Living” was available on a special version of Rascal Flatts’ new CD “Unstoppable”. The special version was sold exclusively at JCPenney. Custom point of sale displayers were designed to showcase the CD at cash registers inside all JCPenney stores.
  • For every CD sold, one dollar was donated to the JCPenney Afterschool Fund ( HYPERLINK "http://www.jcpenneyafterschool.org" www.jcpenneyafterschool.org). As of August, 2009, more than 250,000 copies were sold at JCPenney stores across America.
  • In-Store - In addition to the CD, in-store merchandising also included Rascal Flatts American Living concert tee-shirts.
  • Band members Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney were featured in American Living clothing inside the CD booklet for the new Rascal Flatts release “Unstoppable”.
  • On-Tour Venue Signage - A comprehensive on-site signage and graphics package was created to make an unmistakable JCPenney/American Living/Rascal Flatts brand connection and form a lasting impression in the minds of concert goers.
  • Exclusive VIP Hospitality Area - At the venues, JCPenney VIP’s and contest winners were hosted in a custom JCPenney/American Living Hospitality Area.
  • The custom-designed tents served as the exclusive JCPenney/American Living pre-concert “hang-zone”, complete with seating areas, F&B and air-conditioning. The tent also served as the meet & greet location with Rascal Flatts and inlcuded a branded “step and repeat” for photo opps.
  • Throughout the nationwide tour, the custom JCPenney/American Living Tour Bus and Tractor Trailer served as the center of the marketing activation effort. Besides acting as rolling billboards, the vehicles functioned as hospitality areas, radio remote attractions, equipment transport and “home” for the Tour Activation team.
  • All at-venue marketing and VIP hosting efforts were executed with precision by a full-time EVI Tour Activation Team.
  • American Living Clothing In-Concert – Throughout the course of the annual 60-city tour, Rascal Flatts band members Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney incorporated American Living apparel into their concert performance wardrobes.
  • Pre-Concert Videos - The new American Living Commercial featuring Rascal Flatts singing the song “American Living” was showcased on the stage-flanking screens prior to every Rascal Flatts performance. A “making of the commercial” video was also shown. The “making of” video was designed to augment the 30-second commercial spot and serve as an entertaining way to elaborate on the connection between Rascal Flatts, American Living, the clothing and JCPenney.
  • This was a unique opportunity to tie all of the strategic message components together in front of captive audiences all across America.
  • Live Radio Remotes – In conjunction with JCPenney, Live Nation and top country radio stations, EVI produced exciting live radio remotes in 20 of the top concert markets across the US. Radio listeners had an opportunity to win American Living merchandise along with premium Rascal Flatts concert tickets. The JCPenney American Living Tour Bus traveled on location for the remotes, creating excitement and making a strong branding statement.
  • Radio Spots - EVI created, wrote and directed a series of radio spots featuring Rascal Flatts to promote the radio remotes.
  • Tour Fleet Wraps: The graphic design of the band’s touring fleet of 18 semi-trucks featured the Rascal Flatts American Living Tour Logo.
  • Concert Merchandising - Custom American Living concert merchandise was available for purchase at the concerts.
  • The band wore American Living clothing in numerous national media appearances including Today, Ellen Degeneres, The View, Dancing with the Stars, Sean Hannity, and the Late Show with David Letterman.
  • The Rascal Flatts/JCPenney program was big news in the music industry and scored the cover story in Billboard Business Magazine.

Using a comprehensive approach that strategically leveraged the strengths of all the partners, we believe the platform has created a new benchmark in tour sponsorship activation.

For more, please review our JCPenney Rascal Flatts Tour case study.

Integrated Tour Sponsorship for JCPenney

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