Health insurers looking to capitalize on Target Field

  • Updated: April 11, 2010 - 10:19 PM

The new Target Field is a proving a marketing phenomenon -- and that has not been lost on Minnesota health insurers, who are always looking for new members.

The new Target Field is a proving a marketing phenomenon -- and that has not been lost on Minnesota health insurers, who are always looking for new members.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has signs in the new ballpark that hosts the Twins home opener Monday as well as two Blue Cross-branded first-aid stations that promote the Blue Cross "Do" campaign. "Do" video stories about people taking steps to improve their health will be shown on the scoreboard throughout the season. And CEO Pat Geraghty will throw out the first pitch at the Twin's May 28 game to promote the "Heart Walk."

Medica has commissioned a package of advertisements with Level, its ad agency of record for the past decade. They are on elevators and skyways leading to Target Field as well light-rail stations at the Mall of America and First Avenue, just outside one of the main gates to the park. The signs include pronouncements such as "You are one city block from your first stadium dog" and "You are 526 feet from needing your shades." One skyway promotion makes it look as if baseballs have been hit through the window.

The Mayo Clinic also has a significant piece of the Target Field action with inside-the-stadium signage as a corporate sponsor of the Twins.

One giant step for water?

In honor of Earth Day, Aveda, its customers and hair salon partners will host 100 Walk for Water campaigns around the world. The goal is to raise $3.5 million for cleanup of the Mississippi River and other water bodies around the globe. The 5K walks will take place during the week of April 22.

Aveda's Minneapolis walk begins at 8 a.m. April 22 at Holmes Park near the Aveda Institute at 400 Central Av. SE., Minneapolis. Those proceeds will benefit the Audubon Mississippi River Campaign, which looks to improve water quality and enhance watch-listed bird species.

"In addition to the nearly 100 walks around the world, our salons, stores and institutes hold more than 4,000 fundraising events during the month of April" to benefit grass-roots environmental projects, said spokesman Evan Miller. It's raised $14.2 million for 70 organizations since 1999.

Famous Dave's commits to Uptown, remodels

Famous Dave's barbecue will continue to be infused with the blues at Uptown's Calhoun Square until at least 2016 -- and with some new twists.

Famous Dave's of America Inc. has extended the lease at its BBQ & Blues Club at 3001 Hennepin Av. S. through January 2016.

In conjunction with the new lease, the Minnetonka-based barbecue purveyor plans to renovate its Uptown space, including creating outdoor patio dining, adding expansive windows and buying new kitchen equipment.

The restaurant and music club will remain open during the renovations. Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Club has been a fixture at Calhoun Square since 1996.

Nice payday

There was a bit of a surprise in the New York Times' annual list of the nation's highest-paid CEOs: Boston Scientific's head, Ray Elliott, was No. 2.

Elliott, who took over the top spot at the Natick, Mass.-based medical-technology firm last July, made $33.4 million in total compensation. He was second only to billionaire Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, who made $84.5 million in total compensation, which included base pay, bonuses, perks, stock and options awards.

Boston Sci employs about 4,000 people in the Twin Cities, primarily in Arden Hills and Maple Grove. The company is currently undergoing a global layoff, although it's unclear how many jobs will be lost locally.

DAVID PHELPS, DEE DePASS, MIKE HUGHLETT, JANET MOORE

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