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Volume 24 No. 159
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’14 Intersport Activation Summit: Reaching Fans With Customized Gameday Experiences

Five brand marketers and a sports property CMO gathered on stage to talk about customized game-day experiences during a panel discussion on Day One of the ’14 Intersport Activation Summit. Discussing fan engagement from pre-event to in-event to post-event, AT&T Assistant VP/Sponsorships Ryan Luckey said, “What we’re trying to do is enhance the fan experience 24 hours out, so you’re beginning your mental process of getting psyched up and checking in. ... It’s how do you continue to build that anticipation and lead more fan engagement as early as 24 hours out.” StubHub Head of Activation & Account Management Gabby Duno Turner touted the brand’s commemorative ticket experience at StubHub Center and Staples Center as its way of sending its brand home with fans. Duno Turner: “It’s been a huge hit with the customers and the fans ... We have lines pretty much out the door at Staples Center at every single event.” American Express Dir of Sports Marketing Michele Carr added, “How do we continue to talk to you when you’re there? We’ve done these very large fan experiences. ... When you leave, can we keep the conversation going? ... Sending them that e-mail afterwards to say, ‘Here’s all the great things you did today. Continue to enjoy them.’ How can we continue to have brand engagement post-event, which will then make whatever we do for two weeks or one week at U.S. Open even more valuable to us?”

Haener said it's important to be flexible with
sponsorships to deliver on brand objectives
PARTNER PROS AND CONS: Asked about what brands look for in a sports property, particularly from a technology perspective, Carr cited the American Express-sponsored Celtics mobile pre-game show as an example of the importance of having a technologically advanced partner. Carr: “We very much rely on working with our partners to fish where the fish are. There’s no point in putting our content into the AmEx app because you’re probably going there to check your bill ... So we very much want to leverage the power of our partners in this regard.” Duno Turner added that oftentimes the capabilities of a partner fall short of the brand’s expectations. Duno Turner: “Sometimes you don’t find out what the capabilities are of a partnership until after the deal is signed. We have partners that shall remain nameless that still rip their tickets, so there’s little opportunity for us to be innovative with somebody like that. ... But there are a lot of partners that are very forward-thinking, and those are the people that we really want to collaborate with.” General Motors National Sales Promotion Manager for Cadillac Steve Haener said a hang-up in forging a partnership is when a property “creates sponsorship packages that are so rigid that they’re just trying to hit their sales number versus delivering assets that a company or a brand like myself would need. That’s the danger that some sponsors get caught up in, is being able to amend your packages to deliver on their brand objectives. There’s nothing worse than when you end up with a pile of assets in a sponsorship where you throw out 75 percent of it because you only need the other 25 percent.”