Sports Sponsorship: 10 Slam-Dunk Activation Strategies

Sports Sponsorship Roundup: 10 Slam-Dunk Activation Strategies

Sports fans comprise one of the most passionate and powerful demographics in the world. It’s no wonder, then, that top brands consistently bring their A-game to their sports sponsorship activations. From non-endemic companies, like Barilla, to more predictable ones, like Budweiser, sponsors are finding clever ways to bring fans closer to the game, the athletes—and their brands. Here’s a look at a few brands that are knocking it out of the park.

  • Cook-Offs, Influencers and ‘Living Simply’: Inside Barilla’s Laver Cup Sponsorship

    As much of the culinary world continues to hype complex meals featuring exotic ingredients and unconventional combinations, Barilla is keeping things simple. The 141-year-old pasta brand touted its understated approach Sept. 21-23 at the Laver Cup tennis tournament in Chicago with chef demonstrations, cook-offs and a clean design aesthetic that underscored its messaging. Part of...

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  • Amex Incorporates Local Businesses Into its Chicago Bulls Fan Activation

    With the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season on the horizon, American Express on Oct. 2 kicked off the ninth year of its partnership with the Chicago Bulls with an outdoor fan activation at Chi-Town’s Daley Plaza. The event, accessible to both cardmembers and non-cardmember hoops fans alike, offered attendees once-in-a-lifetime photo ops, music, player...

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  • Budweiser Courts Soccer Fans with a Culture-Forward World Cup Final Viewing Event

    As the global beer sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, Budweiser wanted to celebrate with soccer fans—some of the most passionate in the globe—in its own backyard. The result was a 750-person Budweiser LIVE World Cup final viewing event in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood on July 15 that featured soccer influencers and athletes, New York City...

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  • Sponsorship: Visa Spreads World Cup Fever With Interactive Lounges and In-Stadium Experiences

    The logistics alone will blow your mind: 64 matches over 32 days in 11 cities and 12 stadiums. Even for an industry veteran like Visa, pulling off FIFA World Cup sponsorship experiences across the world’s largest country—and smaller-scale activations in 100-plus markets around the globe—was no easy feat. But FIFA’s official payment services provider was...

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  • Sponsorship: BullFrog Sunscreen Connects With Outdoor Enthusiasts at the GoPro Mountain Games

    BullFrog Sunscreen may have been a little frog in a big pond at the GoPro Mountain Games, June 7-10 in Vail, CO, but it managed to make a splash with a variety of touchpoints including sunscreen application stations, giveaways, roaming brand ambassadors and a beanbag toss-style “Cliff Hanger” game. The activation marked the brand’s third...

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  • Bud Light’s NFL Activation Taps Into Texas Pride

    As the official beer of the NFL through 2022, Bud Light needed a sizable presence at the NFL Draft April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Because when you’re in Texas, you go big or go home. From a strategy perspective, the trifecta of beer, football and friendship aligned with Bud Light perfectly. “As...

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  • Buick Revamps its NCAA Final Four Activation with the Fandom University Experience

    To establish a cohesive platform surrounding its sponsorship of the NCAA, Buick for the Final Four Fan Fest this year in San Antonio, TX, March 30 through April 2, reimagined last year’s footprint to create the new Fandom University experience. Buick, positioning itself as a premium, up-market automobile brand, leveraged a 7,500-square-foot activation footprint and...

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  • Inside Dunkin’ Donuts’ NHL Sponsorship: Family-Centered Experiences and Sampling

    Hot coffee and a winter sport. It’s a natural alignment. But for Dunkin’ Donuts, the official coffee, donut and breakfast sandwich of the NHL and the official coffee and QSR restaurant of the National Women’s Hockey League, hockey is about the fans. Through no-fuss, family-centered engagements, Dunkin’ has set out to do more than post...

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  • Busch Celebrates its Roots in Racing With a National NASCAR Tour

    After a two-decade hiatus, Busch has returned as the official beer of NASCAR—but don’t call it a comeback. Busch’s celebration of and commitment to its roots in racing have never wavered, according to the brand, and with a new multi-year NASCAR partnership underway, the company is eager to continue building brand loyalty among the racing...

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  • Mtn Dew Kickstart Gives Fans Courtside Access at NBA All-Star Weekend

    One might argue that NBA games are as much about who’s sitting courtside as they are about the live gameplay. That “courtside” piece of basketball culture inspired NBA sponsor Mtn Dew’s presence at NBA All-Star Weekend, Feb. 16-18, in Los Angeles, where it gave fans the kind of access to the game typically reserved for...

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