Digitally Activated: Sports Centered

A Look at Online Sports Activations

Posts Tagged ‘sports marketing

How About Billions Can Grow Adrien Broner’s Star Power

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Adrien Broner About Billions

Adrien  Broner has been described as “profane, raunchy and occasionally even lewd”.  He is the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather’s throne as the most talked about personality in boxing.  His two fights on Showtime this year have averaged 1.35MM viewers and his web series About Billions has more than 700K views on YouTube.  At the age of 24 he is as much a force in the sports industry as his punches (22 of his 27 victories have been by KO).  However, I believe Adrian Broner can better use his About Billions to develop into one of the most recognized personalities in sports.  Here are my two suggestions.

1. Use About Billions to Develop a Narrative for Adrien Broner’s Career –

HBO’s 24/7 helped build Floyd Mayweather into a global icon.  The series captivated people with the on-going drama that surrounded Floyd’s relationship with his father and uncle.  The first edition of the series featured the almost incomprehensible story line of Floyd’s father training Oscar De La Hoya for his fight against Floyd.  The drama surrounding the Mayweather’s captivated sports fans and helped drive interest in a fight that would establish the all-time PPV record.  The on-going drama between Floyd and his family members has continued to be a significant sub-plot for all his fights, and is part of the reason why he is recognizable to millions of Americans that are not able to name one other boxer.

Adrien Broner and Golden Boy Promotions should spend time together before the development of the next installment of About Billions to determine what is the story they want to tell sports fans.  Currently, all we see are the superficial acts of a young man reveling in acts of self-indulgence.  These acts are fine – as they are part of the Adrien Broner narrative – but by themselves will not make him an international star.  There needs to be further meaning as to why he behaves the way he does.  My suggestion would be to look for a compelling story line from his childhood that involves a struggle, fuels his relentless work ethic, dictates why he keeps such a large entourage, and defines the man we see today.

2.Own the Distribution Vehicle –

The series should be hosted on Golden Boy’s official web site.  This would allow Golden Boy to put its marketing muscle behind the series while providing the boxer and the promotions company with incremental revenue opportunities.  Adrien Broner could take a revenue share from sponsorships Golden Boy could secure for the series, or be paid to star in videos produced by Golden Boy with the promotion company carrying the ultimate financial reward/risk of the series.  The explicit nature of the videos will make sponsorship of the videos tough; however, with the right direction, the series would become one of the most marketable assets in the sport of boxing.

Adrien Broner has the ability to transcend the sport of boxing.  His talent and charisma are unmistakable and will drive interest in him throughout his career.  However, it is imperative that he develops a storyline to his personality.  The best entertainers have always built a narrative to their lives and drilled this into the consciousness of their fans.  About Billions is Broner’s opportunity to do the same.

 

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Written by Peter Amador

August 20, 2013 at 11:32 PM

The Future Impact of Augmented Reality on Sports Media

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Augmented Reality is the innovation that will abruptly disrupt sports media.  It will fundamentally revolutionize the consumer’s experience.  The moment is not that far away.  In the past few months we have had a rapping Tupac at Coachella and fans virtually posing with Super Bowl rings, the Stanley Cup, and the French Soccer Championship trophy.  Augmented Reality will center on specialized one off events for the next few years; however, the future of the burgeoning field is the enhancement of live events.

The aforementioned sport activations are superb in their innovation.  Fans will appreciate them for their authenticity, and they provide an opportunity for fans to identify with athletic greatness.  These are vitally important developments for properties and sponsorship activation teams.  To effectively construct a different sports reality, we will have to take this technology to the hands of consumers in real-time.

Live sports continue to be the most indispensible commodity of a network’s portfolio.  However, there will come a point when rights fees are no longer economically justifiable.  Distributors are increasingly willing to fight networks on their carriage fees, e.g. MSG v. Time Warner, Fox Sports San Diego v. Time Warner/Dish/AT&T U-Verse, and Viacom v. Dish.  These fights will continue at both the local and national level.  It is inevitable that the ceiling for sports rights will have ramifications that extend to the playing field through CBA related causes.  Therefore, it will be incumbent upon properties to develop new mediums which will give broadcasters more interactive advertising solutions.  This is where Reality Distortion will truly take hold.

I envision a world where the next Shazam integrations are geo-targeted, time-specific, and relevant to the broadcast.  For example, Coors Light would run an ad during the third quarter of a Chargers vs. Raiders game to a displaced Chargers in fan NYC.  The fan using an app on their phone or tablet would then be able to recognize the ad, the fan’s location, time-slot of the ad and offer the fan specific behind the scenes footage of the game.  The activation would include bringing Herm Edwards into the living room of the user.  Herm would offer real-time commentary about the broadcast in such a way that would speak directly to the fan’s team allegiance.  This user specific Augmented Reality will be the defining experience of sports media over the next decade.

