Building on those MindSpring television ads I posted a few weeks ago, before those hit the screen we started ramping up our marketing spend. We started doing some pretty significant sports sponsorship deals. They delivered a lot of bang for the buck and we budgeted for them via the key markets that we are building up including NYC.
The folks responsible for doing these deals were field marketing managers. The guy that was responsible for NYC basically had a choice. The Mets or the Yankees. He selected the Mets as they were about half the cost of the Yankees. When the Yankees were told we were going with the team from Queens, they dropped their price to match the deal. He said yes, which created a little issue. He was about 100% over budget.
Guy went to our counsel to figure out how to get out of the Mets deal. Problem was we had this core value to make commitments with care. Our general counsel told him we had to stand by our word. When told about this 100% over budget decision I pretty much blew a gasket. We had two deals. I figured out where to take the money from somewhere else.
It just so happens the Yankees made it to The World Series that year against the Atlanta Braves. In game 3 lefties Andy Pettitte and Tom Glavine faced off in a classic. 23 million people watched that game.
In the first inning Gerald Williams had a lead off single and his speed caught Pettitte’s attention as captured in the below video.
A 30 second ad spot in the World Series cost about $250,000 back then. I figure the sponsorship signage was worth at least $500,000 in media exposure during this half inning. Being true to your word sometimes pays off in more ways than keeping your integrity.