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    It's Time for the Dancin' Dawgs

    Are you looking for new ways to entertain your fan base? Are you looking for new ways to drive awareness for your organization's players?

    The folks at the University of Washington are constantly pushing the envelope with new, creative marketing and sales tactics. The UW marketing team recently created an entertaining "Dancin' Dawgs" piece that is played on the video board when the men's basketball team develops a sizeable lead in the final minutes of play.

    The clip is terrific in that it allows the athletes to demonstrate some of their personalities and it is a simple, yet very entertaining fan pleaser. Why not remind fans late in the game about how great their experience was?

    Check it out below:

    Source: Husky Men's Basketball Blog


    Bring Your Out-of-Home Campaigns to Life with Steam!

    Are you looking for new ways to leverage team partners? Are you looking for ways to bring the excitement of your games to life for fans during the work week?

    McDonald's recently teamed up with Cossette, an advertising agency based out of Vancouver, Canada to create a stimulating out-of-home campaign designed to drive awareness for the chain's coffee offerings. Cossette built a steam machine to fit inside a bus shelter that let off periodic bursts of steam, revealing a hidden message about a McDonald's free coffee promotion.

    The creative outdoor campaign, executed to perfection, offers some parallels for sports marketers looking for new ways to stimulate consumer awareness:

    • Teams can promote an upcoming season (and leverage a home improvement/grill partner) by featuring a branded miniature grill giving off steam that reveals the slogan, "It's Time to Kickoff the Season... Are You Ready?"
    • NASCAR (and/or participating teams/sponsors) can feature a visual of a car smoking with a captivating message
    • Teams can feature of a picture of players running out of the tunnel with smoke (e.g. steam) exploding from the visual (think of the Miami Hurricanes running out of the tunnel with the steam)
    • The Miami Heat (and teams with related fire monikers) could feature an outdoor ad with steam to show opponents cooling off
    • Teams can leverage coffee vendors (as seen in the ad) by touting exclusive season-long promotional offers

    Join the EA Sports Blindfolded Keepie Uppie Challenge

    Are you looking to create a captivating viral campaign that will attract the attention of consumers from across the globe? Are you looking for new ways to leverage athlete endorsers?

    Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam teamed up with EA Sports to create a sticky 'keepie uppie challenge' viral marketing campaign designed to promote the company's new game title FIFA10. The creative campaign features the world's greatest soccer players testing their juggling skills while blindfolded. The humorous campaign was designed to entertain and provides an influencial call-to-action for fans to submit videos of their own juggling talents on the promotional microsite.

    Check out W+K's creative Blindfolded Keepie Uppie Challenge below, which launched today (12/14/09):  


    U.S. Soccer Tests the Skills of an NFL Kicker

    Are you looking for new ways to promote the athleticsm of your organization's athletes? Are you looking to cross-promote with another sports organization in your local marketplace?

    In July 2009, Philadelphia Eagles kicker David Akers made an appearance at the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team's practice as they prepared for a CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals match at Lincoln Financial Field. Akers' appearance made for some quality footage for U.S. Soccer to feature in the viral space.

    Members of the U.S. Soccer team battled it out with Akers in a variety of kicking contests, using both footballs and soccer balls. The video below demonstrates how skillful soccer players and NFL kickers actually are, and serves as a great benchmark for:

    • Soccer organizations looking to align with other sports organizations in the local marketplace to promote their sport
    • College athletic departments looking to showcase a collection of their student-athletes
    • Professional organizations looking to showcase the skills of specialty players (kickers, punters, etc.)

    Check it out below:


    Billboard of the Week - Chick-fil-A

    Are you looking for new ways to drive buzz at retail in the marketplace? Are you looking to leverage sports without investing in corporate partnerships?

    The Chick-fil-A location in North Canton, OH recently used its outdoor marquee signage to poke a little fun at the hometown Cleveland Browns. The franchisee posted a sign that read "Like the Browns We Take Sundays Off" - a message that remained up for two (2) days.

    While this messaging strategy could possibly backfire (alienating avid Browns fans, especially right in the team's backyard), it also could serve as a pivotal way to drive buzz. After all, Browns fans can take a creative joke these days about their favorite team's demise, right? Either way, consumers will remember the signage (and Chick-fil-A in general) each time they pass the location, especially during football season.  

    The signage serves as an excellent example of ways that retailers can leverage sports without investing a significant amount of dollars in corporate partnerships. By simply recognizing sports and related events taking place (similar to Trader Joe's local market strategy), retailers can tap into the passion of fans without actually being directly associated. Look for more creative examples of sports branding at retail to come in future weeks!

