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    Kia Motors Hooks Falcons Fans Up with a True Prize

    Kia Motors and the Atlanta Falcons are teaming up to leverage their partnership in an unbelievable way in 2010 that truly benefits fans. The two parties are collaborating on a limited time offer that enables fans who purchase a new Kia at a participating Georgia Kia dealership to receive (2) tickets to every Atlanta Falcons home game!

    To qualify, fans must complete a purchase or lease of a 2009, 2010, or 2011 Kia brand vehicle at (1) of (9) participating Kia dealerships in Georgia between July 1st and August 31st. Each person who makes a purchase will receive (2) tickets to every Falcons game during the 2010 season while supplies list.

    Check out the terrific promotion on the Falcons' website here.


    Create Moments of Opportunity for Fans In-Game

    Sports organizations looking for new ways to reward fans attending their games should consider creating "moments of opportunity" for fans. These moments, driven by corporate partner-led promotions, are terrific because they can generate excitement during dull moments in the action and can occur at any point during the game.

    As teams look for new ways to generate interest and excitement amongst fans, more are turning to these type of rewarding moments. As an example, check out a "Bud Light Quench Time" promotion recently offered by the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. The Steelheads identified a three (3) minute period in the game where if the team scored, all fans in attendance would be treated to a discounted price on Anheuser-Busch products for the rest of the game.


    Yankees Fans Enjoy the Best Buy Match Game

    Are you looking for new ways to entertain fans between innings?

    Best Buy features a very entertaining video board segment in between innings at the new Yankee Stadium that challenges the memory skills of fans. Best Buy features a "Match Game" vignette that tasks one (1) select Yankee fan with memorizing which Yankee player was featured twice behind a series of tiles that resembles the Brady Bunch.

    The feature would serve as a terrific way for teams to promote:

    • Dating Services (feature different singles behind the blocks)
    • New Team Apparel/Equipment/Hats
    • Automobile Companies (looking to showcase a new model)
    • Sponsors Looking to Drive Team Affiliation (as shown above with Best Buy)

    Consider new ways that you can bring your events to life for fans outside the lines!


    The Kings Salute the U.S. Army as a Partner

    Are you looking for new ways to demonstrate appreciation for military partners on game day? Are you looking for new ways to incorporate sponsors into your pre-game entertainment?

    The Sacramento Kings teamed up with the U.S. Army to host a memorable "Protect and Serve" night at ARCO Arena during the 2009-2010 season. The special night celebrates the Kings-U.S. Army partnership, a pact that dates back four years, and serves as a great way to demonstrate appreciation for soldiers serving overseas and the police force protecting consumers in their local neighborhoods.

    The Kings integrate the U.S. Army on "Protect and Serve" via several in-game exclusive moments, videos, and player testimonials. Check them out below:

    Game Introduction Video

    Player Salute

    National Anthem Introduction 

    In addition to "Protect and Serve" night, the U.S. Army activates its partnership with the Kings via:

    High School Rallies - The U.S. Army hosts hour long high school rallies where they feature a push up contest, a presentation for boys and girls varsity basketball coaches, appearances by the Kings mascot Slamson, the Kings dancers, the Kings breakdancers, an Emcee, and a variety of prizes and fun contests for kids to enjoy. Coaches that are honored at the rallies are invited to a future Kings game with the other winners of the "Kings Coaches Club".

    Kings for the Community Program - As the presenting sponsor of the "Kings for the Community" program, the U.S. Army offers members of the local community a chance to attend a Kings game on behalf of both the U.S. Army and a Kings player. The U.S. Army treats its guests with a t-shirt, goodie bag, ticket to the game, and a live mention during the game. The U.S. Army drives awareness for the initiative with mentions in the game day program and during game broadcasts.

    A special thanks to Chris Morales and the Sacramento Kings organization for their insights and contributions to this column. 


    The SF Giants Take Tweetups to the Next Level

    Are you looking for new ways to attract and reward your social media followers? Are you looking for ways to capitalize on social media in the sports marketplace?

    Considered leaders in the sports technology/social media space, the San Francisco Giants recently continud their charge by hosting a terrific first official SFGiants Tweetup. The team collaborated closely with Twitter and Room to Read to put on the exclusive event, offering the team's avid social media followers an opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at AT&T Park.

    For just $20, the team offered 600 fans a chance to attend a game, receive a limited edition "@sfgiants follow us" t-shirt, listen to a host of influential guest speakers, and enjoy exclusive access into the new Triples Alley space, a behind-the-scenes lounge area of AT&T Park that is not open to the general public. The team promoted the event via Twitter using the hashtag #SFGTweetup.

    The Giants entertained their Twitter guests in attendance with a terrific panel of speakers, including:

    • Erin Ganju - CEO of @RoomToRead
    • Brian Murphy - Moderator (@KDBRMurph)
    • Jeremy Affeldt - San Francisco Giants Pitcher (@JeremyAffeldt)
    • Biz Stone - Co-Founder of Twitter (@Biz)

    The event also featured a surprise guest, @Jack, Co-Founder of Twitter and the CEO of Square, who spoke about his new product, a revolutionary new tool that allows you to accept credit card payments via a 'square' device that plugs into your headphone jack to your iPhone.

