Friday, February 05, 2010

Sun Life -- Super Bowl Conversion

Sun Life Financial (SLF) is hoping for a great Super Bowl weekend as the game will be played in the Sun Life Stadium. Of course the hope for stadium naming rights is that the media mentions your name over and over again and creates awareness. The Pro Bowl will be played next week and the echo effect should be substantial.

But how do you measure all this?

Will clients want to buy life insurance policies because they heard the name from a sports commentator’s mouth? Will the wealth management division secure more assets to manage? Difficult to determine. The PR gambit if effective will have more resonance at the lower end of the sophistication curve. The smarter the money the less impact this should have. The less sophisticated financial consumer buys a higher margin product but requires higher acquisition costs, such as the naming of sports venues.

The reality is the naming rights are not measureable. Google (GOOG) exists in large part because they can link advertisers and consumers in a contextual pattern. Naming rights exist because stadium developers are financially shrewd.

In about two weeks the hoopla will be yesterday’s news. The Olympics will dominate sports news and the marketing guys at Sun Life will be onto the next thing. This will be all forgiven/forgotten if the dividend stays true (currently 4.75% yield) and Sun Life does not get caught up in some financial product problem like sub-prime mortgages.