• What's Trending in Sponsorship Activation and Fan Engagement?

    Trends in Sponsorship Activation and Fan Engagement

    Blaise D'Sylva, Anheuser-Busch
    Daryl Evans, AT&T
    Adam Zimmerman, CSE

    The evolving landscape of content creation and consumer engagement was a main topic of conversation during an opening panel of the ’13 Sports Marketing Symposium. Anheuser-Busch VP/Media, Sports & Entertainment Marketing Blaise D’Sylva said the traditional ad agency model “is going to break down.” He explained, “There are so many places where you can source great content today. There are so many people out there with great ideas that (good content) is so much easier to access and can be produced cheaper.” A new source of such content that was continually cited during the discussion was the consumer itself. AT&T VP/Consumer Advertising & Marketing Communications Daryl Evans said, “The content is going to come to you. The fans are going to create the content.” He cited the company’s campaign featuring school-aged children and added, “We don’t write that stuff. We can’t write it. As good as we think we are, no one’s writing it as good as what they say. That content comes directly from the minds of those kids.” D’Sylva said brands are not trying to replace traditional content providers, but are “trying to provide a different type of content that resonates with the consumer and gets them to like us, talk about us, add that social aspect to it.” He added, “It’s not just that we’re going to make two 30-second commercials and we’re done for the fall. We’ve got a million things that we can do and we’ve got to really plan it out. There’s so much content we can use and we all know we need more of it because the consumer gets turned off so fast. The old reach of frequency metrics don’t work anymore. If I don’t’ have new stuff all the time then I’m going to lose that consumer pretty fast.”

    Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2, and panelists were asked about the challenges that brands face in trying to break through the clutter of a marketplace like N.Y., and if that might deter their companies from activating around the event. D’Sylva said, “We’ll have significant activation around the Super Bowl both in the market as well as on television. We think it’s a tremendous opportunity and there’s going to be a lot of energy and excitement around an outdoor Super Bowl.” CSE President of Marketing Adam Zimmerman echoed the uniqueness of the event and said, “In a lot of ways it’s a throwback. We’re playing outside in the Northeast and I think that’s going to be fantastic with all that that’s going to bring.”
    Asked about the NFL’s recent content deal with Twitter, Zimmerman said it proves “the power” of the social network. D’Sylva added, “It’s only going to grow. As we all talk about second screen experience, it really seems that Twitter is definitely the one out in front. … The more things that Twitter can continue to do and associate with, whether it’s the league or with the media partners, is only going to benefit them because it’s going to continue to drive people to Twitter, so I think it’s a smart move.”


    Zimmerman on the second-screen experience: “There’s a realization that TV plus social is better. People are engaged, whether it’s sporting events or how Twitter and other media exploded around ‘Breaking Bad.’ It is a part of how people are engaging with content. Everyone should be exploring what that second screen experience is, and that becomes an opportunity to be ownable for a brand, to own that second screen.”

    D’Sylva on consumer-created content: “Everything we do these days in marketing is really social at the core. … We’re constantly looking for … how do we involve the consumer in the creation of whatever we’re doing? … The millennial consumer today wants to be a part of it. They want to help create it.”

    Zimmerman: “(Social media) helps us get closer to the holy grail of sponsorship, which is, what if I knew what my target, what my fan really wanted to do? … Well now social conversations, and us being able to listen and infiltrate those conversations, tells me exactly what that fan would like to do. … Knowing what we know, we can lift that insight and be so much more impactful with our activation and be real time because actual fans are telling us what they want to do as opposed to us supposing what they want to do.”

    Tags: Media, ACC, AIG, TES
  • TV Timeout: Losing Focus

    CBSSN’s Tony Luftman, on the government shutdown affecting the armed forces games: “It’s so upsetting and it would be tone deaf just to focus on sports, and say that this is unconscionable when there are so many other issues that are being impacted by this shutdown, but I do empathize having been a team manager” (“Lead Off,” CBS Sports Network, 10/1).

