The Fall 2013 Partnership Activation Newsletter

Thank you for your interest in Partnership Activation and taking the time to check out the Fall 2013 Partnership Activation Newsletter. It's truly a pleasure to have the opportunity to share my perspectives, creative ideas, insights, and best practices with you on a quarterly basis. 

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

  • Capturing Content with GoPro
  • 20 Brands to Keep an Eye On in 2014
  • Sports Content Insider - Presented by Freshwire
  • Navigate Research Spotlight: The Value of Research
  • Talladega Superspeedway Drives Buzz on Campus
  • Keeping an Eye On: PODS
  • Bleding Sports + Entertainment
  • The Tao of Sports
  • October 2013 Partnership Activation Rising Stars
  • Social Media Spotlight:
  • Partnership Spotlight: Data
  • A Close Look at the Best Social Graphics in College Athletics
  • 5 Must-Follow #SportsBiz Handles on Twitter
  • 25+ Ways to Leverage Home Improvement Partners
  • 7 Questions with Jim Kahler
  • The Partnership Activation Grab Bag
  • Branded Entertainment... At It's Finest

Click here to check out the Fall 2013 Partnership Activation Newsletter and connect with other readers in the official Partnership Activation LinkedIn Group, and follow Brian Gainor on Twitter for additional sponsorship/marketing tactics throughout the quarter!

Hertha BSC Uses Stadium Choreography to Unite Their Fanbase

The loyal supporters of Hertha BSC, a German soccer club competing in the Bundesliga, recently displayed a tremendous choreographed performance in the stands at Olympic Stadium.
Fans seated in a block of fourteen sections (behind one goal) performed a card stunt and created a terrific illusion by raising a giant cutout of a hand holding the team's flag into the sky. The way the choreographed stunt was performed, it appears that the flag is floating in mid-air while thousands in attendance chant the team's anthem. 
Check out the impressive stadium stunt below:

Miller High Life Sponsors Fans Across America

The folks at Miller High Life recently launched a brilliant sponsorship strategy that has been well received by the general public. Nicknamed the Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life unveiled a new campaign entitled, "Official Beer of You" that allows consumers ages 21+ to sign an endorsement contract with the brand on its official website and receive a $1 signing bonus in return (in the form of a $1 coupon or a $1 check that can be donated to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America).

As part of the initiative, consumers receive a downloadable sponsorship kit with a personalized logo and the opportunity to purchase personalized Miller High Life gear. On the brand's website, consumers can also share photos and stories of how they live the High Life for the chance to be featured in a brand advertisement or on the Official Miller High Life Facebook page.

The strategy is a terrific way to engage with beer drinking sports fans across the nation without paying large sums of dollars to sponsor professional leagues, players, or organizations. The PR stunt may be very short lived, but will generate enough impact (and media impressions) to make a timely splash prior to the Super Bowl.

MillerCoors supported the campaign by distributing a press release that included the headline, "Miller High Life Says 'No' to Multi-Million Dollar Sponsorships." Last year, Miller High Life made a similar splash around the Super Bowl when it aired several one-second ads that caused quite a stir in the industry.


Nationwide Teams Up with the Bengals to Let Fans Growl

Nationwide Insurance, the Exclusive Insurance Provider of the Cincinnati Bengals, is leveraging its team partnership with an innovative promotion designed to engage the Bengals fanbase. The initiative, entitled the "World's Greatest Growl in the World", allows fans to perform a :30 karaoke version of the Bengals touchdown song for the chance to be featured on the Bengals website and an ultimate Grand Prize of $25,000.

Each week, fans who submit videos can win co-branded items, tickets, and autographed merchandise for participating and the ten (10) best entries will be featured on Fans can then log in and vote daily for their favorite performance among the entries submitted (thus, both performers and voters become active leads for Nationwide). Fans who submit their favorite clips even have the ability to share them with family and friends via email.

Nationwide's "The World's Greatest Growl in the World" promotion has been extremely well received by Bengals fans thus far. Fans loved performing :30 karaoke versions at the Bengals home opener and traffic to the website has been very active in the early weeks of the promotion. Nationwide will also be leveraging its partnership with the Bengals by offering free ferry rides to Bengals games for all fans on a co-branded ferry (another great idea!).

The Bengals feature a collection of fan videos on There are some classic performances that are worth checking out!


Teams Strike Gold with Crossbar Challenges...

Are you looking for new ways to entertain fans at halftime? Are you looking to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for one lucky fan?

Sports organizations should consider offering more promotions that put the skills of fans to the test. This practice, seen commonly overseas in the rugby and football circuits, serves as a great way to engage all fans in attendance during halftime festivities and also provides sponsors a chance to capitalize on aligning with a memorable in-game moment.

While most organizations commonly implement halftime entertainment that tasks fans with scoring to win, most should consider ways to alter these type of promotions to challenge fans in unique ways: 

  • Football - Challenge one (1) select fan with hitting the field goal posts/crossbar
  • Hockey - Challenge one (1) select fan with trying to hit the post (instead of scoring)
  • Soccer - Challenge fans with hitting the crossbar (instead of scoring)
  • Rugby - Challenge fans with hitting the crossbar
  • Basketball - Challenge fans with banking a shot in off the glass

Here are two (2) great examples of Crossbar Challenges serving as a highlight at games played overseas:


During a recent English rugby match, one lucky fan took home 250,000 euros after successfully hitting the crossbar with a punt (while not wearing shows) during a halftime Crossbar Challenge event. The winner, rugby fan Stuart Tanner, became an instant household name after coverage of the promotion was picked up by several major media outlets. See the stunt below:


EPL club Stoke City recently held a halftime Crossbar Challenge at Britannia Stadium featuring a collection of team mascots and boxers Ricky Hatton and Scott Lawton. One contestant electrified the crowd by hitting the crossbar. 

The Crossbar Challenge also serves as a tremendous feature to include in media broadcasts of soccer matches (as seen by the Leyton Orient team challenge below):