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Realtor.com® Strikes NHL Ad Deal With San Jose Sharks

Everyone’s got their game face on as the NFL and NHL seasons get underway, and while sports fans are rooting for the home team, real estate companies are making plays to the home buyers in the crowds. Next up to score: realtor.com®.

NAR’s official listing Web site, which is operated by Move, Inc., announced that it has inked a deal to become the “category exclusive” sponsor of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. That grants realtor.com® big ad displays at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., the Sharks’ home stadium, as well as exposure in regional and national television and radio broadcasts of Sharks games. Realtor.com® will also develop giveaways to Sharks fans, co-branded items with the team, and new campaigns that spotlight its mobile apps.

“We continue to look for ways to connect with on-the-go, busy consumers to provide a personalized and powerful real estate experience on their mobile devices,” says Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer of Move. “Our agreement with the San Jose Sharks aligns perfectly with the audience we want to reach.” The deal also holds an element of neighbors helping neighbors: The Sharks’ stadium, after all, is only two blocks away from the realtor.com® headquarters, O’Connor notes.

The realtor.com® team will also take part in meet-and-greets with Sharks fans at Sharks Street Rallies, the first of which was held at the team’s season opener last Thursday. (The Sharks, by the way, trounced the Vancouver Canucks to win their season opener, then went on to beat the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.)

“We strive to form alliances with dependable, forward-thinking companies that care greatly about their customers the way that we care about our fans, and realtor.com® demonstrates that,” says John Tortora, chief operating officer of Sharks Sports & Entertainment. “We are pleased to name realtor.com(R) as an official sponsor, as they are an ideal affiliate that offers a robust database and intuitive mobile apps that give users an interactive and seamless home-searching experience.”

Realtor.com® maintains relationships with more than 800 MLSs, allowing consumers to search 98 percent of homes for sale through its database. Ninety percent of its listings are updated every 15 minutes.

O’Connor says that the Sharks deal allows realtor.com® to demonstrate that its service is available to home buyers and sellers everywhere they go.

“When people are in the process of trying to buy or sell a home, it permeates all areas of their lives — they think about the housing decision day and night,” she says. “They also search for homes while at home, and while standing in line for coffee or groceries. Sponsoring the San Jose Sharks is our opportunity to remind people that realtor.com® mobile apps make it easy to stay on top of their home or rental decision no matter where they are or what they are doing.”

But let’s get down to it: Does realtor.com® expect the Sharks to go all the way to NHL glory this season? “When it comes to deep insights or predictions, we stick with what we know best: real estate,” O’Connor says. “Obviously, the San Jose Sharks were very successful last year, and we’re hoping they come back even stronger this year. With our new sponsorship, the Sharks can anticipate some big support from Move employees who will be cheering them every step of the way.”

The Sharks-realtor.com® deal comes on the heels of a slew of real estate sponsorships with NFL teams. One of 16 NFL teams sporting ad deals with real estate companies, the New York Jets announced last month that it named New Jersey-based Weichert, REALTORS® as its official real estate sponsor. Check out all the goodies that deal offers.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized a portion of the deal between realtor.com® and the San Jose Sharks. The deal does not include realtor.com® radio and television ads.

Graham Wood

Graham Wood is a senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at gwood@realtors.org.

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