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    Looking to Feature New Outfield Signage Elements?

    Are you looking to feature new, interactive elements at your games? Are you looking to incorporate 3D signage into the game day experience?

    The Grant Sign Group is a company based out of Canada that has been delivering outdoor advertising experiences for over 35 years. The company is considered an industry leader in a variety of outdoor advertising sectors and is beginning to do more and more in the 3D space.

    While the company's offerings primarily cater to businesses looking to promote their products and retail locations, they recently created a signage piece that can directly cater to teams (as shown below). The company created a 3D billboard display for Pattison Outdoor (an outdoor marketing agency) that features a fan's mouth moving up and down.

    The signage piece would make for a tremendous, interactive outfield signage piece (if a ball went in the mouth, situated above the outfield wall, one fan would win jackpot or free dentist trips for life) and/or a creative way to drive fan attention to messaging in the concourse level. Check it out below!


    Roush Fenway Racing Uses QVC Humor to Sell Sponsorships

    As noted in this week's SportsBusiness Journal, Roush Fenway Racing has turned to The Barbarian Group to retool its website and online sales strategy in an effort to attract more sponsors. Roush's new digital efforts are highlighted by a new collection of sales and marketing videos featured on the site designed to tell an entertaining story that also effectively makes a sales point.

    The first viral spot is a QVC spoof that features Roush Fenway Racing's Sean Pragano detailing the value of sponsorship opportunities at RFR. The video serves as a great benchmark for other organizations looking to retool their sponsorship sales efforts with a fresh new look (especially coming out of a tough economy).

    Check out the clip below and consider new ways that you can breathe new air into your sales efforts!

    For more, check out Roush Fenway Racing's Official YouTube Channel.

    Source: SportsBusiness Journal 4/26/2010 (subscription only)


    Take Your Outdoor Sports Digital Efforts to New Heights

    Are you looking for new ways to engage consumers in outdoor settings? Are you looking to capitalize on the growing usage of mobile phones?

    Take a quick look at a terrific outdoor digital initiative DDB recently executed on behalf of McDonald's in Stockholm. The outdoor game tasked consumers with taking a picture on their cell phone of menu items that bounced and soared past the screen. Can you say engaging?

    Now take a quick moment to think of all the applications this could have in the sports space. A team that prominently features a similar digital display piece on the facade of their stadium/arena could create a similar offering that tasks fans with taking camera pictures of:

    • Dropping tickets - A team could allocate a block of 100 tickets per game discounted at 50% off to fans who take a picture of a dropping ticket on their cell phone and take it to the Will Call counter for purchase
    • Dropping balls - Teams could make this item very hard to catch (fast speeds) and offer autograph merchandise to any fans who are able to take a picture of it on their phone
    • Dropping concessions (hot dogs, popcorn, etc.) - Teams could offer free/discounted concessions items to fans who are able to take pictures of these items on their mobile phone
    • Partner Discounts (dropping movie tickets, free gas vouchers, project starters, etc.)
    • Dropping dollar bills - Teams can offer $5 bills that are redeemable for a $20 purchase in the team store on game day
    • Dropping Mascot - Teams can offer fans, who take a picture of the mascot soaring across the screen, the chance to partake in unique experiences at the ballpark (promotions, video board cameos, behind-the-scenes tours, promotional giveaway opportunities, etc.)

    Digital boards located outside stadium venues offering similar digital games could serve as a great way to reward fans who aren't able to make it into the game or come to attend a watch party. Consider this tactic when you are looking for new ways to reward those attending games (pre-game and post-game), not attending games (premier games, watch parties), and are looking for a reason to just stop by and check out the stadium during the week.


    The Giants Kick off 2010 with a Flash Mob

    Are you looking for new ways to drive buzz and celebrate the start of a new season? Are you looking for ways to engage fans and consumers alike with a unique awareness driver designed to attract media attention?

    The San Francisco Giants recently celebrated the start of the 2010 MLB season by featuring a flash mob at Union Square, a popular locale in San Francisco. The event served as a fan rally that featured a couple hundred boisterous Giants fans singing Bye Bye Baby (a ritual for Giants fans). To pull off the stunt, the Giants held a pep rally at AT&T Stadium and distributed lyrics to the song that fans could print off and memorize before coming to participate.

    Check out the execution of the event below:

    The Giants drove participation for the event by offering fans the chance to take part in an Official team commercial and receive a free "It's Magic Inside" t-shirt via campaign postings on their team website, Facebook, and Craigslist (as shown below):


    Puma Celebrates the Game of Soccer in Africa

    Are you searching for new campaigns centered around the World Cup? Are you looking for new, compelling soccer campaigns?

    Puma recently released an outstanding World Cup advertising campaign entitled The Journey of Football. The spot, created by Syrup, showcases the impact that soccer has had across Africa and celebrates the origins of the game and its ability to unite nations.