We have only begun to scratch the surface of Augmented Reality’s potential.  The future will include geo-targeted integrations that speak directly to the consumer’s interest during live broadcasts.  The ability of properties and networks to offer these solutions to advertisers will ensure the sustainability of current sports broadcast rights.

Written by Peter Amador

July 30, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Jose Cuervo Romanced Kevin Love with Pro Beach Volleyball

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Kevin Love has chosen to “Find His Beach” not with a Corona, but with a shot of Cuervo.  He  partnered with Jose Cuervo to promote  last month’s Manhattan Beach Open.

The Manhattan Beach Open is part of the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series (JCPBVS), and is one of the premier events of the So Cal summer.  According to Brian Radics, Jose Cuervo brand director, the decision for Jose Cuervo to become title sponsor of the JCPBVS was based on the fit between the brand and the sport:

“Beach volleyball and Jose Cuervo are both known for intensity and lifestyle appeal, and the opportunity to help the sport return to prominence not only for the players but also for fans was one we’re excited about.”

The Partnership

The partnership between Kevin Love and Jose Cuervo was announced in July at the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series event in Times Square.  There, Kevin Love described to a reporter from Larry Brown Sports how the partnership originated:

“Jose Cuervo came to me and said that they wanted me to be a part of it and I took it and ran with it — I thought it was a home run. It’s a different thing I could use throughout the lockout to keep active and kind of have fun with, so I’m very excited about it.”

It is very interesting that Jose Cuervo would approach an active player – albeit one not under contract – to participate in one of its marquee marketing initiatives of the summer.  Furthermore, we should examine why the marketing of the event was conspicuously devoid of Kevin Love’s likeness.

According to the Distill Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS):

“To help ensure that individuals in beverage alcohol advertising are and appear to be above the legal purchase age, models and actors employed should be a minimum of 25 years old, substantiated by proper identification and should reasonably appear to be 21 years of age and older. (Page 5, Point 7)”

Partnership Restrictions

Kevin Love is only 22 years old.  In order for this partnership to be compliant with the distilled spirits governing body, Kevin Love could not publicly endorse the Jose Cuervo product e.g. “I have always loved Cuervo.  Back at UCLA, me and Westbrook used to got shot for shot on our way to the Final 4. (fictional quote)”  Therefore, when Kevin Love speaks about his partnership with Jose Cuervo it is always in direct relation to the JCPBVS, “I have always been a fan of beach volleyball and when I received the opportunity to play in the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. (actual quote)”  The restriction however detracts from Love’s dynamic social personality which could have dramatically moved the needle on the partnership.

The Possibilities of the Partnership

Love has been part of a clever campaign with Right Guard, a viral video promoting his All-Star game worthiness (the video was created by the T-Wolves and has been removed from the Internet due to the lockout), more than 67,000 Facebook Likes, and more than 97,000 Followers on Twitter.  His greatest asset to brands moving forward is that he is fully fluent in the language of social media.

He entered college as Facebook was becoming ubiquitous and Twitter was gaining mainstream attention.  He has immersed himself in these platforms, and understands how to engage his audience.  Furthermore, he is comfortable in front of a camera.  His appeal to Jose Cuervo is obvious.  However, the limitations of his age prevented the partnership from reaching is true potential.  We could have a mockumentary on his training reigme featuring guest appearances from NBA and Hollywood stars, we could have had a cross country tour with Love promoting his affiliation with Jose Cuervo at summer hotspots across the nation, and we could have seen one of the most interactive social media campaigns of the summer.

Partnering with Kevin Love was a great way for Jose Cuervo to bring national attention to a local event, despite the limitations of his age.  I look forward to seeing how Jose Cuervo promotes the remaining two events of the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series.

You’re in Good Hands when Behind The Mic with Allstate on SI.com

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Mayhem… something you don’t want on the field or in your personal life, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.  What happens then? Do you have someone you can trust to help you through these tough moments?  This is the crux of Allstate’s “Mayhem” campaign, and a message the brand reinforces through its partnership with SI.com.

Using “Great Quotes” from retired athletes on SI.com’s “Behind The Mic” video channel, Allstate increases its image as an expert in the fields of: Auto, Motorcycle, Home and Life insurance.  The “Behind The Mic” channel is designed to generate leads for local Allstate agents.

