Will Lowe’s score with its ‘homegating’ game plan?

Discussion
Source: Lowe's video - "NFL Homegating Makeover: Carolina Panthers (w/ Monica from The Weekender)"
Sep 03, 2019
Tom Ryan

Lowe’s Companies Inc. will sell NFL-branded merchandise online and reserve space in select stores to sell fan merchandise geared to local teams for the first time. The home improvement retailer will also launch an online “homegating” video series to inspire football fans as they prepare for the NFL season.

The more than 10,000 NFL-related items being sold online include:

  • Tailgating and homegating items – chairs, canopies, games
  • Grills and grill accessories
  • Décor – rugs, wall art, lamps, furniture, throws, bedding
  • Hydration – drinkware, hard and soft coolers, barware
  • Garden décor – flags and statues
  • Automotive – decals, license plates, flags, mats
  • Pet accessories – collars, jerseys, toys
  • Holiday items – ornaments and inflatables

The retailer has kicked off an online video series, “NFL Homegating Makeovers by Lowe’s,” which follows three football-themed home makeovers in one of three primary homegating areas – kitchen, living room and patio. Lowe’s partnered with the Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and popular DIYer Monica Mangin to complete the makeovers for three families.

“That’s all about demonstrating what customers can do to allow their home game to come to life when they’re supporting their favorite team,” Bill Boltz, EVP, merchandising, told Business Insider. “It’s just a cool way to connect.”

In January, Lowe’s became the Official Home Improvement Retail Sponsor of the NFL.

About 10 years ago, the NFL began pushing the concept of homegating, which translates the tradition of tailgating in parking lots at stadiums to living rooms. In addition to outfitting a home with merchandise and decor celebrating a favorite team, homegating may involve inviting friends over the watch the weekly game, offering retailers opportunities for selling team-themed foods and recipes.

7-Eleven, The Container Store, Pizza Hut, Tostitos, Hormel Chili, Coleman and M&M’s are among companies that have launched campaigns focused on homegating.

As it replaced Papa John’s as the NFL’s official pizza sponsor last year, Marianne Radly, Pizza Hut’s chief brand officer, told QSR Magazine, “As we were looking at considering this sponsorship and getting into it, you look at the hundreds of thousands of people in the stadium watching the game, but there’s millions of more at home. We thought this was the perfect opportunity.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is homegating still an underserved opportunity overall for retail? Is it one it makes sense for Lowe’s to pursue?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"For Lowe’s to get their piece of the pie, it is smart to partner up with other brands and create a marketing program around that."
"I’m sorry, this is just a bridge too far for me. This is an attempt to commercialize something that people already do without the help of commercialization."
"Really? Cowboys kitchens? Lions living rooms? Panthers patios? I understand 7-Eleven, Pizza Hut, Tostitos, Hormel Chili, Coleman and M&M’s. I don’t understand Lowe’s."

Join the Discussion!

19 Comments on "Will Lowe’s score with its ‘homegating’ game plan?"


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Mark Ryski
BrainTrust

The concept makes sense for Lowe’s – it’s consistent with their male-dominated customer base and they sell lots of goods that connect to the concept. As their executive commented, “it’s just a cool way to connect.” Lowe’s pursuing a formal relationship with the NFL also provides a point of competitive advantage vs. Home Depot. This all said, I’m not sure homegating, per se, is so much an underserved market, as it is a niche market that has potential to be a somewhat larger niche.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

I am not sure this is an underserved opportunity, but it is a smart addition for Lowe’s and a good attempt at providing some differentiation from its bigger rival. A lot will come down to execution in-store and online and Lowe’s must ensure this offer is given prominence as I suspect a lot will be bought on impulse.

Tom Erskine
BrainTrust
3 months 3 days ago

This promotion seems like a great way for Lowe’s to take advantage of what is no doubt an expensive relationship with the NFL. What encourages me most is Lowe’s demonstrating the ability to deliver localization of promotions and product merchandising (for 32 NFL teams) at scale. To remain relevant, retailers need to continue to push for deeper connection with local customers through localization and personalization.

David Weinand
BrainTrust

Why not plug into a segment that is typically highly loyal and likely to translate that loyalty into purchases? Smart idea. I don’t think “homegating” is underserved per se as retailers and brands have been targeting football fans for a long time. However for Lowe’s to get their piece of the pie, it is smart to partner up with other brands and create a marketing program around that.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

I’m sorry, this is just a bridge too far for me. This is an attempt to commercialize something that people already do without the help of commercialization. Sure, there are folks out there that want to transform their living rooms into semi-man caves, but my guess is that there won’t be enough of them to make a vibrant market. Ditto for Pizza Hut. If people need to transform their homes into homages to the NFL and make watching football the center of their homes, they probably already know how to order pizza for their friends. This seems like a solution chasing a problem in hopes it can catch it one day.

