Rainwater, Holt & Sexton – Sports Sponsorships Q & A

by Richmond Williams | December 1, 2011

Last year, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton negotiated an endorsement deal with the Razorback Sports Network. As a result, the firm is now known as the “Injury Lawyers Serving the Razorback Nation.” We recently sat down with Mike Rainwater to discuss how that endorsement and their association with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks have benefited their firm.

Q: How did your affiliation with the Arkansas Razorback logo come about?

A: The group that markets the Arkansas Razorback trademark came to us in 2010, and we asked cj to evaluate and advise. But we weren’t able to strike a deal. We thought the idea was dead. Then this year they approached us again, but with a new proposal—one that did not directly involve the school. We ended up with “Injury Lawyers Serving the Razorback Nation” and an endorsement by us of the Razorback Sports Network rather than the University of Arkansas.

Q: What does the “Razorback Nation” mean to the people of Arkansas?

A: Arkansas is a small state with one major university. Everyone in Arkansas is a “hog fan.” All Arkansans are citizens of the Razorback Nation. It is an immediate emotional connection with virtually every Arkansas resident. Someone told me recently that the Razorback Sports Network is very pleased that we have spent our money to purchase other ads, like billboards. By doing that, we have added value for anyone affiliated with the Razorback Sports Network.

“The sponsorship means we are recognized by all Arkansans and not just those who are watching daytime TV.”

Q: Why is it important to connect yourself with the university?

A: In Arkansas, the university is synonymous with the state. We believe that connecting ourselves to the Razorbacks connects us to Arkansas, which connects us to all Arkansans and greatly contributes to the message that we are a part of the established Arkansas business community.

Q: What benefit have you seen to the sponsorship?

A: The sponsorship means we are recognized by all Arkansans and not just those who are watching daytime TV. As for image advertising, it has given us content that is of interest to all and that is not simply telling others about ourselves. Part of the advertising package is in-game radio spots. Our spots include the phrase “Sure, we’re injury lawyers, but today, we are talking football.” We are injury lawyers, but beyond that, we are Arkansans who love Arkansas and want to help and serve all the people of Arkansas.

Q: What’s next for Rainwater, Holt & Sexton?

A: Stay the course for a while and measure the response. We realize that, like any image advertising, the success can only be measured over the long term. We know we have greatly increased our visibility, but time will give us the data we need to do a cost/benefit analysis. We will let the numbers tell us if we were right to spend our marketing money this way. In the meantime, we will keep using the association with the Razorback Sports Network in direct mail, billboards, radio ads, and the other pieces of our marketing program. And we’ll continue to be a major sponsor of DriveTime Sports, a daily radio talk show.