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    Entries in sports marketing (9)


    FC Barcelona Uses Humor to Welcome Cesc Fabregas Back Home

    Over the past few years, teams have certainly become smarter and much more creative when it comes to marketing during free agency. With millions of dollars in merchandise sales, ticket sales, and other concessions at stake, teams are generating fan interest and awareness a number of ways.  

    FC Barcelona recently unveiled one of the most unique approaches when it launched a cartoon vignette to welcome Cesc Fabregas, one of the greatest soccer players in the world, to their organization. The vignette features a mix of humor, pop culture, and creativity to welcome their new star player back home.

    Check it out below and consider how your organization can capitalize on a similar business approach during free agency!


    Lynx Uses Augmented Reality to Make a Splash at Victoria Station

    Unilever recently teamed up with Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) to create a captivating augmented reality campaign at London's Victoria Station in an effort to drive buzz and awareness for the Lynx brand (an extension of Axe in the UK).

    Unilever created an initiative where consumers could stand on a special floormat within Victoria Station and see themselves interacting with virtual Lynx Angels (models) on a giant video board near by. The augmented reality campaign attracted the attention of thousands of consumers passing through the busy locale and served as a great way for the brand to create a viral piece that has generated plenty of buzz in the digital realm.

    Unilever's campaign is very interesting because it is a tactic that could be replicated by professional sports organizations looking to make a splash in a high-traffic location prior to the season, during key events (All-Star weekend, etc.), or during the offseason. Teams could work with a local agency to create digital footage of players and embed it in an augmented reality campaign that truly engages fans at a moment when they least expect it.

    Check out the Lynx Angels campaign below:


    Vodafone Unveils a New Chassis With the Help From Fans

    Vodafone McLaren Mercedes recently held a ceremony at Berlin's Potsdamer Platz to unveil its new MP4-226 F1 chassis. But instead of hosting a typical ceremonial event, Vodafone incorporated fans into the festivities and captured the entire event on camera.

    Vodafone called on dozens of competition winners, fans, and customers to deliver various parts of the chassis to a prominent stage area where the F1 vehicle was gradually built one component at a time. Fans rolled in tires and carried various F1 car parts to the surprise of hundreds of onlookers taking in all of the action. As various elements were delivered, Vodafone drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button assembled the final parts to reveal the team's new F1 chassis.

    Vodafone captured all of the action and created a 2:31 viral to share the event with the rest of the world. In a matter of weeks, the unique video garnered 199,000+ votes.

    Check it out below:




    ING's "Human Billboard" Campaign Has Sports Implications

    Sports organizations looking for new ways to make a huge splash in the offseason with a nominal marketing budget should consider benchmarking a terrific campaign recently implemented by ING Direct in Italy.

    ING Direct had discovered that word-of-mouth referrals by existing customers served as a key driver for bringing in new business. ING looked to bring this notion to life by teaming up with Leo Burnett Milan to create a "Human Billboard" campaign that featured real customers sitting and standing atop billboards, strapped onto the side of city buses, and positioned on elevated displays in high-traffic areas inside a city setting.

    The campaign proved to be tremendously popular, as consumers passing by the displays interacted with the brand activists, creating banter that was filmed and featured in an effective advertising campaign. 

    The concept of the "Human Billboard" could have a number of implications in the sports space. Minor league teams looking to drive interest and awareness in the local marketplace could leverage season ticket holders and enthusiastic supporters in a similar fan-centric campaign. Marathons, triathlons and other major events could also implement a similar promotional concept to show how "real" participants are. Apparel companies and other manufacturers of products endemic to sports could also consider benchmarking the ING Direct campaign to bring product launches to life, etc.

    Check out the terrific campaign below!



    Old Hat Creative Delivers a Terrific Recap of the Big Chill at the Big House

    Sports properties looking to give their marketing materials, recaps, and videoboard vignettes some flair should take a close look at some of the work that Old Hat Creative is doing on behalf of their partners.

    Old Hat did a tremendous job creating a collection of marketing materials for The Big Chill at the Big House, an outdoor hockey game between the University of Michigan and Michigan State that was played in front of an announced crowd of 104,000+ at Michigan Stadium in December.

    To drive buzz around the event, Old Hat developed:

    • The Big Chill at the Big House Microsite
    • An Intro Video - Click Here to View               
    • A Historical Tribute - Click Here to View
    • A "Pump Up" Video - Click Here to View
    • A Prelude - Click Here to View
    • A Michigan 3D Video - Click Here to View

    But Old Hat's finest work was their recap of The Big Chill at the Big House, which is one of the most original recaps that we have seen in some time! Check it out below:


    "Must-See" Site of the Day:

    A few days ago, the New York Knicks officially launched an innovative social media oriented site that has become a hot topic of conversation in the digital sports space. The site,, is a team-operated community that provides real-time social media insights and nuggets of information in a concise, digestible format. offers a tremendous amount of high-quality content in a simple format - two aspects of digital media that fans are looking for. The site features a plethora of videos, high-res images, post-game interviews, blog posts, relevant tweets, live Facebook integration, content sharing features, headlines, quotes, daily photo uploads, and caption contests. Fans can feature @thenyknicks in their Tweets throughout Knicks games for the chance to be featured on

    Per Howard Jacobs, EVP of Marketing and Sales for MSG Sports, " is the next digital step in our total fan engagement strategy. It's the ultimate destination for our most passionate and loyal fans to access exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on the team and fully engage with other Knicks fans and our players in the dynamic, ever-changing conversation that's taking place across the social media landscape."

    The interactive site could soon become a benchmark for organizations across all sports looking to host their social media initiatives all in one hub. Check out some screen shots of the site below:


    More Sports Marketing Trends to Watch 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:


    Bring Game Entertainment to Life for Fans Via Social Media

    Each and every football weekend, sports marketers need to consider ways that they can recreate the stadium experience for thousands of viewers at home. With social media, marketers have a very cost-effective platform to bring stadium entertainment to life for fans to watch during the week, before games, and after huge victories.

    Quality content that can be captured and rebroadcasted via social media can include:

    • Pre-Game
      • Pre-game introductions, scoreboard introduction videos, pre-game traditions, time lapse videos of fans entering the stadium, pictures/video of game day giveaways, the National Anthem, pre-game skydivers, tailgating insights, pep rallies, pre-game concerts, pre-game band performances, warmups/walk-throughs, etc.
    • In-Game
      • Scoreboard features, on-field promotions, fan cheers, cheerleaders/dance team, halftime entertainment, in-game ceremonies, etc.
    • Post-Game
      • Band performances, team celebrations, post-game interviews, fan celebrations, scoreboard highlights, fireworks, post-game concerts, etc.

    As an example of capturing quality game day footage, enclosed is a great video that lets fans experience the thrills of a skydiver gliding into a stadium packed with 80,000+ screaming fans before a rivalry game. Capture these special moments for your fan base!


    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.