By Lisa Major
It’s no wonder experiential marketers love football season. Gamedays bring a huge influx of fans with built-in camaraderie and a common goal – to have fun and root on their favorite team. Tapping into that enthusiasm can only create stronger connections between your brand and their love of the game. So, when college campuses start filling up and pro stadium kick-off weekends come, be ready to leverage the opportunity with some fun of your own. Because gameday activations that focus on the fans are primed for long-term ROI.
It might be instinctual to set up an eyepopping, branded experience on prime stadium real estate and wait for fans to come to you. But think of the missed opportunities (fans) who aren’t passing by your activation. For maximum attention, send your brand ambassadors out into the crowds to invite and attract fans to your footprint, or take the experience directly to them with street teams to canvas high foot-traffic areas.
Experiential marketing spending trends high at the start of each season, drops off, then comes back strong for the playoffs and championships. It makes sense. Budgets and enthusiasm can be hard to sustain over a 13- or 18-week season. Yet, loyal, longtime team supporters recognize and reward the loyalty of longtime sponsors. After all, branded partnerships are part of the fabric of football. Therefore, die-hard fans know which brands are opportunists and which brands are in it for the long haul.
Working with an experienced experiential partner can help brands sustain a season-long strategy that the fans will look forward to week after week. A consistent presence is the first step. And hiring an ambassador team to nurture the relationship between fans and your brand is essential, no matter what type of activation you host.
You can’t rely on the same play every week when sustaining an experiential campaign for an entire football season. Fans will come to expect it, and suddenly your marketing offense is losing field position. So, plan your activations to be agile and have your brand ambassadors ready to call an audible so fans stay engaged and motivated to play.
One way to do this is to customize your activation based on what’s happening in real time. For example, did the team win last week? Then execute plan A this week. Is it a big rival game? Time to go with plan B. There are many ways to keep things fresh and fun throughout the season, and fans will appreciate the Gameday synergy.
Another idea is to take your brand on the road with a mobile marketing tour. You can expand your reach regionally or nationally by visiting different college towns or NFL cities, garnering more engagement and impressions.
Gameday activations don’t have to be limited to the campus, a stadium, or the team’s hometown. You can still execute activations where fans congregate in-town or in-state – think bar promotions, retail events, or even a sweepstakes-driven tailgate party. Brands can still earn meaningful gameday engagement and interaction without shifting dollars to a 30-second TV spot. It just takes a little creativity and ingenuity.
For football fans, the gameday and tailgate experience is just as significant as the game itself. Brands play a huge role in this environment as sponsors of not only the teams but as sponsors of the fan experience as well. By showing fans how much a brand values their contribution to gamedays through activations that enhance their enjoyment, brands score plenty of loyalty points.
ATN Event Staffing delivers professional experiential marketing talent to execute brand activations at events and brand activations nationwide. Our expertise makes the hiring process a seamless part of campaign planning for single or multiple markets. For nearly two decades, our partners have come to expect high-caliber solutions and exceptional customer service.
When gameday activations are a part of your experiential marketing campaign, ATN Event Staffing equips you with the team that will earn brand loyalty and engagement.
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