Dodge Ventures Into New Sponsorship Territory on Twitter

On first glance, sports branding seems to have filled every crevice in broadcasting imaginable. Dodge has managed to find one sitting right under our noses.

Screenshot of Bob McKenzie's Twitter account from March 4, 2014

Notice the “TSN TradeCentre Tweets Presented by Dodge Ram.” Taken March 4, 2014

ESPN leads the way on this front, as their “Sunday NFL Countdown” has six companies with branded segments, while “Monday Night Football” programming has 14. Their college football pre-game show comes complete with a coach bus that drives around splattered with The Home Depot’s logo.

Maybe it shouldn’t be any surprise that ESPN’s sister station to the north has upped the ante.

TSN’s one-day TradeCentre program, which basically provides breaking news, analysis, and predictions on the NHL’s annual trade deadline, is one that has helped the network stand out as a premier hockey authority.  Featuring a panel of some of the top hockey analysts, often seen furiously typing away on their smartphones, it’s not surprising the show draws sponsorship.

Seeing the massive following that their analysts have amassed on Twitter (as a result of their hockey authority and knowledge, mind you), Dodge has decided throw their sponsorship behind individual tweets and “personal” accounts.

That’s right, TSN’s top two TradeCentre analysts have had the customizable real estate on their Twitter accounts lent out. Both Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger are featuring a background image that presents a graphic down the left-hand side which shows the special TSN TradeCentre logo, hashtag, and a Dodge Ram logo.

Even further, the header on both accounts features a black background that reads, “TSN TradeCentre Tweets Presented by,” ending with the same Dodge Ram logo.

Screenshot of Darren Dreger's Twitter, taken March 4, 2014.

One of TSN’s top hockey analysts, Dreger’s account features the same branding as McKenzie’s.

To my knowledge, this is unprecedented and quite an innovative and giant leap.

Sure, we’ve seen brands and celebrities promote products through innovative design. But to have customized headers for employees to insert into their personal accounts, and to have individual tweets sponsored is something I’ve never seen before.

Fortunately, they haven’t had to add ram horns to their profile photos.

Have you ever seen sponsored tweets or branded personal accounts? What are your thoughts on this expansion of advertising? Share your thoughts below.

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