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Keep Your Hand Out of my Glove!

September 13, 2011

Purpose

This quote from Chicago Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd comes from his experience during the Chicago Cubs official Wilson Glove Day. The video is an example of effective digital media and advertising, using a celebrity as an unofficial spokesperson, using his quote as a tag line. He testifies to his personal preference of Wilson brand baseball gloves, and how he takes care of his.

Background

Every spring, Wilson Sporting Goods travels to numerous Major League Baseball clubs and hosts “Wilson Glove Day”.  Wilson Glove Day is a chance for many MLB athletes to preview and try out numerous Wilson brand gloves.  Some of them are sold in stores, some are exclusive to MLB players only, and on this day players can even put in special requests to have gloves made custom to their needs and preferences, or request a discontinued glove be special ordered for them as well.  The company documents each of these official team glove days and posts them on their website as well as their official YouTube page.  In addition to highlighting the entire team’s glove day, Wilson pinpoints specific highly visible somewhat “franchise players” (if those exist in baseball) and documents their personal Wilson Glove Day experience.

Recommendation/Assessment

            I believe that this is an excellent example of digital media and advertising.  This Wilson Glove Day video, along with the others the company produces, turns what is actually a routine event during spring training into what could actually be a viral campaign promoting the Wilson brand.  The videos and interaction with players does not seem purposeful at all (although it is of course), but instead seems very personal.

Rationale

            This is definitely successful integrated communications.  Not only does this video along with the others have consistency  (view other Wilson glove day videos HERE), but also I believe it fulfills a consumer’s need to belong, or connect to the product.  The video relays a clear message of customization.  The Wilson brand travels to each team with their gloves, customizing gloves and products for the players.  This is a very personal approach, clearly relaying the message that the Wilson Gloves sold in the stores are produced with the consumer in mind.

Are the products successful?  Is what Marlon Byrd is saying about the Wilson gloves true?  A consumer would most likely believe these things to be true, as in other videos, on the website, and on both the Wilson twitter and Facebook pages, it is clearly noted that Wilson gloves are the official ball gloves of the MLB.   At one point in the video, Byrd says the he prefers to stick with a glove that works, and thus far his Wilson glove has worked really well for him.  If the gloves are good enough to have the “official” title, as well as be endorsed personally by franchise players, than the quality of the gloves and what is being said about them must be true.  Right?

Another reason the example is so effective is because of its successful cross media integration. Not only are the videos visible on the Wilson website, YouTube, Facebook and twitter pages, but each individual baseball club posts these videos on their own websites. Each stakeholder has a voice, and they are all connected.  The glove gets coverage on the brand website, as well as brand coverage on each individual baseball club’s website and personal endorsement from franchise players. The baseball club gets coverage on their own website, as well as all of the Wilson media outlets.  Last but not least, the individual player’s personal brand receives coverage in all media outlets as well. Also, the consumer behavior is consistent; the players all seem to love the glove, translating into the fact that other consumers will enjoy their Wilson brand gloves as well.

The advertisement is social, integrated, interactive, natural and personal. Above all, it is an effective use of integrated communications and digital media/advertising.

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