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    Capital One Offers Fans a Chance to Rule Death Valley

    Capital One leveraged its designation as the Official Bank of LSU Athletics by offering fans the chance to "Rule Death Valley" for a day. The promotion, launched in August, allowed fans a chance to win an ultimate LSU Football experience that included reserved VIP parking, premium club seats, pre-game sideline access, and a chance to partake in the pe-game coin toss.

    The VIP experience also included a behind-the-scenes tour of the Cox Sports Production Facilities, meet-n-greets with Athletics Director Joe Alleva, the "Voice of the Tigers" Jim Hawthorne, the LSU cheerleaders and the mascot, a Les Miles autographed football, and official LSU merchandise. The parties marketed the promotion as a way to "Stand on the Field, Watch from the Club, and Hang in the Booth".

    Fans could enter for a chance to win simply by visiting any one of Capital One Bank's 176 Louisiana branches. The promotion allowed Capital One an opportunity to collect consmer data, drive traffic to brand locations throughout Louisiana, and drive awareness and buzz around the start of the 2010 LSU football season. LSU Athletics and Capital One were able utilize the promotion to generate a tremendous amount of sales leads with a unique prize package that in reality had a pretty low cost of prizing elements involved.

    Check out some marketing elements supporting the promotion below:


    Toronto FC and adidas Let Fans Design the 2012 Team Kit

    Sports organizations looking for new ways to leverage apparel providers should closely monitor a new promotion that adidas and Toronto FC have teamed up to offer the team's fans in Ontario. The two parties are allowing the team's followers an opportunity to design the 2012 supporters kit (team uniform) for the chance to win the first official 2012 kit prototype, signed by the entire Toronto FC squad.

    The promotion is very engaging because it allows fans to create their own design based on their stylistic interests yet it's offered in a relatively controlled manner on the official "Create Your Kit" microsite. Toronto FC fans living in Ontario have been very receptive to the initiative, with 4,000+ fans submitting their favorite designs in less than 48 hours since the site's launch on October 26th (the promotion runs through November 22nd).

    Take a moment to check out the site's design and page elements below:


    Monster Energy and Prokos Rentals Align with Ohio Athletics

    Courtesy of Ohio Univ. Media RelationsAt the dawn of the 2010 NCAA basketball season, Ohio University Athletics partnered with Monster Energy Drink to attempt a Guinness World Record for the most Monster Energy Drinks opened and consumed at one time.

    The Ohio University Athletics marketing department teamed up with a local Pepsi distributor to bring in 2,200 cans of Monster Energy in for the men's basketball team's Hardwood Hysteria event, a practice session that offered high-flying dunks, a skills challenge, and an intrasquad scrimmage for fans to enjoy free of charge.

    While Ohio University Athletics failed to distribute 2,200 cans of Monster Energy in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record, the event served as a great benchmark for sports organizations looking to set niche records. The promotion serves as a great example of ways that mid-major athletic departments can attempt to attract fans looking to be a part of a historical moment.

    Courtesy of Ohio Univ. Media RelationsThe Ohio University Athletic Department also activated its partnership with Prokos Rentals, a local Athens realtor, at the Hardwood Hysteria event. Prokos Rentals allowed select registrants a chance to compete for the title of "Ms. Bobcat" through a series of competitions that included a costume contest, a dance competition, a skills competition, and a trivia contest. Lisa Kirk, an Ohio University Sports Management senior, was declared the winner of the competition, taking home free rent, a salon prize package, and $500 cash!

    A special thanks to the Executive Board of The Ohio University Sports Business Association for their insights and contributions to this column. The Ohio University Sports Business Association is an organization of individuals who wish to enhance their educational experience outside of the classroom with like minded individuals who are all working toward a common goal of improving themselves and their peers through practical experiences. Follow The Ohio University Sports Business Assocation on Twitter at: @ohiousba.


    Seattle Bank Leverages Player Appearances to Offer Ultimate Fan Debit Cards

    Seattle Bank has teamed up with the Seattle Seahawks to offer fans a chance to receive the "Ultimate Fan Debit Card". The regional bank is leveraging player appearances through their partnership with the Seahawks organization to offer fans the chance to have their picture taken with their favorite player and printed directly on their debit card.

    Seattle Bank's custom debit cards featuring Seahawks player likenesses serve as a great way to drive account conversions, promote affiliation awareness, and keep their retail locations top of mind in the wallets and minds of their customers.


    The LA Sparks Team Up to Promote Anti-Tobacco Campaign

    The WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks teamed up with the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) to implement a terrific anti-tobacco campaign designed to to drive awareness and traffic around state resources to help smokers quit. The partnership leveraged the Sparks new head coach, Jennifer Gillom, as a spokesperson to effectively message to African American, Latino, and LGBT fans in attendance at Sparks games.

    Activation tactics in support of the campaign included:

    • A PA Announcement, featuring Coach Gillom, that was promoted through the team's various media channels (in-broadcast, online, and on the scoreboard)
    • In-arena signage, including courtside rotational messaging and camera-visible underbelly signage prominently featured underneath the scoreboard
    • Select community events
    • Presenting sponsorship of select game nights, including the home opener and Gospel Night
    • On-court contests, Jumbotron messaging, interactive concourse exhibits, and more

    The campaign proved to be very successful for all parties involved and the LA County Tobacco Control and Prevention Program reported a significant increase in traffic to its website,, and call center hotline (1-800-NO BUTTS).

    Check out Coach Gillom's special anti-tobacco announcement below:


    An Inside Look at the Amway Center, Home of the Magic

    The Orlando Magic recently opened the doors of their new home, the Amway Center, and the venue is already being considered one of the finest arenas in the entire world. The team broke ground on the Amway Center, a $480MM facility, in 2008 and recently celebrated its grand opening on October 1st, just in time for the 2010 NBA season.

    The Amway Center features a number of world-class elements, including state-of-the-art displays, unique venue buildouts, kids play areas, unique sponsorship tactics, and more. The arena, designed and developed by Populous, is already scheduled to host the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, Monday Night Raw, the Eagles, Lady Gaga and more. Click here to see a complete gallery of all the arena's amenities, displays, and destinations, including:

    • The Budweiser Baseline Bar
    • The Gentleman Jack Terrace
    • Disney Atrium
    • The OZone Section
    • Stuff's Magic Castle Kids Area
    • Orlando Magic Team Shop
    • State-of-the-Art Scoreboard
    • AirTran Deck, Kia Automobile Displays
    • Amway Center Fanbulance
    • Murals, Concessions Areas, Concourse Displays, and More!

    *Orlando Magic corporate partners include Amway, Anheuser-Busch, Geico, Harris Corp., Gentlemen Jack, Kia, AirTran, PepsiCo, Disney, Grand Bohemian Hotel, Barnie's Coffee & Tea Company, T-Mobile, MillerCoors, and more!


    Driving Sponsorship Value for Nonprofit Partners

    The sponsorship landscape is oftentimes defined by monumental agreements, economic implications, new trends, and technologies. In today's day and age, it's really easy to get lost in all the dollar signs and ignore the true reasons why partnerships happen and how different segments of people can benefit greatly as a result.

    This post is designed to drive awareness for some of the good deeds taking place in our industry.

    In early September, InStadium teamed up with two entities - the Flight 93 National Memorial and the Detroit Tigers - to make something truly memorable happen. Through their relationship with the Tigers organization, InStadium was able to help the Flight 93 National Memorial deliver an impactful PSA to thousands of fans attending Comerica Field on September 11th.

    The Tigers organization ran the PSA scoreboard spot pro bono to demonstrate their support for the Flight 93 National Memorial and all the lives that were lost in Somerset County, PA on September 11, 2001. 