    Puma's campaign serves as a great example of ways that non-Official brands can still create captivating campaigns that energize consumers around the world. 

    There's no question that this Puma spot, to the tune of Gnarls Barkley's hit song 'Going On' will get you excited about the upcoming 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Check it out below: 


    Capitalize on Marathon Traffic with Street Teams

    Are you looking for new ways to capitalize on marathons taking place in your city or town? Are you looking for ways to impact a race participant's experience?

    Nike recently drove awareness at the Los Angeles Marathon by hiring a street team to engage with consumers while they passed the Niketown retail location in downtown LA. The street team, dressed in green spandex outfits (resembling green men) electrified the race participants by dancing and showcasing signs. While the initiative can't be counted on as an effective traffic driver, it does serve as a great way for Nike to drive awareness and engage their core target demo.

    Check out the clip below, and be sure to tune into the :55 mark where there is a race participant wearing a classic "PedEx" outfit that resembles a FedEx truck:


    Does Your Venue Scream Your Brand?

    Are you looking for new ways to renovate areas within your stadium or arena? Are you looking for new ways to build your brand through unique messaging points on game day?

    The Arizona Cardinals organization has done a tremendous job turning the walls of University of Phoenix Stadium into giant brand building pieces. The signage inventory can serve as a tremendous way to ingrain corporate partners in a non-intrusive manner. Check out some examples below:


    The Mavs Raffle Off Nowitzki Bobblehead for Charity

    Are you looking to enhance the fan experience on game day? Are you looking for new ways to highlight your team's stars?

    One of the highlights of the 2010 NBA All-Star weekend was a life-sized, 7-foot bobblehead figurine of Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. The statue was an instant attraction for fans searching for photo opportunities within the interactive NBA Jam Session footprint and served as an effective way for the Mavericks organization to highlight its franchise player.

    The team brought the statue to life for fans by allowing them to purchase $5 raffle tickets for the chance to own it, with 100% of proceeds benefiting the Mavs Foundation.  



    Drive Ticket Sales with Facebook Friday Promotions

    Are you looking for new ways to drive ticket sales through social media channels? Are you looking for ways that Facebook can help drive your business?

    Rutgers University recently announced that it would be offering a select ticket offer to all fans who sign up for its official University Athletics webpage. The promotion, entitled "Facebook Friday", enables fans who join the Rutgers Athletics Facebook page by Friday, January 29th will receive an exclusive promotional code for $5.00 tickets in the promenade for the Rutgers MBB home game against Notre Dame on Saturday, January 30th.

    By creating "Facebook Friday", "Twitter Tuesday", and "Social Media Saturday" offers, teams can create a simple, memorable reminder for fans looking for promotional discounts and exclusive opportunities. It is one thing to continuously offer fans bland offers. It's another to create signature promotional campaigns around select days throughout the week (where one can expect to drive significant impressions and engagement). 

    Sports marketers looking for other ways to leverage Facebook should consider checking out a Checkers Facebook Coupons initiative that the Charlotte Checkers recently implemented. The team is featuring printable coupons (positioned as banner ads) that members of the Checkers' Facebook Fan Page can redeem for free merchandise, discounts, and special promotions. However it is important to note that if organizations chose to replicate the "Facebook Coupons" concept, one should ensure that they have the appropriate fulfillment and messaging in place to satisfy fan demand on game day!

    Check out the conceptual design of the Checkers Facebook Coupons below:


    adidas Goes Guerrilla with Star Wars Characters

    Are you looking for new ways to leverage partnerships in an effort to drive retail traffic? Are you looking for new ways to leverage mascots and non-traditional characters?

    adidas recently drove awareness and traffic to its flagship store on Orchard Road in Singapore by executing a terrific Stars Wars guerrilla marketing stunt. The exhibition, designed to promote the launch of adidas' 2010 Originals x Star Wars collection, featured approximately 20 Stars Wars characters (led by Darth Vader) raiding the adidas store, purchasing goods, and engaging with consumers while walking the streets of Singapore with branded adidas bags in tow. adidas teamed up with the 501st Star Wars Costume Group to execute the stunt.

    Sports properties looking for new ways to drive traffic and buzz at retail should consider ways that they can benchmark adidas' creative Star Wars stunt. For example, properties and retail partners can easily team up to hire a team of actors wearing football equipment (resembling the team's players) running through a mall and into a desired store location during a busy shopping weekend.

    Retail partners can even drive team affiliation awareness by featuring actors (in uniforms) doing touchdown celebrations/plays at high-traffic street corners and offer tickets/discounts to passerby consumers. Consider ways that you can leverage mascots and non-traditional characters (e.g. actors in uniform) to drive traffic and awareness to your location. For the price of store appearance by a premier player ($750+ for 90 minutes), retailers can deliver as much (if not more) value with a set of qualified actors performing a unique marketing stunt!

