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    Toronto FC Fans Find a Classy Way to Say Thank You

    Are you looking for a great way to honor a distinguished teammate, coach, owner, or fan? Are you looking for ways to celebrate the final game of a season?

    Toronto FC supporters recently celebrated the team's final game at BMO Field in 2009 by paying tribute to Danny Dichio, a recently retired striker who now serves as one of club's assistant coaches.

    Fans of Toronto FC created a massive banner that stretched the length of the entire south end of the stadium to show their appreciation for all that Dichio has done for the club since coming from overseas. Dicho was taken back by the incredible gesture by the team's fans and went on the field to thank them for their efforts. The banner was unveiled prior to the game during the national anthem and then again, after the conclusion of the season finale match.

    The team's supporters, the Red Patch Boys and the U-Sector, put in a lot of work to create the largest fan-produced banner in team history. Check out the production process below!

    Here is a clip of the banner terrific execution in real-time...

    Here is a video compilation of the banner effort and Danny Dichio's thoughts and appreciation:


    Have You Considered the Human Jumbotron?

    Are you looking for unique ways to engage fans in-venue? Are you searching for ways to add entertainment value to the fan experience?

    While the stadium arms race has dominated the North American marketplace, some Asian sports organizations (particularly in South Korea) have continued to place an emphasis on creating a human jumbotron effect. In fact, they have gotten pretty good at it over the years.

    The human videoboard involves a large group of individuals who carry out choreographed chants and color movements (using layers of shirts), driving spirit and excitement amongst onlookers. It really is something that you just have to see for yourself:


    The Quad City Mallards Put Hardee's In Goal...

    Are you looking for new inventory to sell interested corporate partners? Are you looking for new ways to leverage QSR partners in the hockey space?

    As Sarah Talalay reported in the Sun Sentinel, the Quad City Mallards of the International Hockey League (IHL) recently announced that it is teaming up with Hardee's to create a "Hardee's Biscuit in the Basket" promotion that rewards fans when the home team scores.

    The Mallards have placed a Hardee's logo inside the ice in the goal and will reward fans in a selected row of seats with a coupon for a free biscuit each time the Mallards score a goal during the 2009-10 season. If the team scores four (4) goals, everyone in a designated section will receive biscuits.

    On Monday mornings throughout the season, Mallards players will make one (1) hour guest appearances at several Hardees locations throughout Davenport. The QSR chain will also sponsor the team's dance squad (The Hardee's QC Cuties) and also support several giveaway nights (Drawstring Bag Night, Team Fleece Blanket Night, Game Puck Giveaway Night).

    Check out Hardee's exclusive branding inside the goal below:

    Source: Sarah Talalay, Sun Sentinel,


    Pepsi Lets Fans Pick the Halftime Music of the Grey Cup

    Are you looking for new ways to engage fans in your organization's halftime entertainment? Are you looking to create a unique promotion around a major event that incorporates the voice of fans?

    Pepsi recently unveiled a tremendous 'Name Your Playlist' contest that enables fans the chance to choose which of their favorite hits will be played during halftime of the CFL's Grey Cup. With the popular band Blue Rodeo set to play at halftime of the game, fans can log on to and choose the three (3) songs (out of ten (10) of the band's greatest hits) that they would like to see played.

    Those who participate in the 'Name Your Playlist' have the chance to win weekly prizes from Pepsi, Blue Rodeo, the CFL, and Wilson. The contest is set to run through November 20th, just days prior to the Grey Cup game on November 30th in Calgary at 6:30 pm (the game is being broadcast on TSN and RDS). Pepsi Max is the official sponsor of the Grey Cup Halftime Show.

    The 'Name Your Playlist' promotion is terrific because it incorporates the passion people have for both sports and music and marries them all into one contest. As fans often debate on the entertainment value of halftime performances and pre-game entertainment, the contest allows Pepsi a way for them to feel like they have a say in the festivities... a notion that is huge with Gen Y consumers.

    Source: TSN

    A special thanks to Darryl Dionne of the PHPA for his insights and contributions to this column.


    Gillette Says Cheers to 50 Great Patriots Seasons

    Are you looking to create a video board clip that energizes fans during the game? Are you looking to celebrate team anniversaries, etc.?

    Gillette has done a tremendous job celebrating the New England Patriots' 50 years of football. As an official sponsor of the Patriots, Gillette created a classic Cheers-inspired video that debuted on the jumbotron at Gillette Stadium during the Patriots' MNF game against the Buffalo Bills. The team is planning on running the clip at every single game for the remainder of the season  

    Gillette is also supporting the commemorative year with a special microsite -

    Check out Gillette's "Cheers to 50 Years" video board clip below:


    Pick the Winner of the ING New York City Marathon and Win!

