ON N.J. SPORTS MARKETING
When it comes to a gold standard for minor league baseball experiences, New Jersey is fortunate enough to have two of the best, the Lakewood Blue Claws and the Trenton Thunder. Both clubs continue the tradition of their parent organizations, the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees respectively, in not just being teams who sell tickets to baseball, but in being sewn into the fabric of the community year round. That is what gives the clubs an edge when families look to send a night out and let go some of that discretionary income that they have worked so hard for.
The recent storms have done nothing less to instill that sense of purpose and community for both clubs. They have been there to fundraise and assist all those affected, with more efforts to come.
With that sense of community in mind, it makes great sense that a proud New Jersey brand, Church & Dwight Co. chose to strike a deal to take over the naming rights for the Thunder’s ballpark in Trenton. Going forward the new name of their home on the Delaware will be Arm & Hammer Stadium, which was selected from the myriad of brands the company owns, including Trojan condoms and OxiClean products.
So why would the company choose to puts its name on a ballpark when it could spend that money in marketing elsewhere? Part of it has to do with how closely the Thunder fit in the community. They are not just a team and it is not just a stadium, it is the center of the community. With Church & Dwight moving into a new facility in nearby Ewing soon, the ballpark name ties the business to the casual fan and will serve as another reminder of company commitment to Mercer County. For Arm & Hammer, the promotional opportunities that will exist with a team that draws from a 100 mile radius are very strong, and the connection to the even bigger Yankees brand is an added plus.
What does it mean for the team? The Thunder get to partner with a national brand with local roots, raise their profile, offsetting costs to the bottom line and giving them a chance to enhance their fans with new promotions, many of which can serve as a trial balloon that can go up the Turnpike to the Bronx if they work. Like with the players, the minors are a great place to try out brands and see if there is a fit for MB, and that testing won’t be lost when the team opens in the spring.
Overall a great new chapter for one of the State’s greatest assets…the business of minor league baseball in Mercer County.