ON N.J. SPORTS MARKETING
As those in Trenton continue to battle over the price of education, the low hanging, positive messages that could be put forth by brands during the state's elite high school competitions continue to go unheard.
This past Wednesday night, the Rutgers Athletic Center was packed to first see St. Peter's Prep meet Seton Hall Prep, followed by he nation's No.1 and No. 2 high school basketball teams – St. Patrick's of Elizabeth and St. Anthony's of Jersey City – do battle in a game that surpassed expectations.
Like the state football championships in the fall, the New Jersey hoops championships draw big crowds, big media and very diverse support for those teams making it so far. Yet the dollars generated for cash-strapped education programs are miniscule when one considers the brand value that could be taken from the audience and the media rights to the state's championships.
We are not talking sneaker companies or energy drinks. We are talking the state's pharma industry, telecom companies, banks and other brands that would love the exposure in a cost effective way to reach such a fervent audience. It could be carefully regulated and vetted, but a year-round, statewide championship exposure for key brands could yield not just dollars, but additional gifts in kind for schools, ranging from computers to health and wellness programs.