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Volume 21 No. 1
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A tree grows in Carson for StubHub activation

StubHub’s friendly marketing persona, Ticket Oak, is branching out to the stadium experience in Southern California.
Ticket Oak’s Backyard, an outdoor space branded after the talking tree that dispenses event tickets to surprised customers in StubHub commercials, is the centerpiece of the ticket reseller’s activation plans around its six-year naming-rights deal at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The deal was announced in March.

Ticket Oak’s Backyard will welcome fans at StubHub Center starting this month.
Image by: STUBHUB
The 1,600-square-foot “backyard” in the stadium’s southwest plaza is themed with green turf, white picket fences, Adirondack-style lawn chairs and a string of light bulbs overhead. Ticket Oak itself comes to life on a digital wall made of nine flat-screen TVs, greeting spectators as they enter. The greeting will be customized depending on the event, said Gabby Duno, StubHub’s senior manager of partnerships and activation.

StubHub “brand ambassadors” will roam the backyard armed with iPad minis to sign up fans for the company’s fan rewards program and sell tickets to events at StubHub Center and other venues.

“It will have this Southern California feel where people can hang out,” Duno said. “There will be a social media element as well for fans to generate content displayed in real time on the digital wall.”

The activation officially kicks off June 19, the date of the Los Angeles Galaxy-Portland Timbers game.
In addition, StubHub will set up commemorative ticket booths in the stadium’s north end zone for fans to create their own personalized keepsake using iPad photo technology, Duno said.

The four portable structures are an extension of the permanent kiosk at Staples Center tied to StubHub’s founding partnership with AEG. The attraction has been a hit with arena patrons since it opened in March, Duno said.

StubHub’s activation at StubHub Center also includes a free seat upgrade program tied to the company’s midfield suite and a pair of field-level seats. The skybox is reserved for members of the rewards program and fans participating in its social media promotions.

“We won’t use our suite for the typical corporate schmooze-fest,” Duno said.

Those eligible for seat upgrades are selected by StubHub’s rewards team two weeks in advance to watch the game from the suite. The upgrade covers complimentary food and drink and free valet parking, a $50 to $75 value depending on the event.

In general, driving the activation is StubHub’s commitment to providing first-class customer service with a goal to develop StubHub Center into one of the most fan-friendly facilities in the world, Duno said. CAA Sports Consulting’s Greg Luckman assisted with the creative elements.

“From our research, it is really important that this be a family environment,” Duno said. “We want to provide a best-in-class experience.”