The Spring 2013 Partnership Activation Newsletter

Welcome to the Spring 2013 Partnership Activation Newsletter! As I noted previously, I will continue to distribute the newsletter on a quarterly basis. Thanks for your continued support and I look forward to connecting with many of you soon!

Click here to purchase the Spring 2013 Partnership Activation Newsletter for $7.99. After reviewing the newsletter, please take a moment to share it with friends via email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, personal blogs, and other platforms and modes of communication. Here is a shortened URL that you can use to include in tweets, etc:

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

  • The Dallas Mavericks Augmented Reality Efforts
  • 20 Great Sites to Frequent for Insights and Information
  • Structuring Your Organization for the Future (Content)
  • 10+ Video Series Your Organization Should Be Creating
  • Navigate Research - Industry Spotlight (The Value of the Referee Patch)
  • Nike's Real-Time Marketing Efforts During the Final Four
  • Paddy Power Heckles EPL Substitutes
  •  Unibet Delivers Big for Charity
  • Geofencing
  • Coca-Cola Celebrates the Final Four in Style
  • The Launch of the Ref Cam
  • Grasshopper Zurich Thinks Outside the Box
  • 10 #SportsBiz Topics Worth Keeping an Eye On
  • SMU's Sport Management Graduate Program
  • Creativity in the Sports Marketplace
  • April 2013 Partnership Activation Rising Stars
  • Social Media Spotlight - #WeAreUK
  • adidas Goes All-In to Provide Fans with Insider Access
  • A Close Look at the 2013 Final Four
  • 5 #SportsBiz Twitter Handles You Must Follow
  • 25+ Ways to Leverage Hair Salon Partners
  • What's Hot in Mobile, Social, and Local
  • adidas Lets Fans Posterize
  • Partnership Activation Grab Bag
  • Branded Entertainment At Its Finest
  • Idea Box

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

Sports Business Predictions to Keep an Eye on in 2012

A new year is upon us and while there are many unknowns, especially given the advent of new technologies, I wanted to share a few predictions for 2012 that will be important to keep in mind throughout the year. Hope you enjoy:

2012 Sports Industry Outlook

The sports marketplace will be driven by mobile marketing, social TV, industry consolidation, and globalization in 2012.

Mobile marketing will continue to shape the sports industry as properties and brands look to optimize their mobile offerings, develop robust applications, and deliver content in new ways. Organizations will look to augmented reality, social gaming, and geo-location based services to serve as new means to engage fans. In turn, fans will continue to embrace the TV Everywhere experience and access live, streaming and On Demand content via their mobile phones, tablets, and other devices on the go.

Brands and properties will continue to invest in the social media space as fans gravitate to the notion of social TV creating a communal viewing experience that delivers real-time engagement, insights, and unique vantage points. Properties will sharpen their social media focus in 2012 by developing smarter, more holistic strategies, hiring dedicated personnel, and creating their own monetization models by integrating corporate partners.

The sports marketplace will also be impacted by the effects of industry consolidation, aggressive rights acquisition strategies, and globalization. Networks will continue to form partnerships in an effort to build robust platforms to host premiere events (e.g. Olympics, World Cup, etc.) while teams will dedicate time and resources to build out video content distribution strategies that reach fans across the world.

The London 2012 Olympic Games will be touted as the sports story of the year while the Barclays Premier League, UFC, and college athletics will continue to grow their businesses significantly in new markets worldwide.

The Dallas Mavericks Distribute Playoff Tickets with Augmented Reality Functionality

The Dallas Mavericks partnered with Qualcomm and Big Playar to distribute 2011 NBA Playoff tickets with augmented reality functionality, an extremely novel fan engagement tool.

Fans who had an Android phone were able to scan an image of a Mavericks player on their game tickets to receive immediate access to an interactive game on their phone. Fan participation was guided by a set of instructions featured on the back of the team's ticket stubs, which required fans to download the Mavs AR app in the Android market and hover their phone over their ticket to access the game. 

Mavs fans attending the game who did not have an Android phone could play the game at various phone zones situated through the American Airlines Center.  