The What

  • Dedicated video channel
  • Co-branded header
  • Video Pre-roll (every other video start)
  • Fixed 300×250
  • Voting module for favorite “Quote of the Week”
  • Module linking users to a local Allstate agent
  • Homepage targeted co-branded media: 300×250, 728×90 and 120×90 (see below)

The Why

The concept for “Behind the Mic” is excellent.  Allstate is associating its brand with retired players (see header in Picture 1) that are slightly past their prime, but are respected by viewers- these athletes resonate with their presumed target audience of Males 25-54 who are also slightly past their prime* a concept first pioneered by Miller Lite in the 70s to make drinking Lite Beer manly.

Allstate wants viewers to trust their agents opinions on insurance, the same way the viewers trust the retired players opinions. By associating its brand with these athletes, Allstate enhances its brand’s image as dependable expert.  The enhanced brand image will help drive sales for its local agents.

Allstate has two call-to-action points on the “Behind the Mic” page.  These units connect a user with the closest agent in their area. The first is the fixed 300×250 to the right of the video player which helps users “Find an Agent”, and the second is a module which prompts users to “Get Your Great Quote”.


Viewers are attracted to the call to action points by the pre-roll which runs before every other video.  Allstate uses celebrity endorser Tim Howard (“Always in Good Hands” with one of the best Goalies in the world) and brand spokesman “Mayhem”, to reinforce its expertise in four fields with four different commercials:

  • Mayhem – Motorcycle Insurance (An add directed at men that have undergone a “mid-life” crisis and are now selling their motorcycle, which ties back to associating the Allstate brand with retired players.)
  • Mayhem – Home & Auto Insurance (Directed at handyman/homeowner that causes more harm than good.  We can all relate.)
  • Mayhem – All four of their areas of expertise (A Brady Bunch parody that shows “Mayhem is everywhere“)
  • Tim Howard – Life Insurance (A reminder that we are still in the game, but we have responsibilities as well.  Clever way to tackle what no man wants to contemplate – our mortality).

Key Takeaways

Allstate uses “Great Quotes” from respected, retired athletes to connect with its target audience in a way that reinforces its image with expertise in the fields of: Auto, Motorcycle, Home and Life insurance.   The Allstate pre-roll which runs before every other “Great Quote” is designed to demonstrate Allstate’s breadth of expertise, and helps drive users to the two call-to-action points on the Allstate branded video channel.

Through it partnership with SI.com, Allstate is increasing its brand image and generating leads for local agents.  A strategy which is sure to cause mayhem for its competitors.

Written by Peter Amador

August 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Captain Morgan: Major League Loot for You

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Jeter or Morgan… who’s your Captain?

Now I’m a big fan of Jeter, but I have to go with Morgan.  Why?  Because unless your name is Christian Lopez, Derek Jeter has never gave any of his fans the opportunity to win Major League Loot.

The What

Captain Morgan took-over the homepage of MLB.com on July 25th.  Captain Morgan’s homepage takeover included the following assets:

  • Page Reskin
  • Pencil Unit
  • Fixed 300×250

The Pencil Unit and the 300×250 clicked through to Captain Morgan’s weekly feature on MLB.com “Toasts of the Week” which gives fans the opportunity to “Enter Now to Live Like The Captain“.

“Toasts of the Week” is a feature which highlights individual performances that must be honored.  However, the feature is secondary to the sweepstakes, (evidence by the video player’s placement in the bottom half of the page) which asks the user to “Toast Your Club for a Chance to Win a VIP Baseball Experience”.

The Why

The action of having the user toast their favorite club accomplishes two important goals for Captain Morgan:

  1. It associates the brand with good times and great performances
  2. The users conceptualizes Captain Morgan with rewards (the beautiful blonde at the bar or tickets to watch your favorite team, it doesn’t matter, The Captain is always there for you)

Once the user interest chooses to enter the Major League Loot sweepstakes, the Captain engages the fan with a sleek and attractive sweepstakes page.

Captain Morgan uses its sweepstakes page to successfully integrate its league sponsorship with local partnerships.  The use of team’s marks enables the brand to drive its message directly to its targeted consumer, rather than abstractly through the use of a league’s mark. League marks provide scale but does not generate the visceral emotion of a team’s logo.

Furthermore, I appreciate that the Captain asks you to keep your toast to less than 50 words.  This prevents users from questioning whether they can craft a toast that poetic enough to warrant the Captain’s Loot, and decreases dropoff after entry.

Once a user has completed the sweepstakes entry, Captain Morgan thanks them for entering the Major League Loot contest and prompts them “To Join The Captain for a Toast on Facebook”.

The brand is able to extend the conversation with its target consumer by driving contest participants to it Facebook page, turning a one-off sweepstakes promotion to an effective CRM tool.