    The event turned out to be a huge success for the team:

    • The Giants sold out all 600 reserved seats for the tweetup a few hours before its scheduled start at 5:15pm
    • The Tweetup generated thousands of #sfgtweetup specific tweets and photos, with 99% of the comments posted being positive (a very rare result in the social media landscape)
    • A portion of the @SFGiants Tweetup proceeds went to @RoomtoRead, a Twitter supported charity

    Check out some photos of the event below:  

    Check out the Official Event Invitation below:

    A special thanks to Garrett McManus of the San Francisco Giants for his insights and contributions to this column!


    It's Time to Take Bobblehead Nights to the Next Level

    Are you looking for new ways to deliver added value for fans on bobblehead night? Are you looking to enhance your in-game entertainment during promotional nights?

    Teams looking for new ways to bring their bobblehead nights to life for fans should consider benchmarking a life-sized game of bobblehead soccer that Allstate featured at a Mexican National Team game a year ago. The game featured a head-to-head match between life-sized bobblehead characters resembling actual team players that proved to be a hit with the crowd.

    While the fixed costs for said promotional entertainment may be a little steep, if teams can break out the cost of the entertainment over the course of a season when they host several bobblehead nights, it may seem a lot more reasonable. Plus, teams can use it as a vehicle to promote upcoming giveaway nights (if X character scores, the team advertises his upcoming bobblehead night on the video board or if X character scores, all fans in attendance can win a free accessory for their bobblehead).

    Look for new ways to take your bobblehead nights to the next level before they become stale to fans... Hopefully this concept will spark an idea of how you can breathe some new life into your promotional nights!


    Drive Value for Hotel Partners with Student Bed Races

    Are you looking for new ways to drive awareness for hotel chain partners? Are you looking to create an engaging event for students that affiliates corporate partners?

    College sports properties looking for new ways to drive awareness and affiliation for hotel chain partners amongst the student body should consider offering Annual Bed Race events. 

    Here's how it would work:

    As students return to campus for the Fall, athletic departments can offer a special promotional message for students to win free season tickets, scholarship dollars, merchandise, books, or a trip as tiered prizes for participating in an Annual Bed Race event (presented by X hotel partner). The athletic department could offer the promotion the Friday before the first home game, with 75 teams competing on a first come, first serve basis at a practice/intramurals field near the stadium.

    The goal of the Annual Bed Race event would be to see which team (a team of 5, as shown below) could push a bed, draped in hotel branding, on wheels 40-yards in the shortest amount of time - think bobsledding meets the 40. Hotel partners would benefit from pre-season marketing, an in-game vignette highlighting the action of the competition and showing the winners in their seats or with checks, and reminding fans that they are always welcome to stay at one of their participating hotel chain locations across the nation. Collegiate sports properties and their preferred hotel partners can use this event to create a lasting memory for hundreds of participating students and thousands of fans attending the Season Opener.

    Check out an example below of how the Annual Bed Races could work for your collegiate sports property!


    The Red Wings Weave Fans Into Their Playoff Introductions

    Are you looking for new ways to engage fans on game day? Are you looking for new ways to bring your pre-game introductions to life for fans?

    The Detroit Red Wings delivered an industry best practice during the 2010 NHL Playoffs with an outstanding pre-game intro video that incorporated fans in truly engaging manner. The intro featured pictures and videos from fans across the globe displaying their fandom for Red Wings hockey before a collection of thrilling team highlights were shown on a colorful drape that hung above center ice.

    The pre-game intro campaign was very unique and effectively demonstrated the power of the Hockeytown mantra across the globe. Check out this "must-see" video below!


    Taco Bell Fans Get Saucy at Astros Games

    Are you looking for new ways to incorporate QSR partners? Are you looking for new ways to entertain fans between innings or select stoppages of play?

    The Houston Astros recently signed Taco Bell on as an Official Team Partner and are highlighting the partnership with a Taco Bell Saucy Sprint Race that occurs between innings. The live race, essentially the Tex-Mex version of the Milwaukee Brewers' sausage race, features (3) oversized Taco Bell sauce packets (mild, hot, fire) racing around the field in an effort to cross a finish line (located along the 3rd base line) first.

    Check out a video of the action below:


    The Cavs Set a Record with Snuggie Night...

    Are you looking to offer new premium giveaways for fans? Have you considered attempting to set a Guinness World Record at your venue?

    Sports organizations looking for ways to enhance their premium giveaway nights should take a moment to benchmark the Cleveland Cavaliers' recent Snuggie Night presented by KeyBank. The team took the Snuggie giveaway night to the next level by asking all fans with a ticket to arrive early to the game to partake in a Guinness World Record attempt. The offer was so enticing, tickets were rumored to be going for 10-times face value for the event.

    For the first five (5) minutes of the game, 20,000+ rabid Cavaliers fans wore their Snuggie, helping the team set an official record for most fleece blankets of one (1) colors worn in one (1) place: 20,562. While fans put on their cool premium giveaways, so did Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and the Cavs' dance team, who were given custom versions. Even the Cavaliers and Pistons players were given special, large-sized versions of the Snuggie premiums with their names and numbers monogrammed.

    What are the chances of setting your own official Guiness World Record? Unfortunately, just 3% of the 60,000 applications submitted on an annual basis are approved and executed. But they can always say no...

    Check out a video of the Cavs' Snuggie execution below! Well done, especially to KeyBank on their post-event execution featuring a microsite with pictures, videos, and a sweepstakes offer for fans who weren't able to attend!



    A special thanks to Alex Vitanye of the Ohio University Center for Sports Administration for his insights and contributions to this column. Source: