The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Hungry to Show Team Support
Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc
Robert Passikoff
So, Yogi Berra goes out to eat and orders a pizza. The waitress asks him, “How many pieces do you want your pie cut into?” And Yogi replies, “Four. I’m not that hungry so I don't think I could eat eight.”

That old joke came to us when we heard that the NBA believes that basketball fans, who they assume are always hungry to show their support for their local teams, would be willing to pay an additional $5 to have an edible NBA team logo put on their pizzas. The NBA – really hungry to make up lost revenue because licensed apparel sales are down – is currently in mode to plaster NBA logos on anything that will have them including candy, coffee, and toasters. Oh, yes, and pizzas.

We’ve known for a long time that fan loyalty correlates very highly with licensed merchandise sales and viewership, but were totally unaware of the loyalty-link-to-pizza consumption, although we’d be the first to admit that it’s the take-out/order in food of choice on Game night, but it’s also fair to say that that trend is pretty much league neutral. Fans, however, are not neutral when it comes to which league they support most. According to our Sports Fan Loyalty Index, this year the major leagues rank as follows:

2. NBA
3. NHL

The NBA has been the perennial 3rd or 2nd ranked league for a long time now so we were a little surprised at this particular tactic. The paper-thin logos (made of sugar, starch, and food coloring) are going to be sold to independent pizza parlors nationwide. The image is placed on top of the pizza (after it’s been fully baked and sliced) and the logo then melts into the cheese. Mmmmm-mmm. As mentioned, adding the logo will add about $5 to your bill, which seems a bit much given the cost of pizza in today’s market. So come Game Night, those of you who hunger to show even more team spirit can check your local pizza providers for logo availability.

Because despite all the attitudinal, behavioral, and financial benefits derived from fan loyalty, nothing says "Go Team" like eating a reasonable facsimile of your favorite team's logo replicated in sugar, starch, and food coloring and melted into your cheese. At least according to the NBA.

Subjects: Consumers, Brands

03 June 2010 14:46

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