    FLIP THE SCRIPT: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said of the Chargers-Raiders game on Sunday being re-scheduled for 11:30pm ET kickoff because of an A's playoff game, “Why can’t you just flip the game to San Diego? They've got to play twice” ("PTI," ESPN, 10/1).

    FINGER POINTING: PFT's Mike Florio said of Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan: “He can't be on the hot seat because he can't be fired because he owns the team. But at some point you've got to look at Shahid Khan and say, 'What has this guy done for the Jacksonville Jaguars?' They are 2-18 since he purchased the team. He's had two head coaches, he's had two GMs and they just can't do anything right” (PFT," NBCSN, 10/1).

    HELP WANTED: SNY's Adam Schein said of the Knicks, "This team is a mess. They fired (former GM) Glen Grunwald who was the only thing that was working" ("Loud Mouths," SNY, 10/1).

    AGELESS WONDER: Talk show host Larry King, on being named guest host of ESPN2's "Olbermann": "(ESPN Exec Editor) John Walsh said to me, 'Larry, we need a favor. We're having a problem with Keith Olbermann.' I said, 'You fired him again?'" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 10/1).           

    SUPPORT GROUP: Former EPL club Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said, “The misconception about the Glazers buying the club and it created a sort of hostility with different factions of Manchester United supporters because a single member was owning the club, they forget the minute it became a PLC someone was going to buy it. … They've been very good … (and) very low-key" ("Charlie Rose," PBS, 10/1).

  • Coke's Wendy Clark on sharing, authenticity, and why speed trumps perfection

    Clark: 'If you do nothing else with your marketing, be authentic.'
    Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown

    Coca-Cola’s Wendy Clark opened the ’13 Sports Marketing Symposium by telling attendees that if their marketing ideas can’t be turned into hashtags, that means they are probably too complicated. Clark, Coke’s Senior VP/Global Sparkling Brand Center, used her featured address to highlight the company’s marketing campaign around the ’14 FIFA World Cup, including “5 Learnings” of sponsorship activation. Naturally, each one was turned into a hashtag. The first point: #AuthenticityRules, which Clark related to the creation of Coke’s “The World’s Cup” campaign. She said, “If football is everyone’s game, and Brazil is everyone’s country and football’s home, and Coca-Cola is the most ubiquitous brand in the world – everyone’s drink – then shouldn’t the Cup in fact be everyone’s Cup? And isn’t it, in fact, ‘The World’s Cup,’ not the World Cup?” The next two lessons were #BeShareworthy and EmbraceYour #NewSalesForce. Clark said it is not about the initial audience you reach, but about giving that initial audience “the currency of the conversation to share and pass along.” Clark then played Coca-Cola’s anthem for the World Cup, featuring Brazil-born singer David Correy and titled “The World Is Ours,” which she said racked up half a million views on YouTube in a matter of days. Clark said that Coke has the largest brand fan page on Facebook, and noted that, for fans, becoming a part of a community is optional, and that, once they join, your fans want to carry your message.

    FASTER IS BETTER: Given how quickly information is shared today, Clark said that #SpeedTrumpsPerfection, but that “you have to be contextually relevant. It doesn’t matter how good your content is if it misses the context.” She cited the company’s “Trophy Tour,” which is using a Twitter handle to share experiences from the Cup’s trek across 89 countries. The last of the “5 Learnings”: #BeAmbitious. Clark played another promotional video and said, “We are ambitious for the growth and success of our company and we make no apologies for that, but at the same time we are ambitious to create a goodness and an impact with the work that we do as a company.”

    Tags: Coca-Cola, ATT, FIFA, FIFA World Cup, Football, Brazil, Facebook
  • 2013 SMS Kickoff Dinner: Speakers, VIPs gather at Del Frisco's to help launch conference

    The 2013 Sports Marketing Symposium kicked off this morning at the Crowne Plaza at Times Square in New York City. But the unofficial kickoff was last night, with a speaker and VIP dinner in the Wine Cellar at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House.

