SBD/May 31, 2012/Events and Attractions

Execs Discuss Marketing Strategies At The '12 Intersport Activation Summit

Marketing and sponsorship goals are the same as they’ve always been, but the tools used to meet those goals have changed dramatically, said panelists in the opening session of the 2012 Intersport Activation Summit. “The operative word is ‘More’,” said MillerCoors VP/Marketing Services Jackie Woodward. “You have to be integrated across the marketing mix in order to break through. There used to be sponsorship marketing, there used to be digital marketing; it’s all marketing. And you have to put it all together in order to make an impact and in order to bring your brand to life.” While multiple channels and outlets bring various opportunities to relay a brand’s message, they also bring measurement challenges, in addition to the sheer effort, resources and manpower needed to execute a campaign, said Tony Weisman, president of Digitas’ Chicago-Boston-Detroit region. “In the digital world you can measure everything, but what should you measure?” he said. “There’s no commonly agreed upon language or set of metrics that we all know lead us to an outcome. That’s the biggest change over the previous decades, where in the television world, there was a relatively agreed upon set of investment, pressure [and] impressions for the business outcomes.”

BROADCAST YOURSELF: YouTube is one of the tools available to marketers, and the panelists talked about using the platform to activate a campaign, and also how few sports properties have utilized it effectively. The conundrum for sports is that there is a vast quantity of content uploaded by users, yet only a small percentage of that is consumed, said Frank Golding, director of pro, college, high school sports and channels for YouTube. “We have roughly 800 million uniques every month on YouTube,” Golding said. “A lot of the content that gets uploaded is sports related, but the quantity of content that gets consumed which is sports related is very low. I would say it’s less that 2 percent. So either we have found the only 800 million people who don’t like sports, or you guys are staring at a gold mine.”  Weisman said brands need to solve the content challenges in-house, by setting up a reliable infrastructure, rather than relying on a partner. “We’re the only ones who can connect all the important pieces of data that matter: the media-based data, the story-level data, traffic data, the influencer data, and ultimately our own metrics,” he said. “Everyone has their own but very different sales cycles, very different relative value of influencers and very different audience design.”

QUICK HITS

** Weisman, on the biggest misperception of being seen as a content creator or publisher: “Whatever organization you are in -- whether you’re a brand, company, rights -- think like a newsroom. Track all these screens in real time and figure out what piece of content to push to a consumer at what time and in real time. As long as you can embrace the idea of real time, then I think these opportunities open up to you. People experience events -- when they’re live they are on their phone or when they’re watching on TV they’ve got their phone or their iPad. Recognize this duality and embrace it and think of yourself as this mission control in the position to push this content to the right channel at the right moment.”

**Woodward, on the value of the traditional hospitality vs. social activation: “It’s almost like a breath of fresh air to have a conversation with somebody and engage personally when we’re so used to our TV screens, our phone screens, our laptop screens, all the other screens. Suddenly a personal relationship is more valuable than it’s ever been.”

** Intersport Senior VP/Sponsorship & Event Marketing Dan Jones, on the development of social and digital activation in the next 12 months: “It’s all about trying to elongate the experience, elongate the conversation instead of a one-weekend experience or a three-month sponsorship. Those tools -- digital and social -- are fantastic for extending that experience and thus extending the campaign beyond just the day of game, or the season or the event.”
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