No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.
Subscribe to the Partnership Activation Newsletter
This form does not yet contain any fields.



    FC Barcelona Uses QR Codes to Drive Engagement at Camp Nou

    In the past 12-18 months, QR codes have become relatively mainstream in the marketplace and a number of organizations are beginning to find ways to incorporate the technology into their game day experience. 

    FC Barcelona has emerged as an industry leader in the space, utilizing QR code technology at Camp Nou to drive participation and awareness of a new promotional offer. The team has placed QR codes throughout its stadium facilities that provide fans with a seamless way to register to win a Barcelona jersey that is signed by the team's starters. The QR codes link directly to a mobile site where fans can easily input their information for a chance to win an exclusive piece of memorabilia. 

    FC Barcelona's QR code activation demonstrates how teams can turn static mediums throughout their venues (especially during the offseason) into interactive areas that take the fan experience to the next level.

    It's important to note that QR code activation can live in various locations throughout stadiums. FC Barcelona featured QR codes linking to the promotional sweepstakes in several fan touchpoints, including:

    • Concourse / Wall Displays 
    • Ticket Box Office Signage (at the Barca Museum)
    • OOH Signage
    • Team Store Flyers
    • FC Barcelona Website

    Check out FC Barcelona's QR Code activation below:


    IBM and Wimbledon Partner to Deliver Real-Time Predictions

    For the past 21 years, Wimbledon and IBM have partnered to develop innovative technological solutions to deliver rich content to fans across the globe following the renowned tournament.

    Wimbledon celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2011 by teaming up with IBM to present tennis in an entirely new way across multiple media platforms. IBM launched a new Poinstream platform that provides statistics in real-time and allows fans to know what needs to happen for their favorite player to win the match.

    IBM uses data from the last five (5) years of Grand Slam play to provide three (3) keys and predicted results based on player stamina and tactics that are measured in real-time and formulated with past performance.

    Check out a video that highlights the IBM-Wimbledon partnership and the parties' new Pointstream technology!


    Fans Get Digital Autographs with the New Australian Open iPad App

    The Australian Open and IBM recently unveiled the first Official Grand Slam tennis iPad application for fans to enjoy at the tournament and for those watching at home.

    The iPad app has a number of truly remarkable features but it's greatest is a digital autograph feature that allows fans to capture all of their favorite star players' autographs directly on their iPad and save them in a digital scrapbook. The iPad feature provides a glimpse into the potential future of virtual card autographs and memorabilia.

    Fans can also use the iPad app to access real-time tournament and venue information, the Official Tournament Program, editorial features, tournament facts and figures, player tweets, schedules, weather updates, ticket information, video highlights, and more.

    The iPad app is available for purchase on iTunes for just $4.99. Check it out below!



    List of Teams Using Foursquare

    There has been a lot of chatter recently about what sports organizations are utilizing geolocation services like Foursquare and Gowalla. Here is a quick list of teams that have set up Official Foursquare Pages.

    While some are more active than others (SF Giants, Washington Redskins, Manchester City FC, University of Michigan and Texas Tech Athletics), it's refreshing to see that all of these organizations are moving in the right direction when it comes to social media.

    Check out the list below:


    1. San Francisco Giants -

    2. Los Angeles Dodgers -

    3. Cleveland Indians -

    Oakland A's -



    1. Milwaukee Bucks -

    2. New Orleans Hornets -

    3. San Antonio Spurs -



    1. Washington Redskins -

    2. San Diego Chargers -



    1. New York Islanders -

    2. Washington Capitals -


    College Athletics

    1. University of Michigan Athletics -

    2. Texas Tech University Athletics -

    3. University of South Florida Athletics -


    Barclays Premier League

    1. Manchester City FC -


    Major League Soccer

    1. Colorado Rapids -


    3 Sports Technologies to Keep an Eye On

    Are you looking for the latest technologies in the sports space? Are you looking for new ways to utilize technology to enhance the game day experience for fans?