    Source: DC Sports Daily's Twitter Feed


    Vitaminwater Goes Viral with Steve Nash and 50 Cent...

    Are you looking for new ways to leverage athlete endorsers? Are you looking to create a humorous viral campaign that leverages both music and sports celebrities?

    Vitaminwater continues to find creative ways to leverage its celebrity endorsers. This time, the nutrient enhanced beverage company released a humorous informercial parody starring the likes of Steve Nash and 50 Cent. In the piece, Nash directs viewers to log on to, where they can create their own flavors.

    The piece serves as a great way to connect and provide young adults (who would find the piece humorous) with a desirable call-to-action. It also serves as a perfect example of how brands are using their athlete endorsers through a multitude of out-of-the-box channels. The video shows a personal side of Nash that evokes why he is a perfect spokesman for the brand.

    Check out the piece below:


    Billboard of the Week - Coors Light

    Are you looking to create a messaging campaign that speaks to winter sports enthusiasts? Are you looking for new ways to drive home messaging?

    MillerCoors recently unveiled a very creative billboard messaging campaign outside of the Banff National Park in Alberta that should capture the minds and attention of passerby consumers. The Coors Light billboard speaks directly to skiers and outdoor enthusiasts by incorporating safety warning signs that consumers are used to seeing on hiking trails and the slopes.

    Consider new ways that your organization can create effective messaging campaigns using traditional lingo!

    Photo Source: Michael Kwan Freelance's Flickr Photostream 


    Billboard of the Week - Bud Light, Boston Red Sox

    Are you looking to create a new, creative baseball billboard campaign? Are you looking for new ways to resonate with fans on game day outside of the stadium setting?

    Anheuser-Busch recently unveiled a new creative billboard campaign atop of the Cask 'N Flagon, situated across from Fenway Park. The billboard features a nice play on baseball terminology with the claim that Bud Light is "Your Starter and YOUR CLOSER".

    In 2004, Anheuser-Busch signed a seven (7) year deal with the Red Sox to feature a prominent Budweiser sign over the right field roof seats at Fenway.

    Check out the billboard campaign below:


    Nike Connects with Consumers Through Passion... 

    Are you looking to connect with consumers by focusing on the passion that fans and athletes have for the game? Are you looking for new viral ideas?

    Over the past week, Nike has released two (2) tremendous ad campaigns that do a tremendous job promoting the passion that both fans and athletes share for their favorite sports. It is amazing to see Nike continuously create ads that blow consumers away (and subtly ingrain their brand along the way).

    Nike - "Force Fate"

    In support of its Nike training hockey apparel (particularly Team Canada hockey apparel), Nike created a captivating piece that features Canadien hockey players and supporters making their claim that their success is earned, not bred. The piece has the feel of Gatorade's recent "G" campaign and does an excellent job playing off the passion Canadiens have for the game of hockey. Not to mention, plenty of terrific subtle branding plays... Check it out below:

    Nike - "Fast is Never Enough"

    Nike recently released "Fast is Never Enough" a captivating soccer piece that profiles the 20-year old English sensation Theo Walcott. The viral, in support of Nike's football partnership with Arsenal FC and its global football apparel, is a heart-thumping advert designed to get soccer fans around the globe excited for another year of the English Premier League. The piece does an excellent job mixing game highlights and slow motion tricks with the sound of an adrenaline-filled pep talk. Check it out below:


    Kit Kat Releases New Soccer/Basketball Viral...

    Are you looking for new ideas to create a captivating viral piece? Are you looking for ways to integrate sports to speak to a general audience?

    Kit Kat recently released an unbelievable viral piece in the United Arab Emirates that demonstrates kids on the playground practicing some amazing soccer tricks with basketballs. The clip leaves the viewer trying to depict which playground skills are real and which ones are fake. The Kit Kat viral is a "must-see" piece for those looking for unique content in the soccer and basketball space. Check it out below:

    After watching the clip, did you find yourself amazed by some of the tricks featured in the piece? Yet, did you also find yourself scratching your head about how the clip ties back to the Kit Kat brand?

    Unless the goal of the viral campaign is to drive awareness and traffic back to the official Kit Kat Chunky Boys website, it is difficult to see a direct correlation with the Kit Kat brand (or Nestle for that matter). Hopefully Nestle's brand representatives will make a tie-back more clear in their future viral campaigns!