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Volume 21 No. 2
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What's worked

Panelists for this week’s Intersport Activation Summit share marketing efforts that have paid off

Naming rights

“Our activation strategy focuses on enhancing the fan experience through mobile connectivity. A main component of our U.S. Cellular Field activation includes the U.S. Cellular Clubhouse, a family-friendly, interactive area that is free for fans to enjoy. This area includes baseball-themed activities that naturally integrate U.S. Cellular products. In addition to the Clubhouse activities, fans can check out our latest devices in a no-pressure sales environment and receive a compelling offer that can be redeemed at U.S. Cellular retail locations. This offer has been extremely successful, achieving a 42 percent redemption rate in 2011.”
—Alan Ferber
Executive vice president, chief strategy and brand officer, U.S. Cellular

“For our client MetLife to achieve its core objectives of exposure and relevancy, we researched for the best television-visible opportunities while maintaining a critical integration into the fan/game experience. Two other factors mattered: variety of programming content at the stadium (two NFL teams plus concerts and other events) and fans’ desired level of engagement while attending an event. Van Wagner handled the fabrication and installation of the end zone LED signage at MetLife Stadium, allowing for the flexibility to adapt and change with each event. … A combination of green-screen technology, touch-screen interactive kiosks, mobile applications and basic fan-engagement activities (football target throws, kicks, etc.) provide something for everyone and allows us to change our messaging and experience in literally 24 hours.”
—Jeff Knapple
Executive vice president, Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment

“At the outset of a major renovation to Arrowhead Stadium, Populous Activate identified the facility’s iconic circular

The Hy-Vee entry experience at Arrowhead Stadium
Photo by: Larry Andrew
entry gates as ideal places to inject brand energy into the fan experience. Working with a regional grocery chain, we devised the Hy-Vee ‘entry experience,’ weaving the culture of passionate Kansas City Chiefs fans, their famed tailgating experience and the Hy-Vee brand as a fan destination location. Graphically treated walls, video boards and a live band create excitement for the team and brand. By incorporating a regional business, Populous Activate proved naming-rights deals can be successful in a variety of spaces.”
—Brian Mirakian
Director, Populous Activate; Associate principal, Populous


“Because nearly two-thirds of confectionery purchase decisions are made in-store, shopper marketing and merchandising drive sales. As such, we view sponsorships through a store-back, integrated marketing lens. Our first objective is to unlock a platform’s retail potential, and then we invest incrementally to further connect with shoppers across the path to purchase. Our best example is our Reese’s/NCAA partnership. NCAA March Madness captures the attention of everyone — fans and non-fans alike. As a result, we can drive scale across all channels, all stores, and then amplify our retail activation with advertising, in-game integration, etc., enhancing sales, customer relationships and brand equity.”
—Drew Iddings
Senior manager, consumer promotions, The Hershey Co.

“Our approach to marketing activation was best demonstrated at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, where we created a 30,000-square-foot ‘pop-up’ shop. … Our goal was to create an environment that brought people into the venue and kept them there for a while. By having interactive touch points throughout the space, we were able to engage shoppers of all ages that led to longer dwell time in the store, which we feel led to more transactions and higher tickets.”
—John DeWaal
Marketing director, Hat World /

“Brand messaging for Subway is carried through the entire marketing mix, from television and print advertising to

public relations and social media. But as the largest restaurant chain in the world, activation at retail for Subway is particularly important. As the official training restaurant of the ING New York City Marathon, Subway activates this property as a 360-degree marketing platform. In 2011, Apolo Ohno was featured at retail leading up to, during and after the November race, and the message of his training and nutrition continues with Subway’s launch of avocado season starting this summer in the over 25,000 Subway restaurants across the country.”
—Paul Bamundo
Director, sports marketing and partnerships, Subway

Best practices

“Success for us hinges on having strong partners who truly understand and can expand the definition of how to surprise and delight our guests. Every activation we engage in needs to tell a compelling story that is easy to comprehend and reinforces the ‘Expect More’ portion of our brand promise. This is our lens. Our lifestyle marketing and our work around our athletes (Shaun White, Ryan Dungey, Carissa Moore, etc.) has taken a non-endemic brand in Target and created something special in this space. … Outside of sports, our Little Marina activation in New York City around our Missoni launch blended digital, social and physical and lived beyond a moment in time.”
—Dan Griffis
Director, events, strategic partnerships and lifestyle marketing, Target

