Nov 03, 2009 at 02:14 PM
written by Ron Seaver

WSOP Sponsor Tie-Ins Part II

Last time I sat down at the keyboard, I wrote about my recent experience of watching World Series of Poker on ESPN recently. I'm admittedly a poker neophyte – wouldn't know an inside straight from an inside fade. (Okay, I made that up... I don't even know if there IS something known of as an "inside fade"...)

But I do recognize good sponsorship tie-ins, and if you want to see some classic text book sponsorship tie-ins, you've got to watch WSOP.

From the players themselves sitting around the tables for hours/days at a time --- check out their "wearing apparel". Heck, most of these folks are sponsored by somebody (...or several somebodies)! If you didn't know any better, you'd swear you stumbled into a NASCAR drivers convention!

So I started doing a little research on this and discovered that there's big money in getting "air time" on TV wearing the patches of your sponsors. According to Sports Business Daily (July 9, 2009), "A player (sitting at the...) feature table 'earns an average of $10,000 for displaying a company's logo on their clothing...".

According to the article, the sponsors are usually such on-line gaming web sites like or Full Tilt... or Ultimate Bet. But it's not just the players themselves that are cashing in from a little well-timed exposure. Check out the TV broadcasts themselves!

What these guys at ESPN have done is literally "invent" sponsor-able inventory. These are literally made-for-TV -- my favorite of which has got to be the moment when one of the big players pushes all of his chips into the center of the table in a "do-or-die" exercise to win a pot ... or die trying. (In poker, when a player does this, it's said that he/she is going "…all-in". )

Pretty tense moment for that player, don't you think? It's go big ... or go home.

So what do the genius marketers at ESPN do...? They dubbed this "The All-In Moment". Okay – that works. That's good. But the best is that they then went out and got Degree Antiperspirant to be the sponsor! As in: "The Degree All-In Moment".

That's genius! What a great tie-in! (I mean think about it ... would this work nearly as effectively if it was called the "Sherwin-Williams All-In Moment"? No WAY!)

I've already admitted that I don't know a whole lot about poker. But I think I may have to become a fan of watching the WSOP. I like the commentators, I like ESPN's effective use of getting-to-know the player vignettes – and I love the sponsorship tie-ins. Good stuff guys – keep it up!

Ron Seaver, president of Seaver Marketing Group and The National Sports Forum, and author of "Brought to you By... - The Ultimate Sponsorship Sales System" has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of marketing and sponsorship. View all of Ron's posts here. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, SponsorPitch, LLC.

photo credit via Wikimedia: Qz10