    Here are a few shots from the dinner. Click any photo to launch the slideshow:

  • TV Timeout: Adding To The Mix

    CBSSN’s Doug Gottlieb said of the NFL possibly expanding the playoffs to 14 teams, “You're getting close to 50 percent of the teams making it in the playoffs. I like this opposed to the 17th and 18th game. I think that would be a disaster” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 9/30).

    THE GREAT OUTDOORS: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said of playing six outdoor games this season, “We're not overdoing it and if anything, we're giving fans yet another vehicle to celebrate our sport" ("Hockey Night in Canada Radio," Sirius XM, 9/30).

    WHO’S COOKING? NFL Network's Steve Wyche asked of this Sunday’s Chargers-Raiders game, which will start at 11:35pm ET:  "When do you start tailgating?" ("NFL AM," NFL Network, 9/30).

    GOING THE DISTANCE: Golf HOFer Jack Nicklaus, who is partnering with Bridgestone on golf balls, discussed golf ball manufacturers’ position on limiting the distance and performance of their product: “I can’t imagine any manufacturer who really thinks about what’s good for the game of golf who would not consider (limiting the distance of the balls). … The biggest issue that I’ve always had with it is what it has done to our golf courses and what it costs and the time it takes to play the game” (“Live From: The President’s Cup,” Golf Channel,” 9/30). See more from the Golden Bear in tomorrow's Daily.

    FROM THE SOURCE: ESPN Radio 98.7 N.Y.'s Michael Kay said of the Knicks hiring President & GM Steve Mills so close to the start of the season: “I guess we should be asking (Knicks Owner) Jim Dolan that but he doesn't like to answer questions about this” ("The Michael Kay Show," ESPN Radio New York, 9/30).

    RIP TIDE: NFL Network's Jamie Dukes said of  the Tide commercial in which Saints QB Drew Brees discusses his wife’s hot yoga pants:  "It's not about who wrote it because I see a lot of bad commercials being written out there right now where players are making derogatory phrases towards fans. That's not good either, but the hot yoga thing kind of troubled me" ("NFL AM," NFL Network, 9/30).

    WEST-COAST BIAS: ABC's Brent Musburger teased ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” and last weekend’s Vikings-Steelers game played in London. Musburger: “A lot of chatter this week about putting an expansion team in London. I got a better idea; let’s put one in Los Angeles” (“Wisconsin-Ohio State,” ABC, 9/28).

    BROOKLYN IN THE HOUSE: This past weekend marked the one-year anniversary of the Barclays Center opening and Forest City Ratner Chair & CEO Bruce Ratner said of the venue ranking No. 1 in ticket sales of any arena in the U.S., "We thought it would do well, I didn't expect it to do quite this well. It's beyond anyone's expectations, it caught on like wildfire" ("Countdown to the Closing Bell," Fox Business, 9/29).

  • TV Timeout: 17 Or Bust

    ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, on the obscurity of the America’s Cup being a best-of-17 competition: “Maybe they started it that way and they thought this would catch on. Everything will be best -of-17 from now on. I guarantee you [MLB Commissioner] Bud Selig is going to make the World Series a best-of-17 and then it didn’t catch on quite the way they thought” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 9/25).

    ESPN's Max Kellerman said of NFLers expressing unhappiness with the prospect of a London franchise: "It's not like you're not going to one of the great cities of the world, London. But I understand, you're an American, you play an American sport … and all of a sudden they tell you your home games are overseas." Co-host Marcellus Wiley added, "You didn't sign up for an American game in America's territory. You signed up to play football and if it grows and it becomes global, you're part of it" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 9/25).

    The Hollywood Report Senior Editor Eriq Gardner, on the NFL suing rapper M.I.A. over her obscene gesture during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show: "The million dollar question is really why is the NFL pursuing this? The only thing that really strikes me that it's an issue of pride" ("GMA," ABC, 9/25).

    TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley said of ad campaigns in which he’s participated: "I enjoyed the Capital One's last year even though I thought I was a little overexposed and that was my fault. It won’t ever happen again." He added that "last year I was mad at myself for overexposing myself" because “they showed the CDW and Capital One spots too much during the NCAA Tournament." Barkley said it was "100 percent my fault. I can't ever let that happen" (ADAGE.com, 9/25).

    Selig said if the Rays  do not "make progress I'm going to send somebody down there and we're going to have to do something about it because their attendance is the second-lowest in the big leagues today and that's disgraceful. I don’t know how much more blunter I can be than that" ("The John Feinstein Show," CBS Sports Radio, 9/25).

    ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, on the NBA allowing nicknames on the back of player jerseys: "I love the NBA but this is the worst idea ever. This is one of things that’s going to start small and get big.” Cowherd, on Heat F LeBron James: “LeBron would wear ‘King James.’ Just when he got likable, he’ll get unlikable” (“The Herd,” ESPN Radio, 9/24).

    Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said of people not wanting cable: "I think that's a bit overblown. I think we still have as many customers, basically, as we started the year so I think the consumer is still saying, 'I want live sports, I want all those channels.' Some customers say, 'I don't need that,' but most customers do and it’s really important we stay in touch with our customers and try to over time have more packages and flexibility than perhaps we've historically offered and that's part of that tension that is healthy that is going on in the marketplace” ("Newshour," PBS, 9/25).

  • TV Timeout: Heavy Reaction To 49ers' Handling Of Aldon Smith Issue

    Monday's sports-talk TV saw myriad reaction to the 49ers allowing DE Aldon Smith to play in Sunday's game against the Colts. ESPN's Israel Gutierrez said, "It's an embarrassment and I think the Niners know it's an embarrassment." L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke added, "What kind of statement are you making as an organization when one of your players admits that he needs help and you say, 'Fine, you can get help but only after you play for us?'" Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said, "Even if you put the human element aside, if you want to show the league the right message you would take him out of this game" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 9/23).

    Fox' Howie Long: "When did they realize he needed help? My big issue is when you make this determination that he needs help then let him come to the game and put him on the sidelines in street clothes until he goes to the treatment facility. That is the right thing to do. It's none of my business what his problems are but I really hope that Aldon Smith is really interested to finding a solution to those problems" ("Fox Football Daily," FS1, 9/23).

    Mike Ditka: “You send a bad message to your football team. You say, 'You can do anything you want to and get away with it and still be a part of our team.' I think there has to be some discipline instilled at that moment. I would not have played him" (“SportsCenter Monday Kickoff,” ESPN, 9/23). But Tom Jackson said Smith playing Sunday against the Colts was in "Aldon's best interest that he be with the team and it was in the team's best interest that one of the best pass rushers in football play" ("Monday Night Countdown," ESPN, 9/23).

    ESPN's Bomani Jones said, "We're talking about whether it was irresponsible. A whole lot of people who have talked about this only care about whether or not Aldon Smith is getting punished because you need punishment" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 9/23).

  • TV Timeout: Quality For Quantity's Sake?

    ESPN’s Chris Fowler, on 17 ranked NCAA football teams on Saturday being favored to win by an average of 32 points: “People criticize TV for meddling in the schedules. If not for TV, we’d have a lot more weekends like this” (“College GameDay,” ESPN, 9/21).

    SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE: CBSSN analyst and former Raiders Chief Exec Amy Trask: “There are fundamental and systemic flaws in the NCAA and they are flaws of a tremendous magnitude and irrespective of what one thinks about Arian Foster's comments, it needs to be fixed” (“That Other Pregame Show,” CBS Sports Network, 9/22).