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

I’m sure the homegating market is a growth opportunity. A tiny one. Lowe’s and other companies can chase this incremental gain or they can focus on continuous improvement to their core business. I vote for continuous improvement of their core which is something Lowe’s truly needs, especially in e-commerce.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

I don’t think this will hurt Lowe’s, but I don’t see it as a big opportunity – none of us seem to think this is an underserved population. And showing off Carolina Panthers decor is not going to win a lot of Atlanta fans (could have been worse for me – could have been the Jets).

Evan Snively
BrainTrust

I think Lowe’s has a lot more to gain simply by getting its logo in front of the NFL fanbase rather than limiting the messaging towards homegating. That is the obvious place to start at the beginning of the season, but the opportunity within that specific genre while broad, is still fairly limited.
Maybe they should run a “how to convince your significant other to let you make a shrine to your team” campaign that includes buttering them up by actually doing all of the lingering things on the to-do list. They might need to start running that promotion in spring to give consumers enough time to catch up, but hey – year-round sales!

David Naumann
BrainTrust

Associating brands with the NFL and other professional sports teams has been done for many years. The “homegating” term is relatively new and it may inspire consumers to make their home sports watching more of an event. I really thought the Panthers Country shed makeover was pretty cool.

Anything that helps retailers gain incremental revenue is worth pursuing.

Adrian Weidmann
BrainTrust

Now that Lowe’s isn’t sponsoring a NASCAR team, they’re searching for other ways to integrate sports marketing into their culture. While I’m certain the NFL marketing department is smiling and has convinced Lowe’s that this is an “underserved opportunity,” it seems like another retailing implementation in desperate search of a strategy.

Michael La Kier
BrainTrust

At home viewing – and entertaining – is a much bigger opportunity than game attendance. Lowe’s is smart to run into the open hole in the retail landscape that is homegating. Fan passion runs high and this offers an incremental opportunity for Lowe’s.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

Really? Cowboys kitchens? Lions living rooms? Panthers patios? I understand 7-Eleven, Pizza Hut, Tostitos, Hormel Chili, Coleman and M&M’s. I don’t understand Lowe’s. If you want to reach the NFL crowd, save your promotional money on this and advertise on the games, where there are a lot more people and you can come up with a message that is engaging relative to Lowe’s and their products.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Gene,

As a longtime Detroit resident, I can assure you that creating a Lion’s living room might be grounds to assign “Red Flag” status.

The city suffers enough with a team that will perpetually be better, “next year.” I’m not sure I could stand it if large numbers of Motor City homes were suddenly repainted Honolulu Blue.

Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

Homegating! What a novel idea that people have been doing for years. Just not promoted as this is. It’s easy to find “homegating” fans in every city, especially NFL team cities. I would guess Atlanta Falcon fans prefer to buy their homegating supplies from Home Depot since the owner is the same person/group. Publix has been setting up homegating supplies for many years. Sadly in our area it will be the Dolphins who have little hope for success this season.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

Tapping into sports themes is always good marketing. For Lowe’s this is an opportunity to further lock in and expand in markets — like home decor — in which they already have a leg up on the Home Depots of the world. However it doesn’t tap into benefits for their contractor community nor expand value outside of metro areas with strong NFL franchises. Lastly, it’s a short lived effort that fades as the NFL season ends in February. It’s a good step for a seasonal marketing campaign – even with 10,000 SKUs – but it’s not revolutionary in the sense of being something deeper and broader.

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

I have no idea what it might cost for this kind of partnership but I do only see a bit of incremental sales potential. I, like the others here, do not see this as an underserved opportunity. Lowe’s needs to keep their thinking caps on. For my 2 cents.

Brian Cluster
BrainTrust

I think that it is the right move for Lowe’s. With 79 million fans and teams in 22 states and in the most populous cities, it has wide appeal. Homegating could be as simple as a grill cover or team chairs and tables or it could expand into something much bigger. Getting the fans in the store for NFL items may lead to other discussions such as ones about remodeling a bathroom or other home improvement projects, so I think that this is a worthwhile opportunity and it makes sense for Lowe’s.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

Lowe’s has always been a good place for team merch. This is a great extension of what the retailer has offered. They know their customers, purchase patterns, etc. And the cost of being an NFL sponsor is expensive – so it makes total sense to take advantage of all that the NFL will allow. Personally, I’m looking forward to football season and having a few homegating events myself!

Scott Benedict
Guest

The concept of expanding the licensed goods category outside of apparel and accessories and into home improvement is an interested experiment worth trying … but not sure it will be successful given that Lowe’s is not top of mind in this category. With the proper marketing and store merchandising, it might catch on in certain markets … like here in College Station. It will be interesting to watch….

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"For Lowe’s to get their piece of the pie, it is smart to partner up with other brands and create a marketing program around that."
"I’m sorry, this is just a bridge too far for me. This is an attempt to commercialize something that people already do without the help of commercialization."
"Really? Cowboys kitchens? Lions living rooms? Panthers patios? I understand 7-Eleven, Pizza Hut, Tostitos, Hormel Chili, Coleman and M&M’s. I don’t understand Lowe’s."

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