Embedded Tweets – Coming to an arena near you

January 30, 2012

Embedded Tweet

Image via @MagicAndrew

Every day, forward thinking brands and organizations do their best to bridge the digital and physical world. No one, in my opinion, does a better job of this than Nike, especially with the launch of the Nike+ Fuelband. Gatorade has dabbled into this arena by “immortalizing” fans’ #WinfromWithin tweets, but I believe they are just scratching the surface. With so many organizations trying to bring the fans into the digital world – “Like us on Facebook” “Join the conversation on Twitter” – it may be time to flip the script and bring the digital world to the fans.

Many fans still cannot grasp the concept of a hashtag, it may be due to age or a lack of desire to learn about new technology, but those fans exist nonetheless. The above picture is a smart idea that can allow these fans to still enter the brand or team’s digital world and get a glimpse into yet another aspect of the organization. Due to the simplicity and cost effectiveness of this practice, sports teams might be well served by utilizing this concept. There are a number of ways this can be used to add value for the fans –

  1. Teams can showcase their own athletes tweets, posting some of the funny, emotional, or insightful thoughts the player shared. The tweets can be hung throughout the stadium, or in one centralized area. The Cleveland Indians could specifically use this in their widely praised Social Suite to add extra value for the attendees.
  2. Colleges can include specific tweets in their hall-of-fame section of the campus, constantly staying current with some of their most distinguished and famous alumni.
  3. Teams can showcase a section of fan tweets about the team or a specific event. It would be a very interesting experience to be able to see tweets from writers, fans, and celebrities pertaining to their team’s athlete breaking a milestone, all in one place.

Organizations have done well to bring their Twitter presence to the physical world, this is another wrinkle that may not take a great amount of time or effort from the organization, but could become a valuable way to enhance the fan experience throughout the season.


Better Sponsorship. Better Activation. Papa John’s.

September 7, 2011

Many sponsors have scrambled to put together a successful campaign as soon as the NFL resumed business, and you would be hard pressed to do a better job than Papa John’s has. With a large influx of eyeballs in such a short amount of time, the official pizza sponsor of the NFL took full advantage.

To build the brand’s loyalty program, Papa Reward members (already 1,000,000 strong), and new fans who sign up at PapaJohns.com will be put in a drawing to receive one of 60,000 free pizzas each week during the regular season. Marketing for the promotion includes digital advertising on NFL.com, both home page and banners, social media, e-mail, and in-store marketing. However, the most noteworthy banner placement is in NFL.com’s Fantasy Football Draft rooms. With at least two drafts per minute, ten to twelve users per draft, and drafts lasting for at least an hour, Papa John’s was able to gain countless impressions that has given them and edge among brands before the NFL season has even started.

Well played Papa John’s, Marketers will be sure to keep an eye on your campaign among the many in-season promotions.

Toyota – Social Network

July 7, 2011

Very 2011 – no car mention, only Facebook references. Intelligent Marketing or missing the point?

NBA Players to Europe

July 7, 2011

Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets is reportedly planning to play in Turkey if the NBA lockout is not settled by the Fall. Other notable players entertaining the idea of playing in Europe include the Atlanta Hawks’ Zaza Pachulia, Kobe Bryant, and the Knicks duo of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. The idea of NBA players playing in Europe has been debated and dissected by numerous TV shows, radio shows, and analysts across the industry with every concern cited from safety to ability to adapt.

Thinking with the sponsorship hat on, I believe it would be advantageous for stars of the NBA to compete in Europe from a business standpoint. Players would be able to showcase their personal brand, and the Nike’s and Reebok’s of the world would be able to leverage their high-profile athletes in a brand new global setting.

[As an aside, consider this a tip of the cap to WNBA. While most are compelled to compete abroad for financial reasons, one has to admire their willingness to put it all on the line. As of March 2011, 92 players from all 12 teams are competing in a dozen countries all over the world. See the full map where all WNBA players are competing here.]

Interactive McMarketing

June 23, 2011


McDonald’s created a brilliant billboard in the city of Stockholm, Sweden. This “Pick ‘n’ Play” campaign was experimental but returned huge results for the company.

As you see in the video, users connect with the billboard using their smartphone, without having to download additional software (big perk!) The user is prompted to pick their favorite McDonald’s snack to begin, and then play a game of pong on the billboard using their smartphone to control their paddle. If the user wins the game, a coupon for a free snack that they chose is sent straight to their phone.

Team executives would be wise to follow this excellent interactive marketing strategy and apply the concept to their home stadiums. Those tailgating or entering the stadium would gladly participate and play the game on the billboard, especially if they could get something for free out of it. Team sponsors can creatively integrate their product or service into the game, and teams would have the option to rotate every game or series to maximize their partnerships and revenue opportunities.

Foursquare and American Express team up; Sports implications?

June 23, 2011

Foursquare and American Express announced a deal today wherein rewards and incentives will get even better. Users will be able to sync their Foursquare and AmEx accounts where they will receive exclusive discounts and saving at specified locations. For example, shoppers who check in on Foursquare at H&M will recieve a $10 credit to their AmEx account when they spend $75. If you spend $50 at Sports Authority, you will receive a $20 reward. This partnership has great potential and has already created a buzz after an initial test at SXSW back in March involving a “spend $5, get $5” deal.

If used properly, this type of partnership could have big implications on professional sports teams and their use of location-based apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla, or Whrrl. After a proper sync with a team and/or league, there are many possibilities to leverage this type of relationship.


  • Season-Ticket holders receiving credits to an account for every check-in at the game, redeemable at the game or for future ticket purchases with the team (and who wouldn’t want to be the ‘mayor’ of Yankee Stadium?)
  • “Booth of the night” – One sponsor/vendor’s booth is pre-determined by the team each game, and the first fan to check-in at said booth wins credit to store and a shout-out with sponsor on stadium scoreboard (Ex: $25 to Jimmy’s BBQ.)

Out of Stadium

  • Every fan check-in at a team’s sponsor leads to money redeemable at the stadium (Ex: St.Louis Rams fan checks in at U.S. Bank, receives $10 to spend at Edward Jones Dome.)
  • Every fan check-in at a league’s sponsor will allow them to receive cash back if they pay with league’s credit card (Ex: NFL-Visa, NBA-American Express, MLB-Mastercard.)

This American Express/Foursquare is only the tip of the iceberg, but I think it is safe to assume that location-based apps are here to stay, and it will be exciting to see how they can be integrated into sports business.