Sports Illustrated and Nissan Tackle College Football Fans with High-Tech Touches - Event Marketer

Sports Illustrated and Nissan

Sports Illustrated and Nissan Tackle College Football Fans with High-Tech Touches

Sports Illustrated has beefed up its College Football Experience tour, presented by Nissan for the fifth year, with high-tech interactive activities. The 10,000 square-foot tour footprint with a branded blimp floating above it has been traveling to college football games since Sept. 11 and wraps on Dec. 4 at the SEC Championship. The tour taps into the magazine’s top demographic of male readers, both students and alumni, which are key targets for local Nissan dealerships as well.

“College football is a natural place for us to be able to deliver localized content based on the fact that we’re the number one male-read magazine on college campuses across the country,” Tim Angelillo, executive director-property sales and strategic marketing at Sports Illustrated, told Buzz. “The tour allows us to deliver all of the historical content that the alumni remember from their college experience through the lens of Sports Illustrated.”

The tour offers an array of data-capturing activities, including a chance for consumers to take a picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the Heisman Trophy via a green screen. Consumers are given a coded card, which allows them to retrieve the photo on-site, on their mobile phones or on their home computers to share with family and friends on social networking sites. The captured data is passed along to Nissan dealerships in each market. Visitors can also test out the 2011 Nissan Maxima and Nissan Juke using touch-screen technology that allows them to configure their own car. There are also two 52-inch touch-screen flat panel monitors (think gigantic iPads) used for a football trivia challenge, as well as a variety of Sports Illustrated content. For the trivia game, two fans go head-to-head using the touch-screens to answer each question; a third monitor shows the score to entice passersby to give the game a shot, too (Technology: Brightline Interactive, Old Town Alexandria, VA).

“Part of the reason that we invested in this technology is to be able to localize the content and really let the consumer decide what they want to experience and how they want to experience it,” says Angelillo. “It also allows us to pay out Nissan’s umbrella messaging, which is about innovation.” In addition to the touch-screen monitors, there are top resolution LED screens airing live player interviews conducted by Sports Illustrated senior writer Dan Patrick, which helps extend the experience to fans that aren’t seated in the first few rows.

Local Nissan dealers also leverage the tour to rev up their sales force by running an internal sales incentive program, which awards their top performers with a VIP experience inside the footprint and at that day’s game, including meeting Dan Patrick and guest talent on his show. Agency: Team Epic, Atlanta; Norwalk, CT.

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