The Cleveland Indians and BP Capitalize on Pre-Game Inventory

The Cleveland Indians recently announced a partnership with BP that is highlighted by a series of promotions in-stadium and at retail.

As the Official Fuel of the Cleveland Indians, BP receives the exclusive naming rights of Indians batting practice and the company is taking full advantage of the designation to enhance the fan experience:

  • Fans can win free BP gift cards by catching specially marked balls into the outfield stands during batting practice
  • The first 100 fans who arrive for pre-game batting practice receive a limited edition Indians t-shirt at Gate A
  • BP will reward select fans with VIP batting practice experiences at 40 home games. The experience includes special on-field access and a gift bag of promotional items

From a retail standpoint, the Indians and BP are teaming up to execute a pretty standard fill-up and win promotion across 215 BP locations in Northeast Ohio. From June 1st to August 30th, fans who fill-up their cars with ten (10) gallons of gas can receive a scratch-off card that provides a unique code. Fans are encouraged to register five (5) unique codes on to receive two (2) free Mezzanine tickets to an Indians game online at

The Future of Stadium Signage - For Auto Partners

Honda recently teamed up with GT Media, JC Decaux, and Puca to develop an innovative outdoor messaging campaign designed to engage young, male consumers and demonstrate the innovative attributes of its automobiles.

To generate buzz around the launch of the new Civic R Series in Ireland, Honda displayed a large, interactive billboard in the trendy streets of Dublin that allowed consumers to actually start the car (featured on the billboard) by texting "START" to a designated shortcode (51500). Upon doing so, the call-to-action signalled the lights on the car to light up and smoke to exit from the car's exhaust pipes on the billboard.

Consumers that engaged with the billboard received a bounce back link to a Honda mobile brochure, providing additional details about the car, and also had an opportunity to receive a free ringtone of the car's engine roar if they engaged with the billboard via Bluetooth technology. The four-week campaign ran during June 2010.

Honda's innovative billboard technology serves as a great benchmark for sports organizations looking for new ways to take their signage to the next level, notably in baseball. While a billboard with interactive elements could not be run in-stadium during play, there is plenty of down time during games (between innings, pre-game, post-game, pitching changes, etc.) when brands could engage with fans via SMS technology without having to feature personnel on-site to operate the signage.

Look for a number of sports organizations to begin experimenting with SMS technology to take their stadium signage and brand activation to the next level!

Source: Puca

June 2010 Partnership Activation 2.0 Newsletter

Thank you for coming here to check out the June 2010 Partnership Activation 2.0 newsletter. I promise that there will be no mentions of vuvuzelas as best practices this month. As you tune in to some incredible sports coverage this weekend (World Cup, Wimbledon, etc.), please feel free to send along any unique activation tactics that may catch your eye.

Click here to check out the new June 2010 Partnership Activation 2.0 monthly newsletter. This month I would love to hear your feedback. Please feel free to share your thoughts by emailing me at

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

  • Innovative Mobile Tours
  • Ten Sports Business Trends to Keep an Eye On
  • Leveraging the World Cup
  • The Heineken Stadium of Stars
  • World Cup Activation and Branding
  • The Ohio University Professional Master of Sports Administration Program
  • Creativity in the Sports Marketplace
  • June 2010 Partnership Activation Rising Stars
  • A Compilation of the 2009-2010 Partnership Activation Rising Stars
  • Sports Social Media Watch
  • Facts and Insights About the 2010 French Open
  • Creative Ways to Leverage Trading Card Partners
  • Idea Box

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

Check out the June 2010 Issue now... and please feel free to send along any feedback or suggestions you have this month!

Bell Canada's Playoff Dasherboard Grows a Following

Are you looking for new, innovative ways to drive awareness for your playoff signage? Are you looking for new, creative ideas in the hockey space?

During the 2010 playoffs, Bell Canada displayed one of the most creative marketing tactics seen in hockey to date.

The telecom provider leveraged its partnerships with Canadian NHL clubs that made the 2010 playoffs by featuring a rinkside dasherboard that displayed the terminology "La Vie est Bell" (meaning Life is Good in French) and accompanied the phrase with a man's giant smiling face that grew more and more facial hair each game and each round. The signage literally grew hair during the game!

Although there wasn't a direct tie-in, the dasherboard served as a tremendous way to drive buzz for the Bell Canada brand throughout the NHL playoffs, when fan affinity reaches its peak. The campaign tied in nicely with the famous playoff beard theme throughout the playoffs and kept many fans guessing. This would be a PERFECT tactic to leverage partners like Gillette, Nivea, Schick, etc.

As reported on, here is a visual depiction of Bell Canada's dasherboard signage literaly growing facial hair throughout the game:

A special thanks to Jeff Snyder for his insights and contributions to this column... Best wishes Jeff!

MAKE Fans Notice Your Brand at Games...

Are you looking for a way to drive awareness for your brand in-venue more effectively?

Mexican brand marketers have found a simple solution to drive eyeballs towards their signage at soccer games played in Estadio Jalisco, Mexico's third largest soccer stadium. The answer? Sex sells (everyone knows it, but is everyone doing it in the sports space?)

Mexican brand marketers hire five (5) to eight (8) models to stand along the sidelines and hold their signs for the duration of the game. While some persons may take offense to this marketing practice, brands have found that this has proven to be an effective medium to drive awareness at a minimal cost in sporting events around the world.

If a brand like Axe implemented such a tactic in front of a student section at a football game,  wouldn't one expect to see a high consumer recall for their brand post-game? It could make a lot of sense for certain brands...

Here are a few examples of the strategy in action: