The Outcomes of Coattail Marketing: The Case of Windsor, Ontario, and Super Bowl XL

Marijke Taks
Vassil Girginov
Robert Boucher

The recent hosting of Bowl XL in Detroit gave the adjacent Canadian city of Windsor, Ontario, the opportunity to ‘coattail market?the event and reap some obvious benefits. For a modest $250,000 investment, Windsor was billed as the co-host and the local media cooperated by providing very positive coverage of this ‘win win?arrangement. Using Hiller’s (1998) linkage model for analyzing the impact of mega sporting events, the authors use qualitative methods to determine the extent to which the city enjoyed tangible returns as a result of this unique co-hosting arrangement. On-site interviews with selected sport bar owners and a content analysis of local and national newspapers yielded data to support Hiller’s model. Viewing mega sporting events in the economic and political context of the host city provides a more balanced landscape from which conclusions might be drawn. In particular, the unexpected outcomes known as parallel linkages are useful in tempering the sometimes exaggerated claims of economic impact that are so often used before, during, and after the staging of these hallmark events.