    Check out adidas' Star Wars stunt below:


    The Checkers Let You Check Out Their "Cribs"

    Are you looking for new ways to leverage housing/realtor partners? Are you looking for ways to help build the identity of your organization's players outside of the stadium/arena? 

    The ECHL's Charlotte Checkers recently promoted their partnership with the Park at Steele Creek living community by creating a humorous "Cribs" vignette that features the apartment of defenseman Ethan Graham. The 8:31 feature does a tremendous job profiling "The Official Off-Ice Home of the Charlotte Checkers" and provide fans with an inside look at the lifestyle of a minor league hockey player. It's refreshing to see teams work so closely with their players to provide unique content for fans (even if we aren't dealing with mansions and luxury automobiles behind the scenes)...

    The Checkers feature the Cribs vignette along with a collection of other videos on the team's official YouTube Channel (check it out - a nice benchmark for other minor league organizations). 

    Check out the Checkers' Cribs segment below:

    Hats off to Thomas Smith and Patrick Stack for continuing to do some great things for the Checkers organization... keep up the great work!


    Arsenal Players Dress as Mascots for Fundraising Effort

    Are you looking for new ways to drive awareness and support for charitable organizations? Are you looking to create in-game call-to-action that inspires fans in a humorous way?

    Arsenal FC recently honored the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, the team's official charity of 2009, by creating a terrific "Fundraising Day" promotional spot to inspire fans. The team is dedicating their November 29th match against Chelsea to the cause and Arsenal players and directors will be donating a day's wages to help raise funds for the team's charity - an act that is unheard of in the United States.

    The team's humorous "Fundraising Day" campaign spot features four (4) players (Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott, Andrey Arshavin, and Bacary Sagna) dressed as mascots and roaming the streets in an effort to collect funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. The club hopes that the promotional vignette will help them meet their "Be a Gooner. Be a Giver" '09-'10 campaign goal of raising 500,000 euros.   

    Check out the clip below:

    Filming the promotional spot proved to be a hit with the team's players:

    "I visited Great Ormond Street Hospital back in August so I know what this means to the charity and the patients. I encourage all supporters to follow our lead and give what they can. This advert is a bit of fun for the players and we hope supporters enjoy it, but there is a very real message in it about helping this Hospital and we hope to raise lots of money for this worthwhile cause." - Cesc Fabregas



    Guitar Hero Inspires Soccer Fans Everywhere

    Are you looking to create a captivating soccer viral piece? Are you looking for new ways to incorporate both music and sports?

    Sony BMG recently turned to Umbro and five (5) freestyle soccer players to create one of the greatest sports-music experiments of all time. Sony BMG was looking for a unique way to promote a new hit single (Underdog) from the British band Kasabian and decided to do so by creating a real-life version of Guitar Hero using the help of some soccer enthusiasts.

    The collaborating parties placed huge target billboard panels (synched up to a Guitar Hero game featuring the new song) on the walls of an abandoned warehouse and tasked the five (5) soccer players with kicking soccer balls at the targets with enough accuracy to strike the right chord. After seventeen (17) attempts, the group achieved an accuracy score of 76! Pretty impressive!  

    Check out the Kasabian Football Hero execution below:

    Check out a behind-the-scenes look of how the spot was produced:



    Arsenal Unveils "The Spirit of Highbury"

    Are you looking to implement new marketing efforts on gameday? Are you looking to renovate an existing area of your stadium facility?

    Sports organizations looking for new ways to honor their players, supporters, and staff (past and present), should consider benchmarking the recent efforts of Arsenal FC. The EPL club has recently made a concerted effort (which it refers to as Arsenalisation) to recognize its greatest team contributors and moments.  

    The Arsenalisation movement is highlighted by "The Spirit of Highbury", an image erected at the South end of the club's new home, Emirates Stadium, that features a lineup of every Arsenal player and manager that competed for the team when it played at the Highbury (their old venue facility) between 1913 and 2006. Arsenal FC put a tremendous amount of effort into The Spirit of Highbury, as it even called on the likes of Nike and Wieden and Kennedy (W+K) to complete the project.  

    The club created the amazing image by blending a range of images from glass negatives to modern digital photography. There are only four (4) players who remain unaccounted for in the image and are featured as silhouettes. Per Arsenal's website, "the Spirit of Highbury now stands as a permanent symbol of the Club's proud history and a testament to the achievements that have stemmed from the efforts of every player, supporter, and member of staff, past and present".

    Check out how the Spirit of Highbury was created below:


    2010 Vancouver Olympics Watch 

    Are you looking for new ways to leverage the Olympics? Are you looking for ways that Canada and the rest of the globe are gearing up for the 2010 Olympic Games?

    With the 2010 Vancouver Olympics taking place officially less than 100 days away, many official Olympics partners and ambush marketers are already implementing significant programs to build buzz and excitement for the Games. Here is a quick look at ten (10) of the best in-market branding and activation elements generating buzz across Canada:

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