The Philadelphia Flyers plan to give half a million dollars in free advertising to five small businesses harmed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The team said Monday that it is accepting applications for the advertising assets, which include radio commercials, social media videos, signs inside the Wells Fargo Center, and in-game arena presentations. The advertising packages are worth $100,000 each and will promote the local businesses during this summer’s NHL playoffs and next season, the team said.
“We recognize that we have a unique platform that can provide some assistance to these small businesses in getting them back on their feet by driving awareness that will hopefully equate to new customers and sales,” said Cynthia Punsalan, the Flyers’ vice president of business administration.
The Flyers said they will award the ad packages to firms based in the Philadelphia region, including at least two Black-owned businesses, that are independently owned and operated and reported less than $3 million in annual revenue over the last three years. The businesses must show that they have been “directly impacted” by COVID-19.
Smaller businesses typically can’t afford the ad packages that the team is awarding, said Mike Schwartz, the team’s senior vice president of corporate partnerships. Winning firms can also get ad production help from the Flyers’ marketing team, which puts together in-game arena videos and Gritty’s viral social media posts.
“This is a really high-value package, especially for a company with a level of revenue such as $3 million,” Schwartz said. “We wanted to provide an outsized amount of value so that we could drive impact for companies and businesses that may not be able to do that based on their budgets.”
The Flyers are set to play this week for the first time since mid-March, when the pandemic closed arenas and put the NHL season on ice. The team plays an exhibition game Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Toronto, where the league’s Eastern Conference teams will compete in the playoffs.
The Flyers were supposed to have six more home games in Philadelphia before the coronavirus canceled them. The team has been working with corporate partners to deliver on owed advertising assets for the missing games, and plans to use the upcoming postseason to do that, Schwartz said.
“They’re understanding that it’s a challenging time. We obviously are understanding It’s a challenging time for them,” he said. “We’ve been able to work collaboratively to make sure that they’re getting the value they need, whether it’s during the playoffs or next regular season.”
Asked if the Flyers have had a hard time finding advertisers in the down economy, Schwartz said “sponsor demand has remained high” during the playoffs.
“We’ve found that advertising partners are still eager to work with us because we can reach a broad and engaged fan base in a unique and compelling way during this time,” he said.