Climatic Comfort Products in Atlanta relies on television, radio and print advertisements to get its message out in the four states where the company distributes York HVAC products.

But last year, the HVAC distributor added a live-remote component to its marketing plan with a pilot program at an Atlanta Braves baseball game.

“We were looking for different areas to create brand awareness in the local Atlanta market,” said Spencer Sturkie, president of Climatic Comfort Products. “Obviously, the Braves are one of the largest sports draws in the country and locally, they’re huge. So, we decided to become a Braves radio sponsor, which includes advertising on the matrix board at Turner Field during the Braves games.”

This, in turn, led to an opportunity to set up a booth at the entrance to the stadium, including a working York Affinity air-conditioning unit equipped with University of Georgia and Georgia Tech college logo panels, Climatic Comfort’s delivery truck, product literature and giveaways. Sturkie estimated the booth exposed the company to approximately 5,000 to 10,000 people, and generated many conversations and requests for additional information.

“These are qualified leads,” said Sturkie. “They are homeowners who have expressed interest in the product. Other forms of advertising require a call to action, and as a result, it can take much longer to gather and then qualify leads, if customers respond at all. This opportunity provides us the brand awareness we desire, specific product awareness supporting current products, as well as qualified leads on the spot that we can pass on to our dealers.”

Based on the success of the Braves event, Sturkie made arrangements to bring the display to a number of University of Georgia football games, beginning with a Georgia vs. South Carolina game held in Columbia, S. C.

“We displayed the York Affinity units with Georgia and South Carolina college logo panels, which I’m sure helped attract a lot of walk-by traffic to our display,” said Sturkie. “Once again, we gained valuable exposure to our products, and we walked away with some qualified leads.”

The York brand, part of Johnson Controls, has signed agreements with Atlanta-based Collegiate Licensing Co. and Michigan-based License Resource Group to offer college logo panels that replace the standard condensing unit panels. The optional college logo panels feature more than 77 different colleges and universities, and they are available on York Affinity air conditioners and heat pumps.

“The panels differentiate us from our competitors because nobody else offers them,” explained Sturkie. “They do a great job attracting attention to our display and providing us the opportunity to talk about our products.”