DETROIT – Live sports are a key part of Rocket Mortgage’s strategy to reach a broad group of consumers, whether they’re looking to buy their first home or refinance an existing loan. The lender is active in its sports marketing programs throughout the year, and quickly revamped its plans as the pandemic led to the temporary suspension of live sports last March.

“We’re very fortunate at Rocket Mortgage that we’re an ‘always-on’ advertiser,” Casey Hurbis, chief marketing officer of the company, said in this interview with Beet.TV. “We want to make sure we have our brand in the marketplace, talking to clients and potential clients. We were looking to pivot very quickly as we saw media consumption shifting to different networks, programming, devices.”

The PGA Tour was among the first sports organizations to restart live broadcasts of golf tournaments, though without thousands of fans lining the fairways and greens — or mingling in hospitality tents that are a key part of event sponsorships.

“We were fortunate to be one of the first four PGA Tour events to come back,” Hurbis said. “The Rocket Mortgage Classic was a great example.”

Many PGA Tour events also worked to raise money for charity, as the pandemic led to financial hardship for millions of people. Rocket Mortgage unveiled its multiyear “Changing the Course” campaign to bring access to the internet, technology and digital literacy to residents of its hometown of Detroit.

Rocket also sponsors the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the arena downtown Cleveland that’s home to the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League.

Digital Targeting

As the NBA, PGA and Major League Baseball restarted their seasons, Rocket looked for ways to reach audiences on multiple platforms, including over-the-top (OTT) streaming services.

“We saw connectivity continue to rise, not only across the linear, but also across digital and streaming devices,” Hurbis said. “The linear space still has the highest reach and continues to be a part of our brand media plans. We continue to invest more and more on an annual basis in the connected TV and OTT space. That affords us to be more targeted to reach a potential client.”

With the Super Bowl being played on Feb. 7, Rocket again is running its yearly digital sweepstakes that’s based on the popular “squares game” for informal sports betting pools. However, fans aren’t required to bet money for a chance to enter the Rocket Mortgage Super Bowl Squares and win one of its cash prizes.

“It’s an exciting way to engage not only rabid fans, but maybe fans who don’t want a game more than once a year,” Hurbis said.

You are watching “Live Sports 2021: What’s Next on TV,” a Beet.TV + VAB leadership video series presented by Effectv, a Comcast company. For more videos, please visit this page.