Jockey scores touchdown with Tebow playoff sweepstakes

Jockey hit the jackpot when it signed a spokesperson deal with then-Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow in July 2010.

Client
Jockey (Kenosha, WI)
PR agency

Cone Communications (Boston)
Campaign

The Jockey $1 Million "Super" Challenge
Duration

December 2011-January 2012
Budget

About $200,000

Jockey hit the jackpot when it signed a spokesperson deal with then-Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow in July 2010.

By late 2011, Tebow was starting quarterback and drawing enormous public attention for his success, his unconventional playing style, and his religious views.

"Suddenly, the nation's spotlight was on Tebow," says Mo Moorman, PR director at Jockey. "We wanted to somehow inject Jockey into the conversation without it looking forced." Agency Cone Communications came up with the "Jockey $1 Million 'Super' Challenge," for which Jockey pledged to give away $1 million worth of products and $15,000 cash if the Broncos won the Super Bowl.

Strategy
"We needed it to be newsworthy and create consumer buzz, and $1 million usually raises a lot of eyebrows," Moorman says. "It gave people on either side - as Tebow is polarizing - something to talk about."

Media relations, social media outreach, a survey, email outreach, and ads drove awareness.

Tactics
Hosted on Jockey.com/Tebow, the sweepstakes launched December 15. ESPN's Adam Schefter got an exclusive to break the news to his more than 1 million Twitter fans.

Schefter's tweet drove national media coverage and spread the word to more than 3 million people in less than 24 hours.

Journalists and bloggers covering general consumer topics, sports, entertainment, business, marketing, and contests were targeted.

Tebow blogs and fan sites, and broadcast outlets in key Tebow markets were also pitched. Cone conducted a national survey on January 10, just ahead of the first playoff game between the Broncos and the New England Patriots, and pitched results to media and bloggers.

Survey questions focused on comparing Tebow and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, for example, "Who would you rather see in their underwear?"

"Media were doing a lot of Tom versus Tim coverage, and we wanted to give them fun stats and make it relevant to Jockey," says Cone VP Amy Russ. Twitter hashtag #iftebowwins was created for consumer outreach.

An "If Tebow Wins, You Win" initiative that included weekly discounts and giveaways was hosted on Jockey's Facebook and Twitter properties.

Results
Jockey.com sales from December 2011 through January 2012 were up more than 20% compared to the previous year.

Moorman says more than $45,000 in Jockey.com sales in that time were attributed to people coming from the sweepstakes microsite. Jockey's Staycool boxer briefs, which were promoted throughout, were the highest-selling item.

January 11 was the second-highest traffic day in Jockey.com's history. The mobile site (m.jockey.com) hit a record high. The sweepstakes drew nearly 60,000 entrants, and 23,116 opted in to Jockey's email database. Earned Facebook and Twitter impressions topped 27 million. Nearly 700 stories ran (more than 500 million impressions) in outlets such as USA Today, Denver Post, AP, CNBC, and NFL Network.

The team wrapped two Staycool collection promotion events with Tebow on June 22 in Orlando and Tampa, FL. Three hundred people attended the Tampa event.

Future
In August, Cone will be helping Jockey prepare to launch a new men and women's line, not related to Tebow who has since joined the New York Jets.


PRWeek's View
Jockey and Cone Communications did a great job moving quickly to capitalize on this opportunity. Letting ESPN's Adam Schefter break the news on Twitter was very savvy - it was an ideal point of entry into the Tim Tebow and Denver Broncos conversation for Jockey and a solid example of how thoughtful use of Twitter can drive enormous cross-channel coverage and awareness. The team had to be super responsive and proved very adept at sustaining relevance and interest amid an unpredictable situation such as football.

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