Pepsi creates team-specific videos, contests and packaging for homebound NFL fans

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Dive Brief:

  • Pepsi detailed team-specific components of its “Made for Football Watching” campaign for four teams via separate press releases. The company has created new packaging designs, microsites and contests tailored for the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Each team has a different consumer sweepstakes. For the Bills, fans can win a visit to their home by a team-themed tailgate truck; for the Bengals, a fan can win a chance to be “signed” to a “Who Dey Fan-Dorsement Deal;” for the Patriots, fans can win signed jerseys, footballs and more; and for the Steelers, three fans can win a branded bike and a ride at the team’s stadium.
  • As many teams cannot host fans in-person due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pepsi seeks to celebrate at-home team spirit with the contests, packaging and digital hubs for each team. In addition, twin brothers and Patriots players Devin and Jason McCourty will produce weekly, fan-voted play-by-play breakdowns for the team’s digital hub.

Dive Insight:

Pepsi’s latest onslaught of football content is part of its ongoing content creation for sports fans stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. With team-specific contests, packaging and digital videos tailored to four teams, Pepsi can engage with football fans looking to capture some of the excitement lost due to not being able to attend games at stadiums, at large gatherings or in bars and restaurants due to the pandemic.

“It’s just going to look a little bit different this year, but I do think you’re going to see a growing importance of the home,” Todd Kaplan, VP of marketing at Pepsi, previously told Marketing Dive. “This is where everybody is spending all of their time.” 

The team-specific content looks to build on well-known fan traditions. Last month, the brand began delivering “Tailgate in a Box” kits to football fans who miss the tailgate experience. In kind, its new Buffalo Bills tailgate truck, which features a stocked fridge, tailgating games and a branded table, attempts to recreate infamous Bills gameday traditions.

“Buffalo Bills fans are known for their legendary tailgates and unapologetic excitement come game day,” said Umi Patel, CMO, PepsiCo North Division, in a press release. “So this year, Pepsi is bringing the tailgate to fans and showing them that the ultimate game day experience can still happen, even if it’s at home, through fans’ passion and excitement for their home team.”

Similarly, the Bengals’ “Who Dey Fan-Dorsement Deal” is a play on the team’s “Who Dey” catchphrase, with one fan winning a photoshoot, a billboard in Cincinatti, team gear, season tickets and fridge of Pepsi. By allowing three fans to bike around Heinz Field, the Steelers integration resembles a Walmart campaign element that will bring one family to a game this season.

Pepsi’s investment in video content and consumer prizes comes as ad spending returns to live sports. According to a MediaRadar report released in August, marketers have shelled out nearly $100 million on ads during national live broadcasts across NBA, MLB and NHL games. Other brands, including Buffalo Wild Wings and PepsiCo brand Doritos, are also taking advantage of sports’ return to TV. As for helping consumers recreate the NFL experience at home, Pepsi joins brands including Lowe’s and Babe Wine.

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