By Terry Lefton, Editor-At-LargeThe NFL Giants have won a shootout among various N.Y.-area sports properties, emerging with sponsorship from BP under which the gasoline retailer will take a large position in team-controlled media and activate aggressively. BP support will include premium promotion at retailers that will see close to 2 million posters given away, while it will also stage an on-line contest and have appearances by former players at the 350-plus BP stations in the region. The deal is one of the largest, if not the largest, sports sponsorships for BP. "The Giants have a rabid fan base we think will really drive traffic to our retailers," said BP Dir of Marketing Communications Linda Bartman. Under the one-year agreement, BP gets the designation as “official fuel provider" of the Giants, and will use the rights to push its “Invigorate" gasoline additive, which it claims cleans and “invigorates” engines. In a unique, “healthy" positioning for gasoline, BP will link to the Giants training camp and preseason, looking to combine the message of athletes and training with “Invigorate." BP will have a large presenting sponsor ad position on the Giants’ preseason telecasts on WNBC-TV in N.Y., including branded Giants vignettes. "They [BP] were looking at a lot of sports and entertainment properties in this market, so to win out there is gratifying," said Giants CMO Mike Stevens. “I think it also makes you feel good when you get marketing activation in categories like gasoline, where it has fallen off." Additional team controlled media is included in the deal -- radio, online, LED signage and a marketing display outside the gates at Giants home games. As for activation, fans will vote online for the top 10 moments in Giants Stadium history. The results will be part of a premium program, which will be a set of posters, one weekly illustrating each of those moments. The promotion will start in September and continue for 10 weeks. BP is also sponsoring appearances by former Giants players at its retailers. An additional online sweepstakes seeks to find the ultimate Giants fan, and offers prizes including a behind-the-scenes experiences as top prize.
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