    Here are three (3) technologies that are changing the game in sports: 

    New York Jets - Touchscreen Device

    The New York Jets are testing a touchscreen command center, built by design agency Roundarch, that enables team personnel to track various game day operations. With the touch of a button, teams can gauge which concessions and merchandise items are selling fast, whether there are traffic issues outside the stadium, and ticket sales information. Source: Roundarch

    New England Patriots - Yinzcam

    The New England Patriots are offering all fans attending games at Gillette Stadium a unique opportunity to gain more access than ever before. The Patriots are offering a Yinzcam smartphone application that allows fans to see instantaneous replays during games, live stats and scores, and NFL RedZone. Fans can access the mobile app inside Gillette Stadium by connecting to a Patriots WiFi network. Source: USA Today  

    Orlando Magic - Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)

    The Amway Center, the new home of the Orlando Magic, will soon be considered one of the most technologically advanced arenas on the planet. The Magic and arena officials have partnered with the Harris Corp. to install an Internet Protocol Television network that features 1,100 flat-panel video screens throughout the building programmed to enhance the fan experience. The two parties will operate a behind-the-scenes control room where technicians can display specific messages, images, mosaics, video, and animation to fans as they scour throughout the arena. Source: Orlando Sentinel


    Tissot Uses QR Codes to Bring its Race Models to Life

    Are you looking for new ways to leverage models on-site at sporting events? Are you looking for ways to integrate social media elements into your current activation plans?

    Swiss watch manufacturer Tissot recently took its on-site activation at MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix events to new heights by placing QR codes on the outfits of its Umbrella Girls (models)on-site. The social media strategy enables racing fans touring the at-track Tissot footprint to bring their unforgettable real-world experience to life in a virtual setting where they are more apt to learn about products, take advantage of special promotional offers, and ultimately make purchases. 

    How does it work?

    Fans simply have to walk up to the Tissot models and scan a QR code on their outfit with their smart phone (usually this requires downloading an app like Microsoft Tag Reader). When scanning the QR Code from a close distance, fans are then directed to a Tissot mobile page where they can purchase products and engage in special offers.

    This strategy serves as a terrific benchmark for brands looking to engage with consumers on-site or on-premise (at bars, restaurants, retail, etc.) more effectively. The QR codes serve as a conversation starter for models, demonstrate that a brand "gets" social media, and helps foster a memorable experience for fans.

    Check out the video below as this will soon become commonplace in the sports marketplace as QR codes become readily adopted. While the United States lags behind, QR codes are already heavily embedded in Japanese culture.

    Tissot is incorporating Danica Patrick into the QR Code mix as well...


    Manchester City Unveils Its New Team Foursquare Page

    Sports organizations looking for new ways to tap into the social media space should consider benchmarking a recent tactic implemented by Manchester City FC of the Barclays Premier League.

    Manchester City unveiled its new Official Foursquare page, where the team is planning on posting a collection of tips and specials for fans to enjoy in the coming weeks and months. The official page provides a list of Manchester City destinations where fans can check in and receive special discounts and enjoy a variety of engagement tactics.

    The page, which already boasts 350+ supporters, also features a collection of links to the club's other social media channels (Facebook, Twitter) and official team home page.

    MCFC has been one of the most notable early adopters of Foursquare in the sports space. The soccer club teamed up with Umbro to generate buzz for their final match of the season against Tottenham Hotspur by asking fans to "check in" at the City of Manchester Stadium via Foursquare in an effort to set a world record for the most Foursquare check-ins in a single location at one time.

    To generate awareness and interest, the team posted an announcement on its home page and offered fans the chance to win (1) of (11) limited edition Blue Moon t-shirts if they added the phrase 'Umbro Blue Moon Tee Please' to the tips section of their Foursquare check-in.  

    Check out the page below and consider implementing this for your organization. After all, Foursquare is here to stay!


    VaynerMedia Shows that Geolocation is Here to Stay in Sports

    Are you looking for new ways to capitalize on emerging trends in sports social media? Are you looking for new ways to leverage the emerging craze behind Gowalla and Foursquare?

    If you're working in sports and you haven't heard of Foursquare or Gowalla yet, it's time to do your research. Why? The New Jersey Nets are paving the way for sports organizations to begin experimenting with the two aforementioned geolocation platforms to measure how they can deliver in the event marketing space. Geolocation platforms allow users to check into and engage with physical locations and events via mobile devices (here in this virutal setting, marketers can reward them for their loyalty/engagement).

    Check out a terrific case study below that details how VaynerMedia teamed up with the New Jersey Nets to create an innovative Gowalla initiative that drove a group of select, influential fans to the Izod Center to check out a game live.

    Huge opportunities lie on the horizon for sports marketers looking to utilize Foursquare and Gowalla - the key question at this point remains how readily society will adopt these geolocation platforms.

    To download VaynerMedia's presentation (above) please click here.

    A special thanks to Sam Taggart of VaynerMedia for his insights and contributions to this column... a must-see!


    Effectively Leveraging Social Media to Get a Job!

    Are you looking for new ways to differentiate yourself in the job search? Are you looking for new ways to integrate social media into the mix?

    @LauraGainor (check her out on Twitter!) recently unveiled a tremendous presentation she created for a position with Comet Branding, a progressive Milwaukee-based branding, PR, and social media agency. She created a unique piece that effectively told her story, incorporated new social media technologies, and demonstrated immediate results!

    How did she do it?

    While touring the city of Milwaukee, @LauraGainor utilized her social media skills to get creative and attract the attention of Comet Branding's @AlKrueger & @SaraMeaney. Laura decided to quietly work on a campaign designed to gauge their reaction from live tweets she posted while checking in at major Milwaukee attractions using the social media gaming tool, @Foursquare. She felt that this would serve as a more effective tactic than simply sending them an email that alerted them of her plans.

    Laura also took advantage of using the newly launched Foursquare client, @SquarePik, which now allows you to post a photo of the venue you're at while checking in to gain points. She utilized this medium to grab the attention of Comet Branding by including their poster-sized company logo in each photo.

    Laura compiled all of her interactions in a presentation format that told her story and effectively incorporated social media. In her deliverable, Laura featured a video she shot using TwitVideo on her iPhone 3GS and linked to all of her social media profiles (which you can see on the last page of the presentation).

    Check out her innovative social media-centric presentation here:


    Arsenal Leads the Way By Creating Team iPhone App

    Are you looking for new ways to leverage technology to build your brand? Are you looking for new ways to capitalize on mobile technology?

    Arsenal FC recently became one of the first sports organizations to release their own official iPhone application for fans to enjoy team coverage on a 24/7 basis. Arsenal's team app offers standard content (news, player profiles and statistics, images, match information) as well as video content (highlights, interviews, special features) that do not require special subscriber access. It also features links to the official team website, ticket purchasing information and club membership information.

    The Arsenal app, created by 2ergo and being sold for nearly three (3) euros ($4.99 US) through the Apple App Store, was co-funded by O2, the team's official partner (who was given prominent branding near the top of the app's display screen in return). Sinc it's launch, the app has risen to the

    The emergence of official team iPhone applications is an industry trend that all sports business personnel should be following because it represents a new revenue stream for organizations to capitalize on via purchase/subscription fees, corporate partnership branding opportunities, media extensions (leading to more impressions), and 24/7 fan access.

    While the team acknowledges that its new iPhone application is just Stage 1, there are endless opportunities and developments that will soon be seen through this engagement medium. For more information, recently featured a tremendous writeup on the functionality and features of the new Arsenal iPhone application.

    Check out a video demonstration of the Arsenal iPhone app below:


    Arsenal Uses the Web to Build Global Presence

    Are you looking for new ways to drive your team's growth on an international scale? Are you looking for ways to gain new fans in foreign markets?

    During the team's match vs. Tottenham Hotspur match this morning, Arsenal used its innovative field-level LED messaging to promote its new website dedicated to fans in China - The team partnered with Titan Online in '09 to create the Official Mandarin language website, which signals the first of several planned initiatives to further penetrate the China marketplace. The site serves as an evolution of the one Arsenal first created in 2007 (, and will feature up-to-date news, highlights, articles and information for the team's fans in China. 

    The site represents the strong push that many key stakeholders in the English Premier League are making to solidify a presence in the Far East and the United States. EPL clubs Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal have all led the movement by playing international friendlies, offering dedicated websites for fans across the globe, and hosting clinics and soccer schools in foreign lands.

    Arsenal even recently launched a website dedicated to their fanbase in the United States, Americans represent 8% of all traffic on, the club's most popular territory after the UK in terms of web traffic. Check out some screen shots of below:



    Consider Bringing Your Stadium Stairs to Life

    Are you looking to provide incremental inventory for corporate partners? Are you looking for new ways to leverage sonic branding at your venue?

    Sports organizations looking for new ways to enhance the gameday experience via branding should take note of the piano stairs craze circulating around the world. If you have not seen the clip yet (shown below), Volkswagen decided that it would change consumer behavior (taking the escalator vs. the stairs) just by making a staircase "more fun".

    The result? Volkswagen's plan worked. After the company worked with DDB to transform a staircase in Stockholm's Odenplan subway station into a giant piano (that played music as people stepped on the stairs), 66% of persons chose to take the stairs. Check it out below:

    Sports representatives should take the creative piano stairs concept and look for ways that it can be applied in their stadium environment. After all, Stockholm execution proved that it is a concept that consumers are receptive to and react positively. Soon enough a vendor will emerge that will help make piano stairs a mainstream phenomenon in the United States.

    How can this idea be replicated in the sports space? Sports organizations can create piano stairs that play:

    • Excerpts of team theme songs
    • In-game jingles (7th inning stretch, goal horn, famous announcer sayings, etc.)
    • Corporate partner theme songs (e.g. McDonald's jingle)
    • Team music (e.g. Banshee Music produced intro/outro tunes)
    • Popular music amongst fans (pop hits, etc.)

    The piano stairs concept has already been implemented at various locales in the United States and at venues across the globe (for those sports organizations looking to benchmark how this idea may work in their venue):



    The Islanders Take Their Gameday Programs Digital

    Are you looking to implement new green initiatives? Are you searching for new ways to leverage emerging technologies to enhance the fan experience?

    The New York Islanders are tackling two efforts - going green and staying up-to-speed with technology - by introducing Digital Gameday Programs to all its fans attending the team's home games in 2009. As part of the team's "Goal Green" initiative in 2009, the Islanders will completely replace their traditional programs with a version that fans can access on their PC's and mobile phones the day of each home game.

    The Digital Gameday Programs will mirror the team's previous print offering, complete with rosters, match-ups, stats, and advertisements. The interactive programs will even include gameday video, promotions, contests, and offers. Thus far, the team has seen 60,000 fans sign up for a Digital Magazine subscription (free).

    An example of the team's Digital Gameday Programs can be seen here.

    Source: Sports Business Journal, 


    Boost Game Day Sales with Vending Machines...

    Are you looking for ways to drive concessions sales while reducing staffing costs? Are you looking for new ways toenhance stadium merchandise/concessions offerings?

    As stadium operators constantly look for new ways to enhance stadium concessions and the overall game day experience, they should consider some incorporating some new vending innovations. recently created a "60 Vending Machines of the Future" piece that could have some strong implications in the sports marketplace. Here are a few examples:

    Offer Free Drink Vending Machines

    The Apex Corp, a vending machine operator, is expected to roll out a service soon that allows consumers to receive free beverages from vending machines for watching :30 advertisements. Vending machines are being turned into a new medium for marketers to reward consumers who are willing to watch/entertain their advertisements (by paying a partial/full cost of the product).

    Offer Luxury Coffee Vending Machines

    Starbucks has introduced a string of Hot Drink machines to the marketplace that help the brand satisfy consumer demand in areas where their stores cannot be placed (hockey rinks, outdoor events, office break rooms, grocery retail locations,etc.). The self-serve expresso kiosks were featured in 86 Albertsons retail locations nationwide in 2008. The UK's coffee machine operator LTT Vending saw a 55% increase in sales over the past year as consumers sought cheaper alternatives to Starbucks, etc.

    Offer Exclusive Merchandise Vending Machines

    Teams should consider aligning with exclusive apparel providers to sell exclusive team apparel/merchandise in select vending machines around the concourse. From another angle, sports organizations can align with hotel chains and retail partners to feature vending machines offering limited edition merchandise at their respective locations (poolside, etc.). Quicksilver recently aligned with the standard hotel to design an exclusive line of swimwear that is sold at poolside vending machines.

