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!

The D-backs Host a Most Valuable Partner Awards Night

It has become a common practice in the sports space for teams to host Sponsor Summits to recap their seasons, share ideas, insights and best practices, drive B2B opportunities, and reward partners with a memorable experience that builds their connection with the team.

While most teams make slight tweaks to evolve their Sponsor Summits each year, the Arizona Diamondbacks have developed a new approach that could soon become an industry benchmark. The Diamondbacks recently announced that they will be hosting a Most Valuable Partner Awards Night on January 19th for nearly 300 corporate partners and select guests. 

The team has planned a night filled with entertainment and celebration at the Wild Horse Pass & Casino  for all their partners and extended family. The event will kick off with a red carpet event at 6pm, followed by an opening musical number and monologue, "DB Awards" given out by the team, and plenty of humorous vignettes produced by the Diamondbacks' Game Operations and Multimedia Productions department.

The Diamondbacks have called on Team President & CEO Derrick Hall to emcee the event, with assistance from several players, legends, broadcasters, and Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick.

Throughout the night, the Diamondbacks will celebrate their partners' "business wins" with DB Awards representing eight different categories:

  • Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez Community Champion Award - Given to the partner who truly makes a difference in the local community
  • Brand Integration Award - Given to the partner that best uses the D-backs brand or logo to sell their product or seperate themselves from their competition
  • D-backs Ambassador Award - Given to the company that best embraces the partnership by exposing it to their employees and customers
  • Marketing Activation Award - Given to the partner who creates an innovative D-backs promotion to help build their brand or create direct response (either marketwide or in Chase Field)
  • Rookie of the Year - Given to a first-year partner who immediately embraced the D-backs partnership culture and maximized their affiliation
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Given to a team partner who has been aligned with the team throughout its existence and helped define partnership as the team knows it.
  • Most Valuable Partner of the Year - Given to the partner who encompasses everything in each MVP category (the award is given at a Silver Slugger Division level and a Gold Glove Division level)

The event serves as a great way to build relationships, incent partners to enhance their partnership efforts, and position the team as a first-class partner in Major League Baseball and the Phoenix DMA. It will be very encouraging to see how partners respond to the event and look to elevate their partnerships during the 2012 MLB season! Congrats to all involved on creating such a terrific concept.

Kraft Gets Creative to Engage Consumers Out-of-Home

Teams looking for new ways to leverage Kraft as a corporate partner should take a close look at two (2) of the company's innovative out-of-home marketing executions in recent years. 

In 2010, Kraft teamed up with Monster Media, MediaVest, and CP+B to create an interactive storefront that allowed consumers to see a virtual Kraft noodle smile whenever they smiled. Kraft installed grin detecting systems in ten (10) storefronts across the country that conveyed happiness in noodle form and allowed consumers an opportunity to dictate the interaction simply by smiling. 

Check out Kraft's interactive outdoor display below and consider ways that you can replicate this offering within your venue to engage fans! Examples can include:

  • Create a Kids display in the concourse where young fans can smile to see their favorite team mascot smile back
  • Create an interactive wall of televisions where fans can smile at virtual headshots of their favorite players and have them smile back at them (or wave, blink, etc.)
  • Create an interactive wall of fan faces that change throughout the game based on how well the team is performing

In 2010, Kraft teamed up with Crispin Porter + Bogusky to transport a giant noodle to large outdoor events to provide warmth to fans in a creative way. Prior to games at Lambeau Field, Wrigley Field, and other iconic venues and events, Kraft featured a giant noodle on-hand that was equipped with a heating system to warm fans up in the tailgate lots. The "You Know You Love It" noodle served as an engaging branding play that definitely resonated with fans in attendance. 

This tactic would also work well for teams looking to promote utility partners, pizza companies, and fast-food chains (promoting new menu offerings) in cold environments. Teams competing in warm environments during the summer months could mirror Kraft's OOH tactic to promote "ice cold" products (e.g. feature a giant Coors Light bottle on-site that always stays super cold). 

Check out Kraft's outdoor execution below:

Lambeau Field

Daytona International Speedway

AT&T Park


Giants Fans Breathe Right and Love Their Team

Are you looking to leverage new partners online?

In 2009, Breathe Right Nasal Strips partnered with five (5) NFL teams (Patriots, Giants, Dolphins, 49ers, Bears) to introduce its new Breathe Right "Extra" product to sports fans across the nation. Touting a product that has been used by professional football players since 1994, the company activated its partnerships with "Breathe Right Game Days", where 400,000 product samples were distributed to fans via a multi-faceted professional football sampling and trainer outreach program.

In 2010, Breathe Right is bringing its partnership with the New York Giants to life by featuring an interactive page on the team homepage where fans can upload a picture of their game face, where they are wearing a Breathe Right Extra nasal strip, each week. The page concept is very engaging for fans and does an effective job tying back to the sport! A very well executed piece! Check it out below: