Hot properties? The Backstreet Boys are blistering. And Sears gets to takethem back to school this fall.
The male quintet broke the record for fastest-selling CD in May when theirthird release, Millennium, sold 1.1 million copies in its first week atretail. In September, the teen faves launch a 56-city tour being billed as”Sears Presents Backstreet Boys Into the Millennium.”
Hoffman Estates, IL-based Sears, which in the past has done deals with PhilCollins and Gloria Estefan, is leveraging its first teen-focusedsponsorship to the hilt. Not only will the Boys serve as centerpiece forthe retail chain’s back-to-school and fourth-quarter efforts (the tour runsthrough Dec. 1), but they’ll help launch a new Sears Pulse Card loyaltyprogram for female teens as well. They’ll appear in image TV spots (whichwill feature a new song from the group), print ads, newspaper inserts, andP-O-P displays, and figure in national and local sweeps andgift-with-purchase offers. A cause overlay was still in the works at presstime.
At the concerts, Sears will offer Pulse Card applications inside the tourprogram and to 6,000 attendees at exits. Card members get an enhanced CDwith their first $35+ purchase. Young & Rubicam handles advertising,Wunderman Cato Johnson sales promotion and event marketing, and DonnellonPublic Relations p.r. All are based in Chicago.
“We were looking to connect with the youth market, and who is bigger rightnow than the Backstreet Boys?” says John Lebbad, Sears director of eventmarketing and sales promotion. “We’re taking this sponsorship to adifferent level. It’s a home run of an idea.”
If you don’t believe him, ask your daughter.