Partnership Will Provide Teams and Players Additional Exposure and Create New Opportunities for Fans and Sponsors
Chicago / Thursday, October 23, 2014 The American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL), North America’s first and fastest growing professional ultimate disc league, announced today that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with George P. Johnson (GPJ) Experience Marketing, one of the leading global experiential marketing agencies according to Ad Age. The partnership will enable the AUDL to develop engaging game day fan experiences and innovative opportunities for sponsors to interact with the passionate and growing Ultimate fan base.
“Our collaboration with GPJ is the biggest news for our teams and players since we announced the multiyear partnership with ESPN,” said Tim DeByl, co-owner of the Madison Radicals and a member of the AUDL Executive Council. “Heading into our fourth season, we were looking for new ways to showcase the athleticism and spirited competition that defines the AUDL. This partnership helps us achieve that goal, and brings a new level of exposure for our players.”
“As we worked with the AUDL to explore the possibilities, we were impressed by the large and growing participation rates of Ultimate, and the rapid development of the league in such a short period of time,” said Chris Meyer, CEO of GPJ. “But what really caught our attention were the unique attributes of sportsmanship, integrity and fair play that permeate the sport of Ultimate. In today’s sport market, it seemed an ideal time to showcase the remarkable values that set Ultimate apart.”
GPJ will draw on its decades of experience building innovative brand experiences for automotive, high tech, consumer goods and major sporting events including the Olympic Games and Super Bowl in its collaboration with the AUDL. Earlier in 2014, GPJ announced the formation of a formal Sport Marketing practice to help brands capture more value from integrated activation and fan experiences.
The partnership complements the AUDL’s own efforts to grow Ultimate’s audience. Founded in 2012, the AUDL was formed as the first professional league to feature elite players that promoted the ideals of the sport. Since the 2014 season wrapped, the league has increased its footprint aggressively by adding a series of expansion teams in San Diego, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Ottawa, Los Angeles and the southeast. There are now a total of 24 teams across the United States and Canada, up from an original eight teams, and approximately 500 players, coaches and team personnel involved in league operations.
As a part of that expansion, the league has continually sought bigger platforms from which to market its play. In April 2014, the AUDL entered into a multi-year agreement with ESPN to broadcast 18 regular season and playoff games on ESPN3. The partnership with GPJ is aimed at developing the already solid base of coverage and exposure present in the AUDL, and seeks to push the league into the next generation of sports media.
“The AUDL has developed a solid platform for driving innovation in sports sponsorships; a growing base of teams playing in major markets, engaging video content across multiple distribution channels and entrepreneurial team owners eager to develop new game day activation opportunities,” Kevin Bartram, SVP Sports Marketing at GPJ noted. “The real jewel we hope to expose is the pool of amazingly skilled players who demonstrate the qualities of ethical play and sportsmanship that brands are eager to associate with.”
Since the league’s establishment, teams throughout the AUDL have worked to develop game day experiences that attract both the knowledgeable Ultimate fan and general sports fan alike. Part of the AUDL’s mission is to build a broad fan base by delivering a fun, affordable and action-packed game day experience while preserving the core elements of Ultimate, and over the past few seasons has seen attendance grow steadily.
“This partnership with George P Johnson will tap into a one hundred year track record of developing some of the most innovative integrated experiences for fans and brands,” AUDL Commission Steve Gordon said. “We are thrilled to begin work with GPJ to co-create the next step in our journey to bring this fresh sport to new fans and sponsors.”
For further information about the partnership, the AUDL, or GPJ, please feel free to contact:
George P. Johnson:
SVP, Sports Marketing
About American Ultimate Disc League (www.theAUDL.com)
The AUDL is the first and largest professional ultimate league in the world. It strives to maintain the sport’s rich history, and its 24 franchises embody the robust spirit of ultimate’s players, fans, and community alike. The league’s mission is to increase the visibility of North America’s fastest growing sport by creating fun, family friendly events that showcase the sport at its highest level.
About George P. Johnson (www.gpj.com)
GPJ is the world’s leading experience marketing agency. It enables leading brand marketers to benefit from integrated experiential programs that leverage online, mobile and physical brand interactions. Clients in technology, healthcare, sports, consumer goods, finance and other fields rely on GPJ to help them compete more effectively on a global basis by creating and accelerating relationships with customers, employees, partners, media and other influencers. GPJ is part of Project: WorldWide, the leading independent engagement marketing solutions network (www.project.com).