Teams Can Turn to Projection Mapping to Promote Airline Partnerships in New Ways

Over the past few years, airline partners have invested more time and resources into their team, league, and event sponsorships. Airlines have invested in branding aircraft with team marks, developing loyalty programs for fans, creating ownable stadium destinations, and distributing free ticket vouchers to fans in attendance.

While airlines have sought to activate their partnerships more actively at airports nationwide, one tactic that we have not seen executed to date in conjunction with a team partnership is projection mapping. Just think how amazing it would be to look out the window at the airport and see a virtual Tom Brady throwing a touchdown pass to Deion Branch along the side of the plane.

While projection mapping would likely need to be a one-off marketing/PR stunt, it would be fun to see an airline promote team partnerships in its hometown market by featuring a different projection display along the side of an aircraft (or inside along a wall in the concourse) every night of the week. 

As shown below, Air Baltic recently generated buzz during the holiday season by featuring a projection mapping stunt at a Latvian airport that showed a team of virtual elves raiding a plane that was stationed at the gate. The marketing tactic, which caught passengers by surprise, was filmed and uploaded to YouTube and instantly generated 24,000+ likes in less than a day.

Check out the clip below and consider new ways that your organization can leverage its partnerships with new forms of technology in high-traffic locales!

Alaska Airlines Lets Portland Timbers Fans Design The Team Plane

Alaska Airlines is celebrating its new partnership with the Portland Timbers by running a "Paint the Plane" contest that allows fans an opportunity to have a say in the design of the team's branded plane.

From February 1st through February 15th, fans can submit their own, unique Timbers centric airplane designs using a PDF template of a 737 Alaska Airlines plane that is available to be downloaded on the Timbers' official website. Fans can submit their artwork either by email or by mail, per directions on the website.  

Each of the submissions will be judged based on originality, creativity, and team personification, with the Grand Prize Winner receiving two (2) complimentary first class roundtrip tickets to anywhere that Alaska Airlines flies, two (2) club seats to the Timbers' inaugural home game, and a team autographed jersey... in addition to seeing their sketch design brought to life on an actual Alaska Airlines aircraft. In addition, Alaska Airlines is also awarding 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and (7) Honorable Mention prizes for additional noteworthy submissions.

The promotion serves as a great way for organizations to leverage airline partnerships, especially in a day and age where airlines are investing more dollars and demonstrating a willingness to brand aircraft. Look for more organizations and their airline sponsors to enact similar initiatives in the near future! 

Kulula Air Goes with the Moustache to Promote Movember

Kulula Air, a low-fare airline, recently drew waves of attention in South Africa when it branded one of its aircraft in support of a good cause - Movember. Kulula rallied behind Movember, a charity event held in November where men grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men's health, by painting a mustache on the nose of one of its planes.

Kulula also encouraged its staff members, entitled Movember ambassadors, to post pictures of their moustaches on the airline's Official Facebook Page in aid of the cause. Passengers could vote online for their favorite look.  

The airline, established by British Airways in 2001, also generated attention in 2010 when it launched a campaign describing itself as the "Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What", an ambush marketing stunt around the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The campaign was instantly shut down by FIFA but Kulula developed a creative follow up tactic, offering affordable flights for everyone except for FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who was offered a free seat for the duration of the World Cup.

Check out the branding stunt below:


JetBlue Airways Takes Its NY Jets Partnership to New Heights

JetBlue Airways recently celebrated its partnership with the New York Jets by unveiling an Airbus A320 aircraft with a special Jets-themed paint scheme at John F. Kennedy Airport. The unique aircraft features a green belly, green wing tips, a green tail, and JETS lettering across the body of the plane. Under the cockpit of the aircraft, the plane features the tagline "I LOVE NEW YORK" in place of a characteristic 'blue' name.

The Jets aircraft signifies JetBlue's commitment to the Jets organization as the two parties look for new ways to take their partnership to new heights. JetBlue invited several key stakeholders to celebrate the unveiling of the aircraft, including CEO Dave Barger, NY Jets Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson, Curtis Martin and other Jets alumni, the Jets Flight Crew, and hundreds of crewmembers. The Jets featured a number of vehicles and props on-site and all guests were treated to a first-class experience.

JetBlue also announced that if the Jets win Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, they will refund select one-way and roundtrip flight purchases as part of a pledge in partnership with Mastercard.

Check out a few pictures of the special aircraft below:

Click the following links for more photos and information:

An Inside Look at the Amway Center, Home of the Magic

The Orlando Magic recently opened the doors of their new home, the Amway Center, and the venue is already being considered one of the finest arenas in the entire world. The team broke ground on the Amway Center, a $480MM facility, in 2008 and recently celebrated its grand opening on October 1st, just in time for the 2010 NBA season.

The Amway Center features a number of world-class elements, including state-of-the-art displays, unique venue buildouts, kids play areas, unique sponsorship tactics, and more. The arena, designed and developed by Populous, is already scheduled to host the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, Monday Night Raw, the Eagles, Lady Gaga and more. Click here to see a complete gallery of all the arena's amenities, displays, and destinations, including:

  • The Budweiser Baseline Bar
  • The Gentleman Jack Terrace
  • Disney Atrium
  • The OZone Section
  • Stuff's Magic Castle Kids Area
  • Orlando Magic Team Shop
  • State-of-the-Art Scoreboard
  • AirTran Deck, Kia Automobile Displays
  • Amway Center Fanbulance
  • Murals, Concessions Areas, Concourse Displays, and More!

*Orlando Magic corporate partners include Amway, Anheuser-Busch, Geico, Harris Corp., Gentlemen Jack, Kia, AirTran, PepsiCo, Disney, Grand Bohemian Hotel, Barnie's Coffee & Tea Company, T-Mobile, MillerCoors, and more!

Emirates Touches Down at the 2010 World Cup

Emirates is leveraging its designation as FIFA's only Official travel partner in Johannesburg with an amazing activation display at Fan Fest that allows fans to test their soccer skills in an interactive challenge. Emirates is currently featuring a giant inflatable on-site that replicates the airlines' A380 Airbus fleet, which now flies to eight (8) select destinations across the globe.

Within the inflatable, Emirates offers soccer fans a chance to score against a virtual goalkeeper in a live penalty kick challenge. Participants are given three (3) attempts to score and are provided with a print out that details their shot selection and serves as a great takeaway from their experience. Fans waited in extremely long lines to participate in the challenge.

Check out some pictures of the activation display below:





Check out a video detailing Emirates' innovative fan engagement tactics on-site at the World Cup:

Emirates, the world's fastest growing airline, is also activating its World Cup sponsorship in a number of different ways:

  • Emirates provided team and association travel wherever possible (to and from the world Cup)
  • Emirates surprised several senior media figures from across the globe with a superb South African 2010 FIFA World Cup package, which included a tour of leading local attractions in Johannesburg and the surrounding area
  • Emirates had the exclusive rights to offer either live or delayed in-flight broadcasts of the World Cup matches in 2010 and 2014
  • Emirates received a ticketing and hospitality facility at all World Cup matches
  • Emirates was provided the opportunity to offer unique 'follow your team' travel packages that allowed fans to watch their favorite team's games while waiting at the airport and flying on board

News Source: Kuwait Times 

Leverage Airline Partners with Special Video Shoots

Sports properties looking for new ways to leverage airline partners should consider sending a team of athletes to an airplane hanger for an exclusive video shoot. Here, players can perform tricks, stunts, and show a little enthusiasm for fans to enjoy.

By simply using an airplane as a backdrop (or prop), teams can create a highlight video that can be shown on the scoreboard during a game or on its homepage to help drive affiliation awareness. Airline partners can even consider bringing this to life by running a sweepstakes that allows a few select fans the chance to take part in the filming of the shoot live in person (and receive a behind-the-scenes tour, etc.)

Check out the video below, which should help reinforce the opportunity at-hand!

JetBlue Lands at the BankAtlantic Center

A rendering of the JetBlue tailfinAre you looking for new ways to leverage airline partners? Are you looking to bolster your gate entrances with elements that drive awareness for your organization's cornerstone partners?

The Florida Panthers and JetBlue are celebrating their partnership by featuring a 22.5' x 26' airplane tailfin outside the BankAtlantic Center in South Florida. The fixture will serve as a gathering place for fans prior to games, concerts, and related events taking place at the arena. The tailfin will be revealed at a ceremony prior to the Panthers home game against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, May 16th in an area the team is calling the "JetBlue Tarmac".

The giant tailfin signifies a non-traditional landmark that teams can consider incorporating at stadium gate entrances to drive greater awareness for their airline partners. With custom airline paint schemes becoming an industry trend, a signature tailfin landmark serves as a great way to tie everything together on-site for fans.

Ad Graphics, a corporate partner of the Panthers organization, built the tailfin off-site and transported multiple pieces to the BankAtlantic Center parking lot in early March to be assembled. Check out how the team built the giant tailfin here.

The Panthers and JetBlue announced a partnership in November 2009 and are further leveraging the agreement with TrueBlue Nights at the BankAtlantic Center, joint marketing promotions, and advertising. On TrueBlue nights, fans can receive a free ticket to a Panthers game by wearing blue or signing up to become a TrueBlue Member.

The United Scout Seats Experience at U.S. Cellular...

Are you looking to provide fans with an ultimate ballpark experience? Are you searching for ways to add detail to a sponsor's branded section at the ballpark?

Over the past few years, the Chicago White Sox and United Airlines have teamed up to offer fans the chance to sit in the best seats in the house, the United Scout Seats. For the right price, White Sox fans can enjoy a memorable day at the ballpark, with a front row experience directly behind home plate at U.S. Cellular Field and a variety of first-class amenities, including: 

  • A private lounge for entertaining clients and guests
  • Premium reserved parking outside of Gate 3
  • A premium buffet in a private lounge with all beverages included
  • Private access to the best seat locations in the park
  • A full-service wait staff for food and beverages
  • Comfortable, wide seats
  • Invitations to exclusive White Sox events

Here is a quick, visual tour of the United Scout Seats experience:

Source: Berklieblog on