SOUTH PLAINFIELD, June 1—Catalyst Communications, one of the nation’s largest independent healthcare marketing services agencies, has formed a partnership with Perello & Company, a New York City-based sports marketing firm, which specializes in providing sports marketing solutions to the pharmaceutical industry—a sector that is increasingly tapping into professional sports to help build brands.
“As the healthcare marketplace becomes more and more cluttered, it’s crucial for Catalyst to offer our clients options that will ensure a greater return on their investment and improved brand success,” said Rod Mehling, chairman and chief operating officer. “Our alliance with Perello & Company allows us to broaden our offering to include sports marketing services that raise awareness of health issues and solutions.”
According to Mehling, pharmaceutical companies are more focused than ever on connecting directly with consumers to build positive associations for their brands. Tapping into the emotional equity associated with professional sports teams, leagues and athletes has become an especially effective strategy. One high-profile partnership is Schering-Plough’s agreement with Major League Baseball to market Clarinex. Other examples include Pfizer’s agreements with NASCAR and driver Mark Martin and with the Texas Rangers and Rafael Palmeiro to promote Viagra.
“Perello & Company recognizes that sports have become an essential part of the pharmaceutical marketing mix and that pharmaceutical companies seek agencies that understand how to create, activate and leverage a marketing investment in sports,” said Marc Wasserman, the company’s managing director and a 10-year healthcare marketing veteran. “Our alliance with Catalyst enables us to maximize the impact sports can make for pharmaceutical marketers who strive to integrate the different elements of the mix.”