It will be very interesting to see if more teams begin to experiment with ticketing-based augmented reality applications. As fans look to engage fans in new ways prior to games and during the offseason when season ticket mailers are distributed to fans, interactive augmented reality extensions could provide a perfect solution. While there are currently some drawbacks (fans can only use select smartphones / need to download the AR app to interact), these hurdles will soon be overcome as technology evolves and apps become even easier to access.

Check out a video detailing the Dallas Mavericks' augmented reality ticketing initiative below!

April 2011 Partnership Activation Newsletter

Thank you for your continued interest in Partnership Activation.

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

After reviewing the newsletter, we would really appreciate it if you would be willing to share it with friends via email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, personal blogs, and other channels of communication. To keep things simple, here is a shortened URL that you can use:

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

  • Virtual Advertising
  • Brands with a Presence at Bracket Town in 2011
  • Creative Sports Business Tactics from the Barclays Premier League
  • Activation Tactic of the Month: Hooters' Spring Training Activation
  • Conxeo / PropertyPort
  • Great Sports Marketing Tactics in the News
  • SportsPro Magazine
  • Creativity in the Sports Marketplace
  • April 2011 Partnership Activation Rising Stars
  • Ticketing Watch - St. Louis Cardinals
  • Social Media Watch - Cleveland Indians
  • The 2011 Powerade Jam Fest
  • 5 #SportsBiz Professionals You Must Follow on Twitter
  • Activation and Branding from the 2011 Final Four
  • The 2011 Cricket World Cup... At a Glance
  • Technology That May Soon Save You Money On Staffing Expenses
  • Major League Soccer... Like You've Never Seen It Before
  • Idea Box

Click here to purchase the April 2011 Partnership Activation Newsletter, connect with other readers in the official Partnership Activation LinkedIn Group, and 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 In the body of the email, please include your name, company affiliation, and contact information when subscribing.

Enhance Stadium Concourse Signage with QR Code Giveaways

Corporate partners looking for new ways to engage fans on gameday should consider featuring QR code displays within the stadium concourse that deliver unique, interactive content. Brands leverage QR codes on back-lit displays to distribute free music downloads, gameday programs, virtual premium giveaways (wallpapers, animated characters, 3D characters), free mobile subscriptions, video vignettes, books/magazines, interactive games, and highlight reels to fans.

Firstbank, Colorado's largest locally owned bank, recently engaged travelers at Denver International Airport with three (3) engaging billboard displays featuring QR codes that offered free books, Sudoko, and crossword puzzles. Each of the billboards featured specific messaging that explained to travelers how to access the free content.

Program Details:

  • Firstbank estimated that it would give away 7,000 books, Sudoko games, and crossword puzzles over a 5-month span
  • The process of downloading a book to a smartphone via QR reader took less than 30 seconds
  • Firstbank offered twelve (12) classic books, three (3) crossword puzzles, and Sudoko for travelers
  • Consumers could download via mobile phone or online at

Teams could look to replicate this concept within their stadium venues (on behalf of corporate partners) or as a unique messaging campaign in the marketplace. For example, teams could leverage their partnerships with airline partners to feature signage inside airports offering free team content (highlight reels, gameday programs, special offers) to travelers as they wait for their flights. This could also be replicated with auto partners (in waiting rooms), grocery store partners, electronics partners, etc.

Check out Firstbank's terrific airport marketing campaign below:


TrendHunter Unveils 20 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2011

TrendHunter recently released a terrific list of the Top 20 Marketing/Advertising/Fashion Trends to Watch in 2011. The list includes some great insights that marketers need to be aware of.

The five (5) trends most relevant to sports marketers include projected publicity, wearable tech, tweetonomics, democratic selling, and real timing, but make sure that you read through all twenty trends to develop a better understanding for new opportunities in the marketing landscape.

