This weekend, the Army-Navy game returns to Philadelphia, Pa., its traditional home, before commencing a tour of rotating East Coast venues that will last several years.
After this year’s game is held at Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the NFL‘s Eagles, “America’s Game” will rotate among to several sites, including Gillette Stadium, the home of the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., next year.
That has in no way lessened the commitment of the game’s presenting sponsor, USAA. In fact, the insurance and financial services giant is using the game to celebrate its centennial.
We asked Jen Escobar, AVP, USAA Brand Marketing and Sponsorships, to give us the scoop on The Game, the Army-Navy rivalry and USAA’s continued sports marketing plan.
Team Marketing Report: How is USAA in its centennial year in business using that milestone to celebrate this week’s game?
Jen Escobar: This has been a big year for USAA as we’ve celebrated 100 years of serving the military community. We’ve been celebrating in various ways with our employees, members and communities all year and are excited to cap off our Centennial at this year’s Army-Navy Game. There are a few distinct ways we’re celebrating at this year’s game.
All year, we’ve been proud to work with the Recycled Rides program to donate 100 vehicles to military families in need. On Friday at Army-Navy Game Media Row, we’ll give away our last two vehicles — one to an Army family in need, and one to a Navy family in need.
On Saturday at the game, we’ll be providing fans with a fun experience to take a peek back at the game in 1922 — the year USAA was founded. Through a hands-on, experiential activation, fans will be able to hear a broadcast of the game from a hundred years ago, see professionally designed recreations of the football uniforms and see how the game has evolved from 1922 to 2022. We’re very excited to provide this experience to fans this year.
TMR: The teams have been challenged this year on the field, does performance in any way change involvement from year to year?
JE: While there is no rivalry quite like the Army Navy game, performance for these athletes is much more than what’s on the field. And we’re behind them whether they are on the field, receiving their first commission or beginning their active service. We couldn’t be more proud of what these Cadets and Mids do for our country.
TMR: The game will be away from its traditional home in Philly after this year, tell us about the reasons for getting the game on the move and how USAA will leverage that road show for this special game?
JE: USAA maintains close relations with Army West Point Athletics and Navy Athletics and is supportive of the tour of the game the next several years. As the Army-Navy Game starts an East Coast tour next year, we’ll be behind the teams to continue to amplify the game and get fans, the communities and our members around the globe excited for the game.
TMR: As this game moves forward in elsewhere how do the lessons learned last year in New York for example, effect USAA’s long term marketing plans for the game? Will we see a lot different in New England next year for example?
JE: Before heading into each new city, USAA will conduct research and stay close with Army West Point Athletics and Navy Athletics to ensure the game will be enjoyed by the local community and fans traveling in. We’re thrilled at the prospect of taking the game to new audiences and creating new experiences for returning fans.
TMR: How has the USAA portfolio for sports evolved in the past year post-pandemic? Has the focus and the KPI’s changed at all?
JE: While the pandemic impacted sports as a whole, we’ve seen a resurgence in demand for in-person events. With that, we’ve taken key lessons and new tactics learned during the pandemic and have applied them and morphed them for the post-pandemic audiences and events. For example, we’ve leaned more heavily into “no-touch” experiences, augmented reality and have rethought experience flow and comfort of our guests.
We constantly check in with our partners and make sure the things we are doing are addressing the demands of the fans. You’ll see some of our learnings with this year’s Army-Navy Game experiential activation where some of our exhibits utilize these tactics and technologies to engage the fans.
Army-Navy Game Notes
What: 123rd game in the annual college football series featuring the U.S. Military Academy against the U.S. Naval Academy (Navy leads, 62-53-7)
When: Sat, Dec 10, 2022 (First game: Nov 29, 1890, at West Point, N.Y., won by Army 24-0)
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Watch/stream: CBS Sports
Radio/audio: Westwood One Radio Network
Social media: Look for #ArmyNavy, #BeatArmy and #BeatNavy. In addition to a dedicated website, armynavygame.com, The game also has its own social media handles:
- Facebook – www.facebook.com/armynavyfootballgame
- Twitter – www.twitter.com/armynavygame
- Instagram – www.instagram/armynavygame
Sponsors: In addition to USAA as Presenting Sponsor, additional Participating Sponsors include:
- Army – Old Ironsides/1st Armored Division (Nike; see above)
- Navy – Navy x NASA (Under Armour; see below)
🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨
The Army-Navy Game presented by @USAA to be played in five different cities from 2023-2027!
— Army-Navy Game (@ArmyNavyGame) June 15, 2022
2023: Gillette Stadium
2024: FedEx Field
2025: M&T Bank Stadium
2026: MetLife Stadium
2027: Lincoln Financial Field
To view past TMR Q&As, click here.