February 27, 2018
Last year over 185,000 fans attended the event, which is run by ReedPOP, making it the largest comic book and pop culture gathering in the United States. Fans fly across the country for this unmissable event, whether they’re a Whovian, a Jedi Knight, a Oncer, a Trekkie or an anime or manga fan. In attendance will also be characters from many popular shows such as Once Upon a Time, Archer, Family Guy, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Star Wars, The X-Files, Hey Arnold, Marvel’s Runaways, and Harry Potter, to name a few.
This is the perfect opportunity for comic book fans to head to the Big Apple, geek out, put the cosplay on, buy the merchandise, and for fans to meet their heroes. To many brands, it may sound like an unlikely pairing, but with this many eyeballs in attendance and a growing fan base, it’s too good an opportunity to miss, with many brands grabbing the opportunity to sponsor the famous fan convention.
Speaking in 2015, Lance Fensterman, senior global vice president of ReedPOP, said that: "Over the last four to five years, you've seen the film studios, television and more mainstream brands really take notice of this passionate fan community that we've developed." So much so, that the growing event has moved to larger venues to allow for a larger number of fans to attend and consequently, brands have taken note of the convention's growing popularity.
Lance Fensterman has said this year that the attitude to sponsorship is ‘evolving’ and has taken a sophisticated turn. He believes that these sponsorships enrich the experience for fans. When the fans are happy, so are the brands.
Live events are an ideal opportunity for sponsors due to the sustained interaction with customers or potential customers. The brand’s get the chance to hang out with and talk to their target audience and form an association between the brand and fan in a substantial and meaningful way. Not to mention brands offer the fan the chance to hold the product or sit in it, in the case of Chevrolet. Pictures of these experiences often end up on social media due to the millennial audience and event hashtag #NYCC.
Pepsi has previously sponsored the event as it made perfect sense for their brand. They were in front of their target audience and interacted with them by offering bottles of their drink to those dressed up, as Marty McFly from Back to the Future, or by competing in a “Wild Gunman” contest. Pepsi said that this allowed attendees to physically interact with its product and movie characters, that they may have only ever previously seen on screen.
The school is based in the city and offers a three-year program to refine pupils artistic and creative abilities. The school equips students with the knowledge and tools to work in the industry by helping them build their portfolios. This is exactly the right kind of sponsor, as there will no doubt, be Comic Con attendees who would love to work in the industry and are keen for a way in.
The ALA is the world’s oldest and largest library association and was founded in 1876. Its mission is to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
Similarly, the New York Public Library’s President, Tony Marx, says that the library provides “essential access to books and information” and the plan is to transform their libraries into proactive centers of education and opportunity for all New Yorkers.
These are good sponsorship fits due to the nature of the ‘geek culture’ becoming more widespread with events such as Comic Con, and the love of reading being shared among a community.
Speaking of books! Audible, part of the Amazon brand, have got in on the action too. If you don’t want to read the book, listening is a great alternative. This is also a great sponsorship match.
Hot Flips has been selling comic book supplies and sports card supplies for over 20 years, and ‘Reading With Pictures’, advocates the use of comics in the classroom, in order to improve the educational of all students.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium. The company visit courtroom, classrooms, conventions and libraries across the States providing legal aid, education and advocacy.
All three of these are relevant sponsors that tie in with the convention, due to their comic book nature. US-based fans of the medium are bound to be pleased to see a sponsor that protects First Amendment rights.
Marvel and DC Comics
These two brands have snapped up the chance and married themselves up perfectly. It goes without saying that there will be Marvel and DC Comics fans attending and many will be dressed as their characters!
The infamous car company has sponsored the event for many years, due to their being so few events in the city that attract millennials. They spend their money wisely and decided to choose New York Comic Con, due to the audience’s demographic, as they are the brand’s ideal customers.
eBay is not only sponsoring the event, but it has a page on its site full of Comic Con related items. There’s everything a Comic Con fan could dream of buying from Star Wars coins, to Rick and Morty pin sets, to South Park signed prints.