Key Takeaways

Captain Morgan used its homepage takeover on MLB.com to increase awareness for its “Major League Loot” sweepstakes.  The creative on the homepage drove awareness for the sweepstakes, while the fixed units clicked through to the sweepstakes page.  The sweepstakes enhanced the brand’s association with great memories and rewards.  Furthermore, the brand drives its messaging home by using team marks to create a personal connection with its target consumer.

Here’s to toasting great brands and great friends, sports wouldn’t be the same without them.

Written by Peter Amador

July 26, 2011 at 1:16 AM

The NFL Lockout is Almost Over… Advertisers Please Return

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The end of the NFL lockout will drive fans to the NFL sections of leading sports websites.  Fans want to know what the new CBA means for their team, and will consume massive amounts of content that focuses on the start on free agency.  However – to my surprise –  I could not find one advertising campaign that was targeted to the NFL sections of ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports, NBCsports.com or CBSsports.com.

The What

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* ESPN and Yahoo delivered value to their Fantasy League sponsors by promoting their game with fixed placements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* NBCsports.com’s, Pro Football Talk had RON and house ads on its site, while CBS promoted its non-sponsored fantasy leagues.

The Opportunity

Premium inventory at a non-premium price.

Visitors to these sites this week are avid fans.  They are looking for details on the final days of negotiations, and how the new CBA will affect their team’s ability to retain their star players and address their needs in free agency.  These are the types of fans that NFL league sponsors should be using their IP rights to target.

To make my suggested media buy, a sponsor would have needed a strong inclination that the lockout would be approaching its end.  To think that a well connected marketing executive would have this knowledge is not unfathomable (see: Ponturo, Tony). According to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, it was all but a given that the lockout would be over in time to a guarantee a full training camp.  If you had this knowledge as a league sponsor, why would you not risk buying media around the last two weeks of July and into August at a discounted price?

We are about to enter one of the most talked about free agency periods of our lifetime.  It would have been fun to see how a brand could have used original creative and a targeted message to connect with the excitement surronding the return of the National Football League.

Written by Peter Amador

July 21, 2011 at 1:00 AM

“All-New Rapids Reward” Program from Southwest for Golf Fans

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Southwest, the airline for golfers?  After the first round of the British Open, you won’t think twice about this.

Southwest established roadblocks in the Golf Sections of ESPN.com and CBSSports.com during the first round of the 2011 British Open, and has a strong media presence on GolfChannel.com.  Southwest banners for their 2011 British Open campaign feature picturesque beaches – not exactly associated with the British countryside – and promote the “All-New Rapid Rewards” program which offers new users 250 Bonus Points when they sign up today.  Southwest’s decision to highlight its “All-New Rapid Rewards” program leads me to believe that the brand is trying to reinvent its image with golf fans, who may still view the brand as an economy airline. The enticement of 250 Bonus Points suggests that Southwest’s main objective for its 2011 British Open campaign is an increase in enrollment for its “All-New Rapid Rewards” program.

The What

Southwest’s roadblock on CBSSports.com included: Page Reskin, Pencil Unit and 300×250

Southwest’s roadblock on ESPN.com included: Presented by logo and fixed 300×250

 

 

 

 

 

Southwest’s rotational media on GolfChannel.com included: 728×90 and 300×250 units

The Why 

Southwest’s 2011 British Open campaign is interesting in that the call to action did not attempt to drive sales by featuring Southwest’s low fares or policy of not charging baggage fees, but rather it was about establishing a dialogue with a potential customer.  The user was asked to share their contact information and travel preferences when they enrolled in the “All-New Rapid Rewards” program.  Users were given the opportunity to subscribe to four email newsletters associated with the “All-New Rapid Rewards” program: Rapid Rewards – The Report, Rapid Rewards Email Update, Click ‘N Save and In a Nutshell.

These newsletters will extend Southwest’s communication with its target audience.  Any sales which result from the email blasts to the new registrants will provide a direct ROI for the 2011 British Open campaign, providing Southwest with a tangible evaluation for its campaign.

Key Takeaways

Southwest is promoting its “All-New Rapids Reward” program to golf fans by establishing roadblocks in the Golf sections of ESPN.com and CBSsports.com during the first round of the British Open.  The campaign’s objective is increasing the number of participants in the “All-New Rapid Rewards” program, which the company believes will translate into direct sales.  The promotion of a rewards program is a diversion from Southwest’s traditional sports marketing campaigns which highlight the company’s policy of not charging baggage fees and low fares.  This may be the company’s attempt to change its image with a particular type of consumer that still view the airline as an economy airline.

Southwest will establish meaningful relationships with a coveted audience through its 2011 British Open campaign and should be recognized for its targeted and aggressive media spend.

Written by Peter Amador

July 15, 2011 at 12:46 AM

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