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SBD/November 26, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
AT&T's "Be The Fan" Campaign Courts Social Media Audience With "Modern Family" Star
Published November 26, 2013
GAME CHANGER: Overbey said ESPN’s own digital channels, from its website to social media, were instrumental in the launch of "Be The Fan." He added that AT&T makes the campaign the focus of a nearly two-minute stretch during "College GameDay," including Stonestreet’s minute-long video debuting the weekly challenge, an on-air billboard in which host Chris Fowler references the campaign and an appearance by contest winners holding the Twitter Sign of the Week. Overbey said, "That’s a great way to get people not only initially aware of the program, but continually engaged.” The commercials have asked fans for everything from their favorite football food to showing off their touchdown dances. In the contest's “Game Day Getup” challenge, Stonestreet as the Fan Coach demands a Cal fan elevate his costume commitment until he transforms into an actual bear. Stonestreet said of shooting the ad, "What was really funny about that is AT&T wasn’t comfortable with me being in the room with the bear. I wanted to be in the room with the bear, but AT&T and my agents, they didn’t want me to be in the room with the bear. ... I asked the crew, 'So, how does it make you feel that AT&T doesn’t want me in the room with the bear, but they’re all okay with you being in the room?'"
FANS RESPOND: Overbey noted social media response to the campaign has been “off the charts.” He said, “We’ve had 80%-plus higher engagement rate than we’ve had in the past on Twitter. We had over a 400% increase in sweepstakes entries over the past year. ... The social buzz is up about 271% over the previous period. So we’ve had almost 200 million consumers engage over the social media landscape in this program." "Be The Fan" wraps up on Dec. 7, with the grand prize contest winner receiving two tickets to the final BCS Championship game on Jan. 6. Despite the campaign’s success, Overbey said that AT&T has not yet decided on its future, given the changes coming to college football in '14 and myriad opportunities for sponsorship. Overbey: "Next year is a big shift with the college football playoff starting, with the SEC Network launching, the College Football Hall of Fame launching here in Atlanta, and we’re a big sponsor of that. It’s a big shift, a big year."