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Program Heineken tennis Marketer Heineken USA White Plains NY Agencies LoweSMS NY ads Ryan Westport Connpromotion Dunwoodie NY pr Key players Heineken Steve Davis vp-mktg Ken Kunze brand dir Scott Hunter Smith brand mgr Pepe Carreras assoc brand mgr Steve Hauser field mktg dir Lowe Lee Garfinkle co-CEOchief crtv officer Michael Silver evp Ryan Mary Perry up Rob Gotti mgng dir Dunwoodie Roy Bumsted CEO Lorraine Raguseo grp up Back in 1995 Heineken decided to pull its considerable international clout out of golf sponsorships and instead beef up its exposure to tennis Gone from its promotional calendar were such major golf events as the Heineken Dutch Open the Australian Open and the World Cup of Golf Filling the vacuum the next years was an ambitious five-year sponsorship with the US Tennis Association that elevated the Dutch beer brand to the top-tier status of a USTA Corporate Champion joining such other megabrands as IBM Citizen Nissan Infiniti and Prudential Securities Suddenly the red star and green bottle had marshalled a presence at events that include one of the highest-visibility tournaments in the country the US Open in Flushing NY Outsiders pegged the value of the sponsorship at about 30 million over its five-year lifetime From the perspective of Heineken USA in White Plains NY all this was occurring as recreational tennis seemed to continue its long decline in participation and not long before the bursting on the scene of Tiger Woods energized golf and helped put it on its torrid growth track in participation awareness and sponsorship dollars Did Heineken read the market wrong and bet on the wrong pony Its marketers offer a resounding no even as they do their post-ups on the companys third year of the companys USTA megasponsorship the jewel in the crown the US Open Rather Heineken USA execs cite an unusual coalescence of the two entities positioning and strategies the pragmatics of a cluttered sponsorship environment and of
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