Health Care Is Deeply Engaged In Sports & Strategic Collaborations
Leading systems are deep into sports marketing and strategic collaborations for the same reason top consumer brands are: It delivers. Beyond the impressions, media value, engagement and “appointment viewing,” consumers trust the health care systems trusted by their favorite teams and brands, and that impacts affinity, consideration, and ultimately utilization.
Health Care x Sports Partnerships Are Unique
We believe health care providers are different than traditional sports advertisers or sponsors, they are true partners, keeping the team’s athletes, fans and community healthy. Bendigo is the leading agency at the convergence of health care and sports because we create partnerships, not sponsorships with the leading sports and entertainment properties, creating alignment that inspire the teams to speak with their fans, on their media platforms, in their voice, on behalf of our clients.
What We Do
Bendigo delivers maximum ROI for our clients through capabilities focused on the Convergence of Healthcare & Sports
Partnership Strategy & Negotiation
Bendigo delivers maximum value for leading healthcare systems with their Teams, Universities, Events, Properties, and Athletes partnerships. Through our longstanding experience and relationships in sports and entertainment, we negotiate deeply integrated partnerships that go beyond "buying signage". We deliver cost savings, identify assets that deliver actual value to your strategic goals, and cultivate strategic alignments that drives benefit and ROI across your system.
Marketing & Activation Services
With decades of experience navigating complex rules around the use of team marks, players, and venues, we provide a range of streamlined marketing services, transferring the trust built within a team's fanbase to your brand. Our range of services includes sports team media buying, creative services, service line marketing, digital, merchandising, event coordination, fundraising, marketing automation, and CRM integration.
Research, Analytics & Insights
Sponsorships provide health care systems with assets and platforms to engage their communities on a more emotional level than traditional advertising. Therefore, your sponsorship research and analytics requires a nuanced approach that traditional brand research cannot provide. Bendigo teamed up with Turnkey Intelligence, the sports industry’s top research firm to develop, Strata, a proprietary research platform for tracking healthcare sponsorships. With more than 20 years of direct engagement with the sports industry we deliver custom research, fair market valuation, and strategic brand advice so healthcare systems can maximize their investments in sports partnerships.
Consolidating health care systems are creating new opportunities to leverage critical mass. Bendigo is helping our clients' supply chain leaders apply methodologies from Sports & Entertainment Properties - resulting in cost reduction, new revenues and marketing/philanthropic benefits, generating millions in new benefits for their systems.
Teams and leagues are dedicating increasing resources to support causes that give back to their communities. Bendigo helps health care leaders connect those community goals with philanthropic and fundraising efforts for their own systems.
We build deep relationships with teams and leagues, inspiring teams to talk with their fans, on their media platforms, in their voice, on behalf of our clients.
Bendigo is proud to have supported leading healthcare institutions
"We made the right call trusting Bendigo with the critical task of leading the rebrand of Hackensack University Medical Center and its burgeoning Health Network. By 2011 we had already evolved from a respected community hospital into a world-class research and academic institution at the center of a new Health Network - but needed a new brand positioning to personify and amplify our accomplishments and trajectory. Bendigo moved their practice “in-house”, assembling and leading the strategic and creative teams and crystallizing the vision for the new identity, uniting our executive team, board members, physicians, outside agencies and business partners, delivering a bold and game-changing rebrand that put our organization on a path for unprecedented growth and brand leadership."
ROBERT C. GARRETT
Chief Executive Officer
Hackensack Meridian Health Network
"In 2015, we asked Bendigo to take a fresh look at our marketing strategies, and help us build our organization’s brand through Sports Marketing and Corporate Partnerships. Jeff and his team delivered the strategy for our “Northwest Healthy” initiative, then built upon it through marketing and business alliances including the Seattle Sounders, Mariners and Coca-Cola, making a measurable impact that resonated with consumers, our partners, and our employees well beyond our traditional service areas. Bendigo also led our participation in the Seattle Seahawks 2017 “NFL Crucial Catch - Intercept Cancer” program as part of our strategic alliance with Virginia Mason, and continues to support our efforts by forging new innovative partnerships with great brands here in the Pacific Northwest."
THOMAS A. KRUSE
Senior VP / Chief Strategy Officer
CHI Franciscan Health
"The HackensackUMC Foundation had a vision to transform our fundraising partnership with the New York Giants, and we turned to Jeff and his team to help us bring it to life. Bendigo signed on as Agency of Record for the project and helped us create www.TackleKidsCancer.org, taking a leadership role with the many agencies, media partners, sponsors and partners who helped make the program a success. Bendigo was liaison between the Giants, HackensackUMC and the Foundation, and helped us create, launch and flawlessly roll-out the new cause marketing program in record time, on budget, and raising more than $1,000,000 for the campaign in our first four months. The program was built to last and will continue to generate needed funds for the Children’s Cancer Institute at HackensackUMC until we finally tackle kids’ cancer."
Former EVP & Chief Development Officer
Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation
Tackle Kids Cancer
Bendigo was named after the legendary Australian “Gold Rush” city, where the historic Bendigo Mining Company dug deep beneath the original strike to find gold hidden beneath the surface. Bendigo Agency was created to help its clients uncover and monetize their hidden assets.
Jeff Sofka, Founder & Principal
As Founder and Principal of Bendigo Co., Jeff Sofka has had the privilege of serving some of the world’s greatest companies, driving brand asset development, management and execution. Jeff has generated hundreds of $Millions in new revenue and share value as a Senior Marketing Executive for the following industry leading companies:
City of New York Marketing
Clear Channel Worldwide (Live Nation)
National Football League
Lord & Taylor
Sofka created Bendigo Co. to help organizations monetize their hidden and underutilized intellectual property assets.
Jeff enjoys spending time with his family and playing music with his 80s tribute band “Martha Quinn College.” He has created and produced many local music events including Ridgewood Unplugged, which have raised more than $75,000 for a range of charities.
Stacy Slade, VP Client Services
Stacy joined Bendigo to create our west coast office. She resides in Seattle focusing on work for CHI Franciscan Health and Cedars Sinai.
Stacy has worked in sports since 2000, most recently with Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer in corporate partnerships. She excels at connecting local and national brands with best-in-class sports properties to elevate both through activation, exposure, and earned media. Stacy’s sports marketing experience includes work in Major League Soccer (Sounders FC and Columbus Crew), NCAA at the University of Washington Athletic Department and in the NBA with the Seattle Sonics.
When Stacy isn’t at a sporting event, she spends her time outdoors with her family or with her two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Tag and Chase. She shows, trains and breeds Bernese with having the success of owning the #1 Bernese Mountain Dog who won at the famous Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2017.
Mike LaPorta, SVP Strategic Development
After honing his skills in experiential and digital marketing and brand partnerships at jobs both oversees and in NYC, Mike joined the Bendigo team in 2013, leading the charge as our clients expanded into a digital world. Mike LaPorta brings almost a decade of experiential marketing, paired with his natural high energy and “can do” outlook, he served as the lead for a number of our clients.
Prior to his time at Bendigo, Mike worked on LivingSocial’s “Experiences” team, after spending several years growing a small niche tourism concept into one of the leading youth tour operators in Europe.
Mike currently resides in Denver. When he isn’t blazing a trail in the mountains, he is overseeing development of our clients strategic relationships, including sports and entertainment sponsorships, facilities, innovative partnerships with consumer brands, and activation of these partnerships across traditional, digital, social media, and CRM integration.
Larry Pendergast, VP Innovation
Larry joins the Bendigo family, bringing with him over fifteen years of marketing and business development experience. He’s worked in collaboration and partnership with a diverse set of blue-chip companies including Amazon, American Express, National Geographic Magazine, Verizon and many more.
With an equal mix of left and right brain function, Larry brings to Bendigo an ideal blend of analytic and creative thinking. As Vice President of Business Development, Larry will be focused on developing Bendigo’s beverage, wellness, philanthropy and recycling programs.
Based in Ridgewood, NJ, Larry has struck an ideal balance of work, family and social life. When not working or spending time with his three children, Larry enjoys riding his motorcycle, entertaining audiences with his live musical performances (singing, strumming and grooving), DJing and baking bread.
Jeff Sofka joins Touch Point Media Podcast - Feb 6, 2019
Jeff Sofka joins the group at Touch Point Media (38:00) to share how health care systems can leverage sports partnerships to help with brand building and patient loyalty.
SHSMD 2018 - Seattle
At SHSMD Seattle, Bendigo joined CHI Franciscan and Seattle Sounders FC to present highlights from CHI Franciscan’s efforts to build service line volume and reputation through sports. Call to learn what we shared.
Annual Forum for Healthcare Strategists
At the 23rd Annual Forum for Healthcare Strategist in Salt Lake City, Bendigo joined colleagues from Hackensack Meridian Health and Emory Healthcare in a breakout session featuring case studies in leveraging sports partnerships to build fundraising and philanthropic programs. Call to learn about what we shared.
Bendigo in American Healthcare Leader
Bendigo saw the need for a research tool dedicated to the convergence of Sports and Healthcare, so they teamed up with Turnkey Intelligence, one of the sports industry's leading research organizations to develop, "Strata".
American Healthcare Leader, a print and digital publication for leading healthcare executives, recently ran a story on Bendigo's Strata Research platform.
Bendigo in Healthcare Strategy Alert
Bendigo had the pleasure of attending and being a product sponsor at the 2017 Healthcare Marketing and Physicians Strategy Summit, held in Austin, TX, this past May. Bendigo was not only the bag sponsor of the event, but was also asked to participate in the Forum's quarterly issue of their Healthcare Strategy Alert publication. Bendigo's CEO, Jeff Sofka, speaks to the best practices for hospitals navigating the world of sports partnerships.
Bendigo in Strategic Healthcare Marketing
Strategic Healthcare Marketing, an online and print news source for health care executives, recently featured Bendigo, CEO, Jeff Sofka, sharing how one hospital supported their community health programs through their fitness and wellness center.
Bendigo and Turnkey Intelligence Team Up to Create New Research Product
As the healthcare industry has been rapidly shifting marketing plans to focus on new media and larger partnerships, non-hospital focused partnerships, the existing tools to evaluate ROI and brand lift for hospitals have lacked up to date tools and metrics to calculate valuable information, like the “transfer of trust” from a pro sports team to a hospital in the mind of consumers.
Struggling to find a proper solution for our clients, we teamed up with Turnkey Intelligence, one of the industry leaders in sponsorship evaluation to develop create Bendigo Strata Powered by Turnkey Intelligence. Strata is a unique tool to evaluate hospital partnership deals. This tool will help hospitals as they emerge into the sports industry, allowing our clients, and other networks optimize and maximize the tangible and intangible assets obtained through these partnerships.