    Nonprofit partners and businesses with small to moderate marketing budgets that could be turned off from sponsorships simply due to dollar figures should consider reaching out to InStadium to gauge various integration opportunities. InStadium has a significant amount of relationships with sports organizations throughout the nation and can oftentimes negotiate valuable partnership/integration opportunities on behalf of their partners, as they did with the Flight 93 National Memorial. If you come up with a creative idea (regardless of your marketing budget), find partners like InStadium who can help you bring it to life!


    Nationwide Teams Up with the Bengals to Let Fans Growl

    Nationwide Insurance, the Exclusive Insurance Provider of the Cincinnati Bengals, is leveraging its team partnership with an innovative promotion designed to engage the Bengals fanbase. The initiative, entitled the "World's Greatest Growl in the World", allows fans to perform a :30 karaoke version of the Bengals touchdown song for the chance to be featured on the Bengals website and an ultimate Grand Prize of $25,000.

    Each week, fans who submit videos can win co-branded items, tickets, and autographed merchandise for participating and the ten (10) best entries will be featured on Fans can then log in and vote daily for their favorite performance among the entries submitted (thus, both performers and voters become active leads for Nationwide). Fans who submit their favorite clips even have the ability to share them with family and friends via email.

    Nationwide's "The World's Greatest Growl in the World" promotion has been extremely well received by Bengals fans thus far. Fans loved performing :30 karaoke versions at the Bengals home opener and traffic to the website has been very active in the early weeks of the promotion. Nationwide will also be leveraging its partnership with the Bengals by offering free ferry rides to Bengals games for all fans on a co-branded ferry (another great idea!).

    The Bengals feature a collection of fan videos on There are some classic performances that are worth checking out!



    Qdoba Tailgates in a Big Way at Seahawks Games

    As an Official Partner of the Seattle Seahawks, Qdoba Mexican Grill is offering fans in Seattle the chance to win a VIP 12th Fan Tailgate Party.

    The ultimate game experience includes (4) Seahawks tickets and parking spots, exclusive access to the Qdoba VIP Tailgate Lounge (which included a private server) for (20) people, and a VIP area that features (3) flat screen televisions, an XBOX 360, comfortable seating, and more!

    Fans looking to win the VIP 12th Fan Tailgate Party experience simply have to head to their local participating Qdoba location, swipe their Qdoba Card when purchasing an entree, and automatically be entered to win. Fans can also submit an entry online at for the chance to win the final Qdoba VIP tailgating party on January 2nd.

    Check out a great video that captures the VIP 12th Fan Tailgate Party below - a truly unique experience that can be replicated at many stadiums across the country!


    Fuel Guerrilla Marketing Initiatives with QR Codes

    Brands looking to create unique guerrilla marketing campaigns that leverage social media technology should benchmark a recent tactic implemented by the Oral Cancer Foundation. In August, the Oral Cancer Foundation called on several teams of young women to hit the beaches of Surf City to message to thousands of teens and 20-somethings attending the 2010 US Open of Surfing.

    With 500,000 visitors attending the three-day surfing event sponsored by Hurley, Oral Cancer Foundation personnel knew that they needed to create a compelling, unique program to effectively get their message across about the risks of oral cancer, HPV, and other diseases. To do so, the Oral Cancer Foundation created a social media strategy that leveraged QR codes.

    Throughout the US Open of Surfing competition, teams of female Oral Cancer Foundation brand ambassadors scoured the beaches and handed out creatively worded stickers, t-shirts, and temporary tattoos that all beared a unique QR code. When recipients scanned the QR codes with the mobile phones, they were taken to a microsite that provided educational information about the risks of certain preventative diseases.

    The Oral Cancer Foundation found that the QR codes enabled their guerrilla marketing teams the ability to communicate life saving messages to consumers in a very powerful way. The initiative proved to be an influential, cost-effective means to target a crowd of young, tech savvy consumers.

    Check out some pictures of their guerrilla marketing outreach below:


    Source: PR Newswire, Oral Cancer Foundation Flickr Page  

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