    SPORTS ON DEMAND? BTIG Media & Technology Analyst Richard Greenfield said he "would never want to say never" regarding whether Netflix would attempt to acquire live sports rights, but the "bread-and-butter of Netflix is on-demand programming." Greenfield: "There's such a wide category of content that they can attack" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 9/23). 

    JERRY'S WORLD: Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones: "What I don’t like about Twitter is there's a record of it. You can go back and look at what you tweeted. I like that world that says, 'Just because I said it doesn't make it so.' So that gives you a little leeway" ("NFL Insiders," ESPN, 9/20).

    INSULT TO INJURY SETTELEMENT? ESPN’s Bob Ley reported the NFL $765M concussion settlement with the retired players “will not cover the first players diagnosed with brain damage from their playing careers.” ESPN’s Mark Fainaru-Wada said players “who died prior 2006” will not be covered under the settlement and the “most notable in that are guys like” former Steelers C Mike Webster. Fainaru-Wada: “There are real questions whether there’s enough money” (“OTL,” ESPN, 9/20). 

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN LOW: CBSSN’s Jason La Canfora, on the Broncos reaction to LB Von Miller tampering with drug testing results: “They’re concerned and they want to have someone in-house babysit him a little bit more and his family has moved back in with him, his parents. He’s trying to make positive steps but obviously, you're up against it when you start talking about a one-year suspension” (“That Other Pregame Show,” CBS Sports Network, 9/22).

    IN DEFENSE OF LINGERIE FOOTBALL: The Legends Football League was examined on ABC's "Nightline," with league Commissioner Mitch Mortaza saying, "We just happen to have an entire league of Tom Bradys and David Beckhams and Maria Sharapovas. That's the business model. We're very up-front and honest about it and I think to a degree, that's definitely helped in the marketing of the sport" ("Nightline," ABC, 9/20). 

  • TV Timeout: Placing A Limit On Fan Interaction

    John Feinstein said of golf fans calling in rules violations during PGA Tour events, "I hope the resolution is not that we go away from being able to use video aides to help us have the game adjudicated properly. ... If the Tour does not want callers involved, and I know the players don’t, they resent it. Brandt Snedeker said a few months ago, 'It’s almost as if they don’t trust us.'" You do want to get the calls right. What the Tour needs to do is put one of the rules officials, every day, into the truck, full-time so they can watch everything that every viewer can see on TV with a professional eye and if they see something that they think is the least bit off, they can look at it on replay, they can slow it down in HD, then make a decision" (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 9/19).

    TIGER STYLE: So what does the world's most famous golfer think of the situation? Tiger Woods said, "There are certainly a lot more viewer call ins and that’s what people don’t realize, is that our rules staff gets quite a few calls every week. A lot of them never see the light of day. It’s a new age in which there’s a lot of cameras that are around my group and then some of the top players. We’re going to have to have more discussion about it in the future and I think that’s actually happening right now” (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 9/18).

    ANY RAY OF HOPE? ESPN's Buster Olney said of Rays P David Price tweeting his displeasure about the Rays' attendance woes during their push for the postseason: "It's a really, really bad idea for any member of an organization or media to criticize people for not going to games. People are allowed to spend their money the way they want to spend their money. They're not obligated to hand dollars over to any business." Olney: "The location of the ballpark is something that chases the fans away and the ballpark itself is kind of a mess" ("Baseball Tonight," ESPN.com, 9/18).

    HOLLYWOOD TYPE: CBSSN’s Doug Gottlieb, on the potential of an NFL team moving to the City of Angels: “The only downside to a pro team in L.A., you have to watch them on TV so if they’re bad, you're stuck. It’s one of the great things about living in L.A., you always get the good football games because there’s no home team in your market” (“Lead Off,” CBS Sports Network, 9/18).

    SUPER STUBS: SNY's Marc Malusis said regular fans may have a better chance of attending this year's Super Bowl because "there are people that just don't want to go to a cold-weather Super Bowl. ... The NFL is smart. They're trying to minimize the separation between the price on the ticket and the market price for people selling them as scalpers" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 9/18).

