Tuesday, February 3, 2009

MVP Santonio Holmes Goes To Disney World!

Ben Roethlisberger No. 7 hand Santonio Holmes No. 10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers the trophy after the Steelers won 27-23 against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

On Monday, Steelers' MVP Santonio Holmes became the 27th Super Bowl champ to be invited to Disney World. Not all of them were MVPs and the theme park has invited other sports figures and even some who are not, most recently, American Idol David Cook.

What each has in common is the same answer to the question -- what are you going to do next -- and for Disney it's been a tremendous marketing success. For over 20 years, the answer has been the same.

"Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes, you and the Pittsburgh Steelers are celebrating your Super Bowl win. What are you going to do next?," reads the Disney advertisement. "We're going to Disney World," answers Roethlisberger and Holmes in unison.

Having Super Bowl stars say just that has become an advertising windfall for Disney World. "That is a marketer's dream," says Scott Morgan of Brunner Advertising. "If you can get a saying to become part of popular culture and it has your brand name in it, tremendous value for the brand."

Today it was Santonio Holmes' turn to add to that value. "He was the honorary grand marshal in a ticker tape parade down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World," Disney spokesman Darryl Frye told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano. "He rode in the car with Mickey Mouse actually in the parade and he greeted -- there were tons of Steelers fans among the guests in the park today."

The tradition goes back to 1987 with New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms and three years ago two other Steelers had the honors. "I'm going to Disney World . . . and I'm taking the bus," Hines Ward says in the 2006 Disney advertisement. Both Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward paraded through the Magic Kingdom, the first Pittsburghers so invited. Today was Holmes's day with a future visit reserved for Ben Roethlisberger.

"Oh, man, it was wonderful, man, to see the fans come out and support me, you know throughout the time that it's raining here," Holmes said after the parade. "That shows a lot, you know they have a lot of class, they really support a lot of the players and it's a wonderful experience." As for Holmes, his visit was quick -- he is on his way back to Pittsburgh for Tuesday's parade. Disney gave him a rain check to come back anytime he wants.


Babette said...

How was the parade Don? How many people showed up? Too bad it's held in the middle of winter, they should hold off until warmer weather in the spring to get a big crowd!

Duckman said...

Hey Babs,

According to the papers, more than 300,000 black-and-gold bedecked Pittsburgh Steelers fans—about the population of the city itself—packed the streets of “Sixburgh” on Tuesday for a parade celebrating the storied franchise’s unprecedented sixth Super Bowl title! Go Steelers!!!

Amanda saw everyone from infants to senior citizens, braving the freezing temperatures and crowds. In some places the crowds were so deep, that for some, even seeing the parade was impossible. Her and her friends went early and had a great spot. She was within 5 feet of Troy Polamalu (#43) when he jumped into the crowd.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl renamed the city “Sixburgh” for the day. From photos I've seen, the crowd painted the gray sky yellow with twirling Terrible Towels.

Amanda is coming home this weekend for my nephew/her cousin's birthday. Can't wait to see the photos! She said it was such an amazing experience and so glad to be part of it.

Babette said...

Very cool....glad she had a lot of fun. It's something she'll always remember and be able to say "I was there". Going to Live Aid was that for me.