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Sports And Health Reach Confluence In Pittsburgh

Sports and Health confluenceThe Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers no longer create the only confluence in Pittsburgh.

That’s right, sports and health are partnering to create their own, equally important confluence in the city of steel.

Sports and Health partner in Pittsburgh

Hospital systems in Pittsburgh, such as UPMC, are finding it increasingly beneficial to partner with sports teams. Namely the Penguins and Steelers.

Highmark Inc.’s Allegheny Health Network, which debuted this past Spring, has also found its own marketing partner in the Pirates.  Allegheny Health Network is UPMC’s biggest rival.

Through these strategic partnerships, health care in Pittsburgh is playing off of fan’s extreme love and passion for local teams.  Basically, hospitals are finding it beneficial to market through the success of the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates.  This is best explained by Kirk Wakefield, a Baylor University professor and expert in sports marketing.

“What they want to have happen is the fan passion transfers from the team to the brand.  Among the team’s fans, they are more likely to use the team’s health system.”

Sports and Health are converging to provide the city with health competition in the healthcare industry.  UPMC and Allegheny Health Network have been littering local airwaves to promote their “specialties”.  Allegheny Health Network is running a series of TV commercials highlighting its specialty medical services, which UPMC has been strong in as well.  One of those quick spots can be seen below:

Wakefield added:

“Research shows that exclusive sponsorship deals with sports teams are much more effective than other types of advertising.  Many sports fans don’t realize it, but their passion for their teams and engagement in watching their teams play make them much more receptive to marketing messages.”

The marketing effort goes both ways as well.  These partnerships are expressing the fact that the best physicians are taking care of some of the best athletes in the world.  The message to fans is certainly strengthened when this relationship is visible.

One of the benefits of Allegheny Health Networks partnering with the Pirates is that the team is “family friendly”.  Families attending Pirates’ games should find it enticing to seek health care through the team’s partners.

Sports and health have formed valuable partnerships in Pittsburgh.  Luckily for the steel city, these teams have seen a lot of success in the recent years.

What do you think?  Are you more likely to seek services from a team’s healthcare partner?

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