    Are you looking to create a captivating promotion around a running/endurance event? Are you looking for new ways to elevate the profiles of lesser known stars?

    In an effort to drive awareness for the upcoming 2009 ING New York City Marathon and the athletes participating in the race, the New York Road Runners have teamed up with Toyota to create a captivating promotional offer for fans.

    The Road Runners created a "Pick the Champions" contest that challenges fans with correctly choosing the male and female who will finish first for the chance to win a 2010 Toyota Prius (valued at $30,080).

    For a chance to win, consumers must fill out the contest's Pick and Drive registration form and then correctly choose both the male and female winners.

    What is great about the Pick the Champions contest is that it forces fans to go out and research the athletes participating in the race. The promotion serves as a great way for the New York Road Runners to build the profiles of the star athletes competing in the race and create a watch-and-win component to the race that adds a new dimension of excitement.

    Here is the promotional landing page where consumers select which participants they think will win (after completing the registration page):

    Here is the chart of participants the New York Road Runners offer on the Pick the Champions promotional site:


    The 49ers and US Bank Leverage the Coin Flip...

    Are you looking to create new promotional platforms for corporate partners? Are you looking for new ways to engage young fans and their families?

    The San Francisco 49ers and US Bank have teamed up in 2009 to offer young 49ers fans the chance of a lifetime. The two (2) parties created a "US Bank Coin Flip Kid" initiative that provides 49ers fans ages 6-13 the opportunity to register online for the chance to be a part of the pre-game coin toss and win:

    • Two (2) game tickets
    • Two (2) 49ers pre-game tailgate party passes
    • One (1) parking pass
    • Two (2) pre-game field passes
    • One (1) Visa gift card, courtesy of US Bank

    Each game, one (1) select US Bank Coin Flip Kid will be recognized on the video board while he/she walks with the 49ers team captains to mid-field for the coin toss. The Coin Flip promotion serves as an effective way for US Bank to offer children and their families a life-changing experience that creatively ties in with the bank's main line of business (driving consumers to open checking/savings accounts).

    Look for more creative tactics to come from the San Francisco 49ers organization in the near future!

    A special thanks to Nikki Hawkins and Brent Schoeb of the San Francisco 49ers organization for their insights and contributions to this column.


    Parachute Promos Delivers Value for Fans...

    Are you looking for new ways to put your product in the hands of fans in-arena? Are you looking for new ways to impact the fan experience while driving brand impressions?

    As brands continue to search for new, effective mediums to place their products in the hands of fans on gameday, they should not look past Parachute Promos. The promotional company produces tangle free parachutes that can be dropped from the catwalks of arenas, sporting events, and malls. Dropping free product strapped to parachutes creates a memorable in-game setting that drives sports fans crazy and provides brands a unique way to connect with consumers during the game. 

    How does it work? During a select stoppage of play (intermission, media timeout, etc.), teams will leverage the video board and a PA to announce that (insert brand name) Chutes will be dropping out of the rafters (e.g. Chipotle Chutes). Each and every night the promotion is implemented, the result is the same... fans go wild for the chance to grab one of a few dozen falling free products parachuting from the roof.

    Check out a brief promotional video that captures how Parachute Promos can drive excitement for your brand in-venue: 

    The Parachute Promos video was produced by Andy Emery's Outsider Entertainment team. Andy's group produces some of the most captivating videos for teams and brands in sports. Check out their site here.


    The Maple Leafs Offer the Ultimate Pre-Game Experience...

    Are you looking for new ways to attract fans to your venue hours before a game? Are you looking to create the ultimate fan experience for consumers to enjoy?

    The Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the ultimate pre-game party for fans to enjoy on October 1st as a means to celebrate the team's first home game of the 2009-10 season. The team featured a variety of entertainment on-hand for fans in the hours leading up to the team's game against the Montreal Canadiens.

    The pre-game tailgate party, sponsored by Ford, included the following events and activities at the Air Canada Center:

    • The Leafs Nation Mobile Fan Zone
    • A Free Live Concert by The Trews
    • Player and Alumni Appearances
    • A Wide Range of Games and Hockey Activities for Kids to Enjoy
    • Automobile Displays
    • Premium Distribution

    Take an in-depth tour of the action below:

    Source: Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment


    The Calgary Flames Offer the Best Intros in Hockey...

    Are you looking for new ways to enhance your pre-game entertainment offerings? Are you looking for creative ways to kick off the season?

    The Calgary Flames have figured out pre-game entertainment and on-ice projections better than any other organization in hockey. The team's pre-game entertainment (especially the season opener and during the playoffs) is worth the admission ticket alone.

    Check out the pre-game entertainment the Flames offered to fans attending the team's first regular season home game of the 2009-10 season against the Vancouver Canucks... it's incredible (if anything, tune in at the 1:10 mark):

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