Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Phoenix Suns sign partnership deal with Vemma Nutrition Co.

The Phoenix Suns have signed a five year deal with Vemma Nutrition Co to become a distributor of Verve Energy Drink. Although the Suns have not officially revealed the terms of the deal, a source said that the company will pay between $300,000 to $400.000 annually for the Verve Lounge sponsorship in the US Airways Center.

The Suns will get credit when someone is driven from their official site, to the Verve site to purchase the energy drink. Until now, Verve has only been available on the Vemma Nutrition Co website, or through an individual distributor for the company. The Suns will now act as a distributor of the product which will NOT be sold directly on the site, but there will be a banner on Suns.com that will take viewers directly to the Vemma Nutrition Co. website to purchase the drink. This is a unique arrangement for the NBA and it is one that could potentially alter terms of future sponsorship deals throughout all sports leagues. “The deal completely aligns our marketing assets with their desire to sell product,” said Suns President Rick Welts. “And because Verve is distributed online as opposed to retail, there is real measurement opportunity. If we can drive someone to a Web site and they buy the product, we get credit.” The Suns also will sell Verve at the arena, becoming the only retail point of sale for Verve, which is owned by Scottsdale-based Vemma Nutrition Co.

Verve costs $44 for 12 eight-ounce cans and comes in regular and sugar free. This is a dynamic partnership that really blazes a new trail of strategic marketing for both organizations,” said Vemma CEO BK Boreyko. NBA officials are closely monitoring the partnership, and if it proves successful, they will push other teams to make similar deals. “This hasn’t been done in any team sport and it doesn’t work for every company, but it makes a lot of sense for teams to distribute a product that is linked to their fan base,” said Chris Heck, senior vice president of team business operations for the NBA. “I think we will see teams take this to other categories and product lines because the business is moving beyond advertising.” In what some are calling the “new soft drinks of the world,” energy drinks have recently become a phenomenon of sorts.

Verve is a revolutionary new energy drink. It is crammed full of healthy stuff like vitamins, minerals and natural sugars with a great tropical fruit flavor patterned after the very popular and exotic mangosteen fruit from Southeast Asia.

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