  • TV Timeout: Seattle's Finest

    Comedian and Sounders investor Drew Carey, on the passion for the MLS club in Seattle: "I can't explain it. It must be a hipster thing, or maybe it's because they have legalized pot." On a bit more serious note, he said the club's success is largely based on fan interaction, which is "like a marriage, you want to keep talking all the time." Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer: "The whole idea of voting for my job is part of a broader message which is democracy in sports which is engaging our fans" ("Real Sports," HBO, 9/17).

    THE LIST OF WHO'S WHO: After the release of the "Forbes 400" list of the wealthiest Americans, Bryant Gumbel said the inclusion of Knicks Owner James Dolan, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and Clippers Owner Donald Sterling show that "you can still make a ton of money in sports even when you're lousy at it. ... We may think sports is about fun and fair play, but the list is a reminder that in sports, as in life, the golden rule still applies and he who has the gold, rules" ("Real Sports," HBO, 9/17).

    STAY IN YOUR LANE: Marussia Motors President Graeme Lowdon spoke out against the competitive fairness of the rules structure in F1 racing. Lowdon: "It shouldn't be simply a comparison of balance sheets at the start of the season. ... The industry at the moment has too much scope for buying success." He added he "certainly hopes the industry will move towards a set of regulations and rules where innovation and skill are rewarded and not simply financial strength. ... What we find talking to our sponsors and partners is they want to be associated with an industry that's efficient and that's something they value in their own businesses" ("Worldwide Exchange," CNBC, 9/18).

    STEP RIGHT UP AND MEET...: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld weighed in on what it takes to be a Mets fan: "It helps if you're not physically attractive. It helps if you have a little gimp is good, can't dress, no girls. ... To me, the Mets are fun, they're exciting, they're full of character, they're interesting" ("Mets First Pitch," SNY, 9/17).

    TELL IT TO SHAD: ESPN's Michael Smith said of the small rally of Jaguars fans demanding the team sign Tim Tebow, "You know who should really be embarrassed: The 30 members of the media who actually covered this thing. Twenty fans, thirty media tells you all you need to know. Party's over!" ("Numbers Never Lie," ESPN2, 9/17).

    AND THE RACE IS ON...: ESPN's Brad Daugherty said adding a 13th driver to NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup "muddies the waters. If you're going to do anything, in my opinion, you take one car out and put another car in under the circumstances but don't add the 13th because it takes away some of the luster of being able to have a reputable championship at the end of the season" ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 9/18).

    THAT SHIP HAS SAILED: America's Cup CEO Stephen Barclay said the event in S.F. "probably won't make a profit out of this but it was our intention really to put sailing on a world stage and to come out reasonably a wash is a pretty good result." CNBC's Jane Wells said the "tourism boom to San Francisco is not anywhere near earlier estimates" but the "impact to business could still total a few hundred million dollars and create a few thousand jobs" ("Closing Bell," CNBC, 9/17).

    PUBLIC ENEMY? CBSSN’s Doug Gottlieb, on the season struggles of Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria: "He’s a miserable dude. He ran off Dave Dombrowski, who is now the GM of the Tigers. ... He’s the late Al Davis, late in his career, of baseball owners in that he doesn’t know a ton about baseball but he’s been around it enough to where he’s convinced himself he knows about baseball and he becomes miserable to work for and that’s why they’re so bad" (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 9/17).

    COMMISSIONER'S DESK? ESPN's Tony Kornheiser on Loria: “This sort of meddling by an owner, who I believe has the right to do that since he’s paying all the checks, this can go to the commissioner’s office and this has happened before. A commissioner can say in the best interest of baseball, you can’t continue to act like this. So this could end up with Bud Selig because last year, at this time even when they were bad, they were 66 and 84 and now they’re 55 and 95, worst in the National League. So I could foresee Bud Selig getting involved in this” (“PTI,” ESPN, 9/17).

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