No Venue Left Behind

No Venue Left Behind

In the world of sponsorship assets, sports venues are about to enter a Golden Age as the epicenter of fan engagement and monetization. What more could a team owner want?

And, we are only seeing the very beginnings of what will ultimately be an extreme makeover for dozens of venues, as teams attempt to 1) get closer to fans with all sorts of gimmicks (as well as real technology breakthroughs – more on that in a minute) while at the same time 2) maximize revenue from every square inch of the stadium, inside and out (and the air in between and above the stadium).

To be clear, venue revenue is crucial for a team for two main reasons:

1) It’s accretive to the bottom line: Nearly all teams in all sports get to keep most of the revenue that comes from the venue – advertising, concessions, luxury seats – whereas sponsorship revenue is often shared with the league and other teams. So, cracking the code on the in-stadium fan experience equals potential big dollars for team owners.

2) Putting big revenue numbers on the board is a way for a team to flex their muscle during complex negotiations with sponsors: Make no mistake, the stronger a team’s venue revenue, the better leverage they have from a sponsor in the overall relationship, which often can amount to $10’s and $100’s of millions for multi-year agreements.

And, nailing the fan experience is often the best path to strong negotiations with sponsors. Avid and engaged fans equals stronger negotiating power with sponsors. The most cutting-edge stadiums of today (i.e. Dallas Cowboys’ $1B new stadium) are getting closer to cracking the code on fan experience.

But, we’re about to see a renaissance of innovation regarding the in-stadium experience and nearly all of it revolves around the use of technology. Sure, food quality is better and the “walking around” experience is higher end, even Beverly-Hills-Mall-like, but those are easy upgrades that owners didn’t do in the past because of cost considerations and lack of need by fans.

Now, wifi is being deployed across entire stadiums in anticipation of fans engaging with massive TV screens that are 25-50 yards long – in fact, one could argue that TV is the only platform that matters for the NFL. Therefore, nailing the in-stadium ‘screen’ experience is crucial. On the technology front, companies such as Gimbal, PoGoSeat and Audience Entertainment are reinventing (and reinvigorating) the fan experience by providing powerful vehicles for sponsors to engage more deeply with fans.

From in-game seat upgrades and geofencing to extending social media to engaging fans outside the stadium, the fan experience is top of mind for team owners. The teams that nail this wave of innovation will also reap the financial rewards.

Who Won the “Social Superbowl”?

The Big Game drew a TV audience of over 100 million, and commanded $4 million for a 30-second ad spot.

At SponsorHub, of course we’re interested in the game! But we’re also very interested in the value of brand investment – and there’s a lot of brand investment in the Superbowl!

So we were watching – not only the action on the field, but we watched the buzz generated by the big names, before and during Sunday night’s Clash of the Champions.

We watched – and quantified – the chatter on social channels: Twitter, blogs, forums, etc. And we came up with our own ideas of the “winners”. And there were even some surprises!

This infographic highlights some of the analysis we did. For deeper insights or your own customized view of the impact of your investments in athletes, celebrities, teams — or even campaigns — click on ‘Schedule a Demo’ to learn more!

We live for this stuff!

How To Use Vine For Your Event Sponsorships

If you’re using Twitter for your events (and if you’re not, here’s why you should), this is something you need to familiarize yourself with, and quick.

Vine app

Launched in January 2013 and quickly acquired by Twitter, Vine is a new video sharing app that allows you to capture six-second long videos that continuously replay. This innovative new platform encourages creativity with the simplest of designs with only a single button.

The vine community is growing, and if you want to stay on top of your social media game, I strongly suggest that you utilize this new tool not only for your own personal use, but for your events, too.

The Sticky Factor:

  • Impressive UX. Unlike other video creation apps out there, a caveman and his grandmother can create a six-second long video almost instantly. Because it is integrated with Twitter, you can share it within seconds.
  • The simple design. There is only one button, an abstracted video recorder icon that allows you to start recording.
  • Richer than photos but short enough to deter distractions. If YouTube and Twitter had a baby, it’s name would be Vine. It limits length like Twitter, but can cut the small stuff and possess the virality of a YouTube video.
  • The power of visual story-telling. With other apps that are coming out such as Epipheo and Wick, there is no question that more companies are realizing the value that visual story-telling provides. It has the ability to touch people emotionally, mentality and aesthetically.

Now – how can you use Vine for your events?

  • Create snippets to bring your event to life on your Twitter. With Vine, you can showcase parts of your event that you really want to show-off.
  • Encourage your attendees to use Vine to share their experiences. Here’s a Vine from famous DJ  Steve Aoki tweeted during the Grammy’s. Makes you feel like you’re really there, doesn’t it?
  • Create a highlight reel to present to your potential sponsors. It’s only 6-seconds, so use it wisely!
  • Create teasers to build up anticipation as your events nears and share on your social media.
  • Use them to engage with fans using them with contests… get creative!
With the minimal amount of time and effort it takes to create a Vine, the possibilities are endless.
What are some ways you see Vine being used in the event space?


Top Sponsorships of 2013

The year is just past the halfway mark and there have been some interesting sponsorships that have happened so far. From the Super Bowl to the biggest music festivals, we’re going to give you the sponsorship highlights from the first half of the year.


Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show featuring Beyoncé (and special guests)

In the lead up to her performance at this year’s Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 3rd, Beyonce and Pepsi decided to create the first ever crowd-sourced introduction for the show. Fans were encouraged to submit photos of specific “poses” in hopes of being selected to appear in an on-air introduction welcoming Beyonce to the stage. The hashtag #PepsiHalftime was used for this contest.


In front of a live audience of 71,024 and a worldwide TV audience of 164.1 million, Beyoncé put on a halftime show of a lifetime at Super Bowl XLVII. She went through a few of her biggest hits before her former Destiny’s Child group mates came on stage for their long awaited reunion.


Myspace Secret Shows presented by Chevrolet

Chevrolet partnered with social networking platform, Myspace, to bring in 10 musical acts during the SXSW Music Festival from March 14-16. The point of this partnership was to host a memorable event that promoted the Chevrolet brand through music. The only ways to get into the shows were to connect with the performing artist on Myspace on a first-come, first-served basis, or through a ticket drawing for SXSW badge holders.

myspace secret show

According to Chris Perry, Chevrolet US VP of Marketing, “This partnership continues Chevrolet’s tradition of embracing music as diverse as the millions of customers who buy our cars, trucks, and crossovers.” The musical acts that performed were: Kid Cudi, Hit-Boy, Diplo, Flying Lotus, Sleigh Bells, Dillon Francis, Thephilus London, ?uestlove, and Justin Timberlake.


H&M Loves Music Coachella featuring Santigold

In its fourth year of being an official sponsor of Coachella, H&M decided to host the first ever, exclusive Coachella pool party called, ‘H&M Loves Music Coachella’. This 500-person event took place on April 13th at the Merv Griffin Estate, and the celebrities that were in attendance included: