BP Brings Fans Closer to Team USA Athletes with an Innovative Augmented Reality Initiative

As an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee, BP recently released an innovative new augmented reality campaign that gives consumers a chance to face-to-face with some of the world's best athletes. BP teamed up with nine U.S. athletes to develop an interactive trading card series that will be included in the December 19th issue of BusinessWeek and featured on BP's website.

Consumers who download the trading cards can hold them up to their computer screen or a mobile phone camera and see them come to life as the athletes digitally appear in front of the user with exclusive training tips and information about themselves and their sports.

U.S. Olympic and Paraylmpic athletes featured in the exclusive trading card series include:

  • Lolo Jones - Track & Field, 100m Hurdler
  • Tatyana McFadden - Paralympic Cycling, Wheelchair
  • Sanya Richards-Ross - Track & Field, 400m Sprinter
  • Bryan Clay - Track & Field, Decathlon
  • Rudy Garcia-Tolson - Paralympic Swimming, 100m and 200m Swimmer
  • Jonathan Horton - Gymnastics
  • Jerome Singleton - Paralympic Track & Field, 100m and 200m Sprinter
  • Rebecca Soni - Swimming, 100m and 200m Breaststroke
  • Matt Stutzman - Paralympic Archery

Check out BP's augmented reality trading card series here and learn more about their commitment to Team USA on their official Facebook page.

Essendon Turns to Augmented Reality to Engage Fans

Essendon FC of the Australian Football League (AFL) recently teamed up with an agency named tkmp to create an innovative augmented reality campaign that engaged fans in a new way on gameday.

Essendon FC used digital technology to project a group of virtual footballs onto the facade of the team's stadium, the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Fans attending the match were encouraged to stand in front of a digital screen outside the venue and interact with the virtual footballs. The unique experience allowed fans a chance to see themselves projected onto the side of the stadium.

Check out the innovative campaign below:

Essendon FC and tkmp also teamed up to project some cool visuals at MCG - check it out below!

Essendon Football Club Projections from tkm9 on Vimeo.

A special thanks to Sam Attrilof nexusmg for his insights and contributions to this column!

Lynx Uses Augmented Reality to Make a Splash at Victoria Station

Unilever recently teamed up with Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) to create a captivating augmented reality campaign at London's Victoria Station in an effort to drive buzz and awareness for the Lynx brand (an extension of Axe in the UK).

Unilever created an initiative where consumers could stand on a special floormat within Victoria Station and see themselves interacting with virtual Lynx Angels (models) on a giant video board near by. The augmented reality campaign attracted the attention of thousands of consumers passing through the busy locale and served as a great way for the brand to create a viral piece that has generated plenty of buzz in the digital realm.

Unilever's campaign is very interesting because it is a tactic that could be replicated by professional sports organizations looking to make a splash in a high-traffic location prior to the season, during key events (All-Star weekend, etc.), or during the offseason. Teams could work with a local agency to create digital footage of players and embed it in an augmented reality campaign that truly engages fans at a moment when they least expect it.

Check out the Lynx Angels campaign below:

February 2011 Partnership Activation Newsletter

Thank you for your continued interest in Partnership Activation.

Click here to purchase the Fall 2011 Partnership Activation Newsletter for $7.99.

This month's newsletter features a collection of insights, including:

  • Innovative Recycling Kiosks
  • Creative Promotional Tactics From Across the NBA
  • Navigate Marketing Industry Spotlight: Camera-Visible Signage
  • Three Things You Need to See: Reality Touchscreens, Interactive Architectural Mapping, Helmet Cams
  • Engaging Fans Via Facebook Fan Night Promotions and Social Media Days
  • Kia Leverages Media Buys with Augmented Reality
  • Nouveau Jour Activates Orange's Sponsorship of the RBS 6 Nations Rugby Tournament
  • The Deloitte Football Money League Report
  • Creativity in the Sports Marketplace
  • February 2011 Partnership Activation Rising Stars
  • Visa Canada's Hockey Love Hurts Campaign
  • The Charlotte Bobcats' Social Network Challenge
  • A Close Look at the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend
  • Five (5) People You Must Follow on #SportsBiz
  • Creative Tactics From Super Bowl XLV
  • Creative Messaging Campaigns
  • Puma's After Hours Athlete Campaign
  • Leveraging Pet Partnerships With "Pup Rallies"

Click here to purchase the February 2011 Partnership Activation Newsletter and be sure to follow Brian Gainor on Twitter for additional sponsorship/marketing tactics throughout the month!

If you are interested in signing up for the newsletter, please send an email with "Subscribe" in the subject line to newsletter@partnershipactivation.com. In the body of the email, please include your name, company affiliation, and contact information when subscribing.

Incorporating Augmented Reality in the Sports Marketing Space

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of excitement generated around the emergence of augmented reality and the opportunities marketers have to leverage it as an engagement tool. Augmented reality has become noticeably more mainstream, with a number of major brands experimenting with the technology to better understand how it can be used to drive engagement, education, and sales.

As sports marketers, it's important to at least have a simple grasp of the technology, how it's being incorporated, and what opportunities exist in the sports space.

Sports properties, brands, and individual athletes can look to engage fans via augmented reality in several different settings, including stadiums (scoreboard, concourse kiosks/displays, suites, mobile street teams), mobile locations (laptops, iPads, mobile phones), and at home (computers, television screens/video game portals with Internet access, etc.).

The following examples detail how brands, sports properties, and individual athletes can bring a static messaging gameday piece (piece of paper, product label, flyer, billboard, product packaging, ticket, fan loyalty card, parking pass) to life for fans in new ways via augmented reality. As the industry begins to tap into augmented reality, these examples will become more constructive, impactful, and engaging...

Footwear / Apparel (adidas, Nike)

Consumer Packaged Goods (Gillette)

Food Products (Pringles)

Technology / 2.0 (Yahoo)

Automotive Brands

Alcoholic Beverage Brands (Tsingato, Leveraging Beer with NBA Label)

Energy Drinks (Red Bull, Leveraging Lindsay Vonn Red Bull 6-Pack Packaging)

Soft Drink Brands (Pepsi)

Computers (Lenovo)

Shipping / Freight (USPS)

IBM Uses Augmented Reality at the 2010 U.S. Open

IBM is using augmented reality to take the fan experience at the 2010 U.S. Open to new heights. The computer technology company developed a U.S. Open iPhone application that allows users on-site at the tournament to point their phone in the direction of the tennis court (even if you are walking by outside) and receive real-time scores and statistics. Fans can also use this iPhone app functionality to see what restaurants are on-site.

The new U.S. Open App essentially marries the camera and GPS functionality of an iPhone to offer real-time scoring, live radio, venue maps, and the special "Around me" feature that provides fans with an interactive experience via augmented reality. The app serves as a great demonstration of IBM's "Smarter Planet" campaign and helps the company showcase to its clientele how they can use data to make better decisions.

IBM created a similar app with augmented reality functionality for the iPhone and Android at the 2010 Wimbledon tournament. Check it out below:

The 2010 U.S. Open app is even much more sophisticated than the product they offered to consumers in 2009, detailed below: