Thursday, June 27, 2013

Will co-branded food trucks make you want to switch your cable provider?

In what has to be one of the most interesting media ideas I have heard of lately, Time Warner Cable is augmenting their sponsorship of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game with ballpark themed food trucks.  The trucks will offer foods linked to specific MLB cities, so the “Taste of Kansas City” truck will offer BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, while the “Taste of Miami” will have fried fish sandwiches.  The trucks will appear all over New York City – the host of this year’s game – and profits will be donated to charity. (Goetzl, 2013)

The only discernable link to TWC is the fact that TWC is the WiFi sponsor of MLB All-Star week and the trucks will offer a surrounding hotspot.  Is this enough?  Will this campaign help sell Time Warner Cable to the New York market?

Goetzl, D. (2013, June 24)  TWC Uses Food Trucks For All-Star Promotion.  Retrieved June 26, 2023, from


  1. If nothing else, this plan gives Time Warner Cable an incredibly relevant place to push their sports-oriented premium cable packages.(1)

    And I say "If nothing else" because I really can't find anything other definite information about the primary demographic of Baseball Game Attendees, Food Truck customers, or Cable Subscribers.

    The best pieces of information I have are not backed by citations, so the following is only a series of unconfirmed guesses, and should be read with appropriate skepticism.

    In 2011, Two Trucks LLC was preparing to launch a line of national food trucks. Their claim was that "the core food-truck consumer is the 20–35 demographic."(2)

    If Time Warner Cable is aiming at a younger target, they may be motivated by what Mark Rogowsky, a contributor to, called "the beginning of a “macro trend” that will ultimately change the business radically."(3)

    "What is happening is that an entire generation is growing up with internet video and — in many cases — not a lot of disposable income. People used to move out of their parents’ homes, get jobs, and reflexively sign up for cable. Now — for those that actually get to move out — the notion of spending the money on cable is a harder sell, especially after the introductory period when the bill tends to rise from $30/month or so to a multiple of that."
    "Now, look at “households run by 21-25-year-olds” and you are going to get a different picture. ...there’s a big, big difference now vs. say 15 years ago. Now, there is $8/month Netflix, $8/month Hulu Plus, a la carte new releases streamable from iTunes, Vudu, Xbox, etc., a copy of every episode of every major television program available illegally in a torrent, a streamable version of many of those episodes on the provider websites within a week or so of broadcast, etc. etc. And, of course, there is YouTube.

    It’s quite possible to really enjoy TV/video and not have a cable subscription."(3)

    Without any more information about what TWC's tactics are going to be at the Food Trucks, I don't have much reason to believe they'll establish any sort of connection with food truck patrons, even if these trucks feature local foods.

    If TWC has research that suggests that fresh graduates are chomping at the bit for full service Cable and Internet subscriptions (more likely the latter), then this might have some effect without more effort.




  2. When I just read this post, my first impression was "what a nonsense! trying to cell cable tv by using fast-food trucks". For me as a foreigner who isn't intrested in baseball or fast food it had no connection at all. However, if we look at it closely, everything actually have a sense.
    The habit of eating and watching is international. We go to movie theater and buy popcorn, we eat dinner at home while watching TV.
    As phrase"Bread and Circuses" (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) originates from Rome in Satire X of the Roman satirist and poet Juvenal (circa 100 A.D.). These two component are inseparable for suburbs american lifestyle. Perhaps, bying a sandwich at a baseball game, a fan of sports games will be forced to think about switching TV cable and next time stay home and watch game on TV in his nice couch with beer and home food.
    Anyhow, even if the sandwich was good and the game was fun, the wish to repeat the experience can be strong. However, big games are not every day, and not everyone can afford to wach game in real life often. Here is help comes - TV! So why don't switch cable if last experience was fun and left only good associations and memories?

  3. “Time Warner Cable is augmenting their sponsorship of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game with ballpark themed food trucks.”

    “This is another way of getting noticed in a crowd. “Taste of Kansas City” or “Taste of Miami” themed trucks will invite the fans of MLB to the All-Star week and the trucks will offer a surrounding hotspot. Even though it sounds like narrow-casting, nevertheless all the three brands namely MLB, Food trucks and the Time Warner Cable TWC will benefit from the marketing overdrive.

    This is in itself will sound like a mutual appreciation group scratching each others’ back. Not a bad idea to promote A, B C all in one go.”