“Breaking legacy perceptions of our brand has been a critical charge over the past couple of years as our business has evolved in technology, but further into the services space. With that, in 2011, our first year as an official partner of the

U.S. Open, one trigger was looking to bring fans a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse around the tournament grounds. We (with the U.S. Tennis Association) developed an @ The Open video series to increase fan interest by allowing them to determine the content of the daily videos through votes on Facebook. Incorporating a social component to provide fans with what they wanted to see aids in this evolution from a B2B brand to a more B2P (people) brand, which we will take to the next level come late summer as we enhance this behind-the-scenes platform with broader distribution, further interactivity and significant leveraging of our developing social channels.”
—Jon Levine
Vice president, global experiential marketing, Xerox

“Our best practice to date is ‘100 Seats a Sunday,’ a program we did last fall with the Denver Broncos. Using geo-targeted Facebook posts and ads, Pandora and local digital social planning sites, we invited fans to on-premise accounts where they could earn the chance to win tickets to Broncos games. This drove both Coors Light’s on-premise business and social fan engagement and worked so well that we’re adopting it in other markets.”
—Jackie Woodward
Vice president, media and marketing services, MillerCoors


“As an NFL sponsor, Bridgestone entitles the Super Bowl halftime show. Bridgestone and their agency consulted with Intersport about how to best activate that sponsorship and create a deeper association between Bridgestone, the NFL and the high-profile artists that perform during the show. The result was an original network special produced in partnership with NFL Films which Intersport distributed on Fox directly leading into coverage of the NFC championship game (in 2011). … Through this branded content activation, the message was clear that Bridgestone was using its platform as an NFL partner to enhance the fan experience by creating one of the most anticipated and most watched concerts of the year.”
—Scot Thor
Senior vice president, programming and production, Intersport

Cause marketing

“By working with others, we achieve more and get more satisfaction along the way. An example is Buick’s integrated media program with the NCAA called the Human Highlight Reel, which features stories of college athletes who went on to achieve even greater accomplishments after their collegiate days. Out of the highlight reel evolved Buick’s involvement with Samaritan’s Feet, an organization … that provides shoes to impoverished children worldwide. … In addition to donations to the organization, they have been highlighted in a number of Buick-sponsored events.”
—Craig Bierley
Director, advertising and promotions, Buick and GMC brands

“We align ourselves with initiatives that are going to strengthen relationships at the local level for our agents. Cause marketing allows us to put our resources and hearts in places that are natural extensions of existing programs. The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team partnership is an extension of what we do in football and it has allowed Allstate to shine a light on what is good about college football. The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is comprised of college football student athletes who make outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement.”
—Pam Hollander
Senior director, integrated marketing communications, Allstate

“At The V Foundation, we measure success three ways: 1. Increased awareness; 2. Additional opportunities; 3. Significant, ongoing donations. If a partnership can do that, it has impact for us. For the corporate partner, we must help them move the needle. If we don’t … it will be a short relationship. The perfect example of a successful alliance for us is Crown Imports (Corona). They developed a nationwide, on-premise and off-premise March program called Help Find a Cure. The promotion leverages our basketball roots, builds awareness with consumers through point-of-sale, creates opportunities with local and national accounts, and raises a large amount of donations.”
—Larry Lane
Vice president, corporate and market development, The V Foundation

“One of The First Tee’s goals over the next several years is to significantly grow the number of individual donors to its

200 chapters, thus further sustaining their operating revenues. To do this, The First Tee launched the matching-grant program, [encouraging] chapters to fundraise and donors to give locally. Johnson & Johnson is sponsoring The First Tee home office, as it gives $1 for every $2 raised by chapters, up to $10 million, through 2015. As a result, Johnson & Johnson’s brand and awareness of their support of The First Tee will extend into each chapter community through fundraising efforts. Johnson & Johnson was a great match for a long-term sponsorship because they have for years supported families and communities.”
—Joe Louis Barrow Jr.
CEO, The First Tee