On March 11 Sheraton kicked off its first-ever CBS Sports and NCAA sponsorship by launching what the brand hopes will become the world’s largest online wave—a website where consumers can upload videos of themselves throwing their arms up in the name of team spirit. (Check it out at sheratonwave.com). Viewers can sort and watch clips by school or watch the videos in succession as one giant wave. At press time 274 fans had submitted clips.
In addition to web and TV tie-ins with CBS Sports the brand plans to activate at its hotels with signage door hangers key card notes on-site viewing parties and in-lobby arcade-style hoop shoot games—refereed by the hotel concierge. Chain loyalty is the name of the game in the hotel industry so through this sponsorship Sheraton is hoping to develop an affinity between rabid basketball fans and loyal Sheraton customers.
“Sheraton is about creating that environment where you can belong and meet other people ” Stewart Slocum senior director-brand marketing at Sheraton told Buzz. “March Madness is that annual event where alumni connect with other alumni. We’re hoping to spark that friendly competition and rivalry and that this becomes viral.”
The sponsorship is just one part of Sheraton’s ongoing brand refreshment initiative which started just over a year ago. Other recently-added guest amenities include exclusive access to the Showtime series “The Tudors ” high-end Bliss bath products Starbucks Coffee and Tazo Tea.