December 7, 2010: Madison Square Garden has signed a multi-year integrated marketing partnership naming Party City as the official party store of MSG, the NBA's New York Knicks and the NHL's New York Rangers; and has also extended and expanded its relationship with Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Financial terms were of the Party City and Foxwoods deals were not revealed. The Party City partnership will officially kick off when Party City presents the Knicks' annual Kids Day games on Dec. 12, as well as "post-game in-arena celebrations after team victories and other in-arena brand activation."
The Foxwoods expansion is anchored by “Foxwoods Final Five”, a platform that provides Foxwoods with exclusive advertising rights to the final five minutes of Knicks, Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils home game telecasts on MSG and MSG Plus. In addition to the broadcast component, “Foxwoods Final Five” extends into Madison Square Garden, where Foxwoods will become the exclusive in-arena advertiser during the last five minutes of every Knicks and Rangers home game.
Separately, Madison Square Garden Sports has named Howard Jacobs evp-marketing and sales, Mike Ondrejko svp-corporate hospitality sales and service and Sean Downe svp-corporate entertainment solutions.
According to Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports, Jacobs will "define, lead and execute the over-arching business operations and growth strategies for the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty franchises, including brand marketing and communications, ticket sales and service, digital/social media platforms, field marketing, community relations, and event presentation."
Jacobs joined MSG Sports in 2008 as svp-marketing and most recently was svp-marketing and ticket sales. Prior to joining MSG, Jacobs was svp-strategic partnership marketing for XM Satellite Radio. He also has served as president of Millsport, a leading sports marketing agency working with major brands; director, marketing asset management in the sports and entertainment marketing division at Coca-Cola USA; and vice president, Cartoon Network Brand for Turner Broadcasting.
According to O'Neil, “The transformation of Madison Square Garden provides even more opportunities for our team to create lasting memories for our fans and provide unmatched partnership opportunities for the corporate community. Our relentless pursuit of unrivaled and world class executive talent continues to pay off for our growing busines. There is nothing more important than attracting, retaining and in these cases promoting world class talent. Howard, Mike and Sean have each helped lead their groups to great heights during their time at 'The World's Most Famous Arena.'”
Regarding the deal with Party City, Greg Elliott, svp-marketing partnerships, MSG Sports, said, “As we continue to partner with industry leading companies, we are excited to welcome Party City the nation’s largest party specialty store as a new partner of Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and Rangers. From Kids Day games to victory celebrations, this partnership will engage passionate Knicks and Rangers fans of all ages.”
"The ‘Foxwoods Final Five’ represents another way that MSG is able to offer marketing partners unique integration opportunities with our teams."
According to Elliott, “Foxwoods has been an MSG partner for nearly two years and we continue to expand the relationship to include innovative and exciting opportunities for them to showcase their brand to tri-state area consumers. The ‘Foxwoods Final Five’ represents another way that MSG is able to offer marketing partners unique integration opportunities with our teams, venues and networks that no other company in New York can provide.”
Echoed Art Ventura, svp-sales, MSG Media, “This partnership represents a brand new way to integrate partners into an exciting part of the game telecast. MSG Media is one of the few television outlets in the country that can provide this collection of assets – five professional teams – in which a partner could own the last five minutes of a telecast, and we are proud to partner with Foxwoods on this unique program.”