PR Case Study — Launch of New Terrell Owens' Cereal

by Jim Pasinski on August 6, 2009

By Jim Pasinski

The Carr team, on behalf of valued client Tops Friendly Markets, recently had the opportunity to work on the PR blitz for the launch of Terrell Owens’ cereal, TO’s, which is available exclusively in stores at Tops.[youtube=]

Since signing with the Bills in early March, Western New York has been abuzz with all things T.O. Because of that and previous food/athlete marketing successes in the area (Flutie Flakes, anyone?), we knew the launch of this cereal had many opportunities.

We worked with the Tops team and PLB Sports of Pittsburgh (which first came to Tops and T.O. with the idea) on having a launch event to kick off sales of TO’s.

Working with Tops on ensuring they had all of the logistics worked out was the first step, including proper signage, a stage and audio equipment and, because of the anticipation it could turn into a public event, proper security needed to be on hand.

While we informed the media that the TO’s launch news conference was a media-only event, that didn’t stop the word from getting out. As planned, on July 30, T.O. appeared at a news conference at Tops’ store in Perinton; so did roughly 300-400 of his fans and Buffalo and Rochester area media.

This scene and environment were fantastic and the Tops crew did a great job of keeping everything in order and, even better, on schedule.

T.O. was his true self, playing up to the large crowd, talking up TO’s and the Bills chances this season, and getting acquainted with his new Tops BonusCard, presented to him by Tops CEO Frank Curci.

The resulting news coverage was quite extensive. Along with coverage from all of the local TV affiliates in Rochester and Buffalo, articles also appeared in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, The Buffalo News, Buffalo Business First, and the Messenger-Post newspapers. TO’s were talked about on sports programs all across the country including ESPN, Sports Digest and the Associated Press article from John Warwow made its way onto Web sites — including MSN — and into newspapers from coast-to-coast, in Toronto and beyond.

Picture 3The Carr team further enhanced the coverage by taking hi-def video of the news conference for later posting on YouTube, twitter and on the Tops Web site, while photos of the event were taken by the Carr team and Tops associates. At last count, the video resulted in more than 240 views on YouTube while photos posted on Carr Marketing’s twitter account resulted in more than 51 views in the twittersphere.