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Best of the Best: Jazzing Up Their Image

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Curt Parker Jewelers; St. Louis, MO

CURT PARKER JEWELERS may not have the same promotional budget as Anheuser-Busch, but when it comes to corporate sponsorships, the St. Louis-based jeweler is definitely in the same league as America’s best-known beer producer. The National Football League, to be precise.

THE IDEA

A Promotional Highlight

Best of the Best: Jazzing Up Their Image

Since the start of the 2003 NFL season, Curt Parker Jewelers has held the title of “The Preferred Jeweler to the St. Louis Rams.” While Parker won’t disclose the terms of this sponsorship, his wife Elizabeth refers to the outlandish outlay as “an obscene amount of money.” The highlight of the deal came in last October, when the Rams allowed Parker to organize a special half-time show … on Monday night football, no less.

After months of preparation, the Parkers and the St. Louis area’s Jazzercisers co-sponsored a halftime event during the St. Louis Rams/Atlanta Falcons game at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis last October 13. The halftime show raised $70,000 for the St. Louis Rams Foundation, a charity dedicated to the needs of young children.

THE EXECUTION

Hundreds of Jazzercisers

Parker spent roughly $5,000 on the half-time show, which included 260 gift bags for the Jazzercisers, a pearl necklace for the highest contributor to the children’s charity, as well as loads of promotional goodies with the store’s logo on it such as sweatshirts, workout-sized towels and water bottles. Also in the package were a store catalog, and a discount coupon for 15 percent off of any purchase at Curt Parker Jewelers.

While the coupons weren’t a big hit (Parker says he can attribute “no sales” to coupon holders), the overall exposure for his store was huge. Hundreds of Jazzercisers wearing his logo, a 30-second JumboTron spot, a few stadium announcements and a program day magazine ad went a long way toward boosting the profile of Parker’s store in his city.  
The strange thing is, Parker isn’t much of a football fan himself. The idea for the sponsorship came in the 2002 NFL season, a period when Parker was in the process of moving from his previous store — an old bank building, to their new free-standing location. With his business in transition, he gladly accepted a friend’s invitation to a football game — the first NFL game Parker had ever attended. And, at some point between the kickoff coin toss and the final buzzer, Parker realized that there would be a tremendous business opportunity in aligning his business with the St. Louis Rams. “I found the Rams to be an impressive, well-organized and professional team,” Curt said.

THE RESULTS

‘Phenomenal’ Recognition

Since linking with the Rams, Parker says he has definitely seen a change. Not only are old customers coming back while new ones are just discovering Curt Parker Jewelers, whenever the Parkers discuss their business, the response is the same. “We get, ‘ you’re the Preferred Jeweler to the Rams’ all the time, be it at the grocery, the bank wherever we might bring up our store,” Parker said. “The response has been phenomenal.”  

Encouraged by the results of the sponsorship, the Parkers are planning promotional projects similar to the Jazzercise event for the next NFL season. In the lead up to the NFL 2004 season the Parkers are designing St. Louis Rams logo jewelry for men and women. “People here are fiercely loyal sports fans so we see more coming from our three-year sponsorship contract,” Parker said.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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