    Leverage Redbox (or DVDPlay)

    Sports organizations should consider aligning with Redbox to feature their championship DVD's, season highlights, game tapes, and specialty shows (behind-the-scenes looks at the cheerleader calendar, mascot outtakes, etc.) in Red Box machines throughout the local marketplace. Sponsors can front load/back load these videos with sponsor messaging to help cover any upfront costs, etc.

    Offer Customizable Beverage Dispensers

    Coca-Cola recently unveiled a customizable drink dispenser called the "Freestyle"that enables consumers to mix and match their favorite flavors. The select Coca-Cola vending machines, which will be rolled out in California and Orgeon in 2009, willoffer 140 different assortments of flavors for consumers to choose from (based on the color, calorie, and caffeine content they prefer).

    Feature Sun Screen Vending Machines

    Tourstaking place in outdoor environments (AVP, Extreme Sports, etc.) should consider featuring Sunscreen Mist vending machines in their event footprints. The special vending machines dispense both sunscreen (in a variety of SPF's) and self-tanning products for consumers totake advantage of and enjoy.

    Feature SMS Vending Machines

    Fosfor, a Belgian marketing agency, created a vending machine called the Boobox that enables consumers to receive free goodies in exchange for simply submitting a free SMS message (a way for companies to build a mobile database in an inexpensive manner if the product price is minimal). Each submitted SMS message gives a bounce back access code that can be used to order a product from the vending machine.

    Player ID Card Vending Dispensers

    In a partnership with a local DMV, etc. teams can feature unique vending machines in stadium concourses that enable fans to purchase fake player ID's. The team can sell the ID's (at a fixed low-dollar price point) as a collectible that fans can keep in their wallets. To fund the project, teams can sign on a title sponsor who receives branding on the back of the card, etc.

    Each player's ID would mirror a drivers license (featuring their height, weight, hometown, etc.) and potentially could be redeemed for exclusive experiences, etc. This would be a very interesting concept for a marketing agency to implement in NASCAR (feature vending machines around the track where fans can purchase a fake Jeff Gordon drivers license for the chance to win a trip to the Jeff Gordon Racing School).

    Feature Pizza Vending Machines

    Claudio Torghele recently unveiled the world's first vending machine that makes pizza from scratch in less than three (3) minutes. The vending machine technology, called Let's Pizza, enables consumers to order custom pizzas for under five (5) dollars and watch the whole process through a glass window on the vending machine. The Let's Pizza machine could provide teams a great way to offer fans yet another concessions option while saving costs onstaffing behind the counter.


    Custom Domain Extensions Will Soon Change the Sports Industry...

    Are you looking for new ways to control your content and web domains online? Are you looking for ways that the sports marketplace will be impacted by technological advancements in the coming years?

    Beginning in 2010, brands will be able to purchase their own name in place of traditional domain extensions (.com, .org, .net, .edu) through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). For a price of $185,000, brands will be able to purchase top-level domain extensions (gTLD's) that enable them to create real and specific branded websites.

    For example, new domain regulations will enable a company like Pepsi to create custom domains like 'drinking.pepsi' and 'thepepsichallenge.pepsi'. These regulations will allow brands to have a greater control over their domain andcounter cyber-squatters who purchase related domain names that prevent brands from utilizing preferred terms. Companies operating on a smaller scale will be able to purchase specific domain names that signify their geographic location (thewestin.florida) or business sector.

    How will this affect the industry? We could soon see a number of organizations adopt new web extensions, including:

    • Major Brands (.pepsi, .kraft, .mcdonalds)
    • Locations (Olympics.chicago, worldcup.southafrica)
    • Sports Organizations (basketball.chicagobulls, track.usc)
    • Media Outlets (, racing.speedtv)
    • Athletes (basketball.shaq, golf.tiger)

    One of the biggest hurdles with the new domain extension regulations is that brands are simply not aware that they will be provided the opportunity to purchase their own custom extension. ICANN expects to receive 300-500 applications next year before industry leaders catch on to the opportunity.

    Look fora domain gold rush to happen soon!Who will be the first to chase .god, .yankees, and .sex? Only time will tell.