In the absence of packed stadiums, engaging consumers on their own turf has become a fruitful strategy for sponsors in need of fresh ways to connect with sports fans. Take the Corona Tip-Off, an eight-week experiential program that delivered a locker room experience directly to the homes of Indiana Pacers fans from Feb. 22 through April 25. Featuring a shipping container loaded with gameday gear as the centerpiece, the sponsorship activation not only helped kick off Corona’s partnership with the NBA team, but offered fans a personalized experience they couldn’t get sitting courtside.
The Tip-Off campaign comes on the heels of Corona’s successful at-home tailgating activation, a 13-week program built for football fans that tapped into the reverse activation strategy over the fall. This time around, the activation was built for hoops fans in Indiana, a key market for the brand, with two sweepstakes winners each week receiving all the goodies they needed for a premium at-home viewing experience.
Here’s how it unfolded: Corona rolled up to each fan’s house with a branded shipping container retrofitted so that one of its walls raised up electronically to unveil the prizes inside. As the wall lifted, music blasted, lights flashed and celebratory CO2 cannons erupted into the air, adding some pomp and circumstance to the big reveal. The swag inside included a 70-inch big screen TV, a wireless surround-sound system, a Corona x Pacers branded leather lounge chair, a sneaker storage trunk (many hoops fans are also sneakerheads), a sports locker filled with a personalized jersey and other gameday gear, a tabletop cooler and a basketball hoop. All of it was the fan’s to keep.
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Once the prizes were revealed, consumers could either transport the prizes into their homes themselves, or opt to have the Corona Moving Crew unload and set up the items inside their home (while adhering to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, of course). As an added bonus the experience featured a personalized message from the Pacers’ starting center, Myles Turner, delivered virtually on the TV screen within the container.
“Everyone uses ‘authentic’ and ‘unique,’ and obviously we’re no different—we want authentic and unique experiences that we can give to consumers,” says Rene Ramos, vp-lifestyle and experiential at Corona’s parent company, Constellation Brands. “But it’s got to be a money-can’t-buy, behind-the-velvet-rope-type access. How do we extend and bring that relationship that fans have with their teams to them in a way that they’ve never had before? Even though people are starting to reenter venues, we’re still not all the way back. So how do you get that extra level of excitement into a consumer’s hands, physically, in a safe way, and get them re-engaged with the thing that they’re so passionate about? We felt like this [program] accomplished that.” Agency: Cogent World, New York City.