Invisalign has become the “Official Smile” partner of five professional sports franchises across the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLS. Instead of going deep by partnering with one league and activating across all its teams, Invisalign chose to go wide and hit some of the most successful teams in each sport. Those teams include the six-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, five-time Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers, 2006 Stanley Cup Champions Carolina Hurricanes and the New England Revolution.
“The investments we’re making in these marketing relationships with winning teams is just one part of a very diverse platform designed to reach consumers where they live, work and play – online and through social media, at live events, and more,” says Frank Quinn, vice president of Americas Marketing and Sales at Align Technology.
The campaign focuses on building awareness around “winning smiles” to create fan demand for Invisalign treatment in the targeted markets.
“Partnering with teams like this is a new approach for Align Technology, and we want to really explore the opportunities and see what works best for our brand outreach,” say Quinn. “But we do believe that working with great sports brands is a natural fit for Align.”
Kevin Hilton, vice president of corporate partnerships for the 49ers says they’re always looking to partner with brands that fit both with the team’s brand and with as many potential connections to their fans as possible. The synergy with Invisalign begins with it being a fellow Bay Area company.
“The way we looked at it, we’re both in the business of providing smiles so with Invisalign we targeted partnership activations that could amplify the positive natures of both of our brands,” says Hilton. “We have a unique asset in our 49ers Cal-Hi Sports Report, the nation’s most watched television program highlighting high school sports, and Invisalign was a natural fit to support our efforts to highlight and support high school athletes across the San Francisco Bay Area by sharing their stories.”
The Carolina Hurricanes felt similarly about its fit with Invisalign.
“We always look to associate ourselves with the ‘leader’ in a category,” says Don Waddell, team president and general manager for the Hurricanes. “Invisalign looks to transform smiles, the Hurricanes look to bring smiles to our passionate fan base.”
“Align Technology has a major presence here in the Triangle and we’re proud to partner with their Invisalign brand,” he adds.
Asked why Invisalign chose to work across four different sports, Quinn says the company’s marketing strategy is still evolving.
“We are into our second year of working with professional sports teams, which is providing valuable insights for our consumer and professional marketing programs. We’ll continue to evaluate broader opportunities as we move forward with the great teams we are working with now.”
“Partnering with teams who have adopted an omnichannel approach to brand marketing and engagement gives Align direct access to large, loyal fan bases and helps us reach individual consumers and whole families through a variety of existing fan platforms: in-stadium and through televised games, online, via social media, and in each team’s local community outreach programs,” says Quinn.
In addition to sports sponsorships, Align also recently launched a new advertising campaign for North America across key media channels expected to reach over 140 million consumers, combining a paid media strategy across prime broadcast, cable and connected TV channels with paid search and social media. Align also recently announced a multi-year national sponsorship with Life Time, a healthy lifestyle brand with athletic resorts and spa destinations across North America.