Check out a breakdown of TrendHunter's Top 20 Trends below as well as their video feature: 

Top 20 Trends to Watch in 2011

  1. Discrete Consumerism - Whether it's Starbucks disguising one of its chains as an India espresso bar or Absolut going label-less, consumers are shying away from traditional brands and labels in favor of creativity and differentiation. To thrive in a creative world, brands need to stop generic marketing and create experiences that are irresistible to a specific group of people
  2. Tweetonomics - From hashtag-powered sites to Twittering shoes to social networking stockings, as long as Twitter continues to flourish so will all of the businesses smart enough to use social media for their own success. 2011 is the year that competitors will use social media to steal away your best customers 
  3. Perpetual Adaptation - There is an ongoing demand for ever-evolving aesthetics. The world is changing so rapidly that consumers are now in love with change itself
  4. Geriatric Couture - Embroidery and vintage fabrics are being resurrected from our grandparents' generation as styles continue to revolutionize
  5. Luxury Lives On - Even though the markets may be down, indulgent consumers still crave luxury. The financial crisis caused many businesses to scale back but wealthy needs still exist
  6. Modern Kidvertising - Marketers are focusing their efforts to where the money is - parents. Childrens campaigns are appealing to adult interests using eco-friendly textiles and Midwest decor. We are seeing a new era of sophisticated children's products
  7. Rockstar Self-Expressionism - Rock'n'Roll culture still has a significant influence in a number of industries (Hard-edge hotel designs, rockstar fashion, rebellious product design)
  8. Democratic Selling - Consumer votes, tweets, and Facebook likes are used to determine what retailers actually sell. The voice of the consumer has never been louder
  9. Toddler Touchscreens - Using touchscreen platforms like the iPad and Android, developes are producing games and experiences that appeal to next generation parents and their tech savvy kids (Interactive film maps, recordable storybooks, pillow technology and interactive fairy tales)
  10. Hyperrealism - Artists are striving to create their own accurate depictions of reality using their raw talent (outside of Photoshop)
  11. Tangible Printing - Smaller businesses are using 3D printing to create fast, rapid prototypes of body armor, shoes, and clothing
  12. Next Besting - Brand name products are taking a backseat to budget-friendly and more personalized alternatives; consumers are still buying things but they are becoming more conscious of what they actually need and why (and are in turn, seeking out the next best alternative)
  13. Modern Cubism - In a cluttered world, people seek refuge in simplified design (cube lighting, square architecture, and cubic technology)
  14. Real Timing - Businesses are incorporating Foursquare, Twitter, and live streaming to provide participants with instant gratification; social media has become the medium of choice for consumers
  15. On the Spot Style - Established brands are satisfying consumer demand for real style; street style fashion is being amplified by a surge in unique niche fashion blogs  
  16. Brand Reversion - Consumers are on a quest to satisfy their nostalgia (Princess phones, etc.); brands are going retro for revenue
  17. Wearable Tech - How fashion and technology are converging to produce unique products (Earring telephones, holographic wristwear, and visual hearing aides)
  18. Charitable Deviance - Using shock tactics in charitable marketing campaigns
  19. Interactive Retail - Interactive shopping bags, iPad menus (how retail is differentiating is a social media savvy world)
  20. Projected Publicity - Large scale, low-cost ultra viral mediums like projected billboards

Check out their 2011 Trends to Watch Video below:


More Sports Marketing Trends to Follow in 2011

Thomas Janca of Proximity Prague recently posted a terrific Powerpoint presentation on that details emerging trends in the global sports marketing landscape. The presentation featured some great insights that I wanted to share as key discussion points to monitor.

Ten (10) sports marketing trends highlighted in the deck for 2011 included:

  1. Digital In-Game Experience
    1. YinzCam, FanVision
  2. Social Gaming
    1. adidas' UEFA Champions game, FIFA Superstars, Nike's I AM PLAYR
  3. Content Marketing
    1. Viral videos, digital program ads
  4. Grassroots Marketing
    1. NJ Nets' Hoops and Pancakes, Sigma Olomouc's community efforts
  5. Crowdsourcing
    1. St. Louis Cardinals' fan scouting reports, Boston Globe WC fan perspectives
  6. Local-Based Networking
    1. Washington Redskins and Manchester City's Foursquare efforts
  7. Group Buying
    1. Univ. of Colorado and Washington Wizards Groupon promos
  8. Virtual Goods
    1. The Golf Warehouse's Facebook credits, Virtual appearances by pro players
  9. Ambush Marketing
    1. Bavaria - World Cup, Nike - Berlin Marathon, Hugo Boss - 09 British Open
  10. QR Codes
    1. Detroit Red Wings and Sacramento Kings' QR Code efforts

Check out Thomas' insightful document below: