Chipotle partners with athletes to connect with consumers
Chipotle’s marketing has increasingly intersected with the sports world in recent years. Now, customers can eat like the pros by ordering an all-star lineup’s meals of choice.
to $869.8 million in the first quarter, representing the majority (50.1%) of sales for the first time. The campaign also includes the brand’s first national television ad starring a professional athlete. In the ad spot, Julie Ertz, a defensive midfielder on the United States Women’s National Team, can be seen training before eating her favorite Chipotle bowl: steak, brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, roasted chili-corn salsa, romaine lettuce and guacamole. A long-time fan of the company—she and her husband, NFL player Zack Ertz, even had their first date at Chipotle—her personal connection with the brand made her a no-brainer to for the campaign.
“We don’t have these big multimillion dollar partnerships with people. That’s not what we want to do. That’s not our style,” Brandt says. “We want folks who are big fans of the brand and we’re fans of theirs. We’re telling their story and they’re telling a little bit how Chipotle has fit in their story for their life.”
This strategy isn’t new: McDonald’s, for example, has long pursued short-term partnerships, launching its first celebrity-inspired meal with Michael Jordan in 1992. Though fans of Ertz and fellow Olympians such as Alix Klineman and Michael Norman may seem like Chipotle’s obvious target audience, marketing consultant Tim Parkin says partnerships like these stand to attract the masses. headtopics.com
“One of the interesting things about doing the celebrity or athlete meals at Chipotle in particular is that it lets you explore and push your boundaries a little bit,” he says. “It brings that human relatable connection, but also lets the user have an easier time because people love not having choices. This is why fast food is all about the number three—you don't want to have to think about what you want, and you just want to get a package of something. By having these athlete meals, it adds credibility but also lets the user have an easier experience deciding to try something new.”Read more: Forbes »
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