ESPN Amplifies Its Outdoor Branding...

Are you looking for an out-of-the-box outdoor branding idea?

In an effort to promote its 'Is it Monday Yet?' campaign, ESPN posted hundreds of turf-like branded mats in bus shelters and outdoor areas across the nation. Each of the branded mats featured a different football-related phrase, such as "T.G.I.M.N.F"., "Sack Monday's Doldrums", and "Stiff-Arm Monday's Suckery".

The outdoor branding campaign proved to be extremely popular... but actually too popular with fans. The issue? Consumers loved the turf-like mats so much that they started stealing them. Within the first week of the campaign, nearly 10% of the outdoor ads in New York City had been stolen (20 of 205). Thefts also occurred in Boston (3), Chicago (6), San Francisco (2), and Washington D.C. (5) despite the fact that some of the outdoor ads are 72"H x 96"W in size.

As a result, ESPN has temporarily halted the installation of more turf-like branded mats in major cities around the nation. While turf-like mat branding proved "too popular" for ESPN's tastes, it definitely is a promotional item that football teams (and other sports teams playing on turf) can consider creating to distribute to their supporting partners and select season ticket holders.