Lowe's NFL Marketing Push Kicks Off in Home Depot's Backyard

(Bloomberg) -- Lowe’s Cos., looking to gain an edge on Home Depot Inc., is teaming up with the National Football League in a sponsorship deal that kicks off in its competitor’s hometown.

The chain is now the league’s official home-improvement retail sponsor, capitalizing on the run-up to next month’s Super Bowl in Atlanta. Lowe’s will place billboards along the city’s highways and at the airport this week, and it’s taking over branding at one of the stadium gates during the game.

Home Depot is based in Atlanta, giving the campaign added drama.

“We’re obviously super excited about the partnership, and I’m not going to lie, we’ve got a competitive spirit as well,” said Jocelyn Wong, chief marketing officer at Lowe’s. “So it was opportunistic, I would say, that the Super Bowl was in Atlanta, and we wanted to absolutely leverage this deal.”

Less than a year ago, the retailer exited a high-profile Nascar partnership. With the current campaign, Lowe’s is going after the ambitious do-it-yourselfers that Home Depot has successfully targeted for years. The new chief executive officer at Lowe’s is a Home Depot veteran, and even its new slogan -- “Do It Right for Less” -- mirrors one previously used by its larger rival.

Lowe’s joins roughly 35 other leaguewide NFL partners, which pay big money to use NFL marks on their packaging and promote themselves during events like the Super Bowl. The league and its teams made a record $1.32 billion in sponsorship revenue during the 2017-2018 season, according to consulting firm IEG. That’s higher than the NBA ($1.12 billion) or MLB ($892 million).

Based in Mooresville, North Carolina, Lowe’s is the seventh national partner to join the NFL in the past year, joining Sleep Number Corp., Pizza Hut, HP, Amazon Web Services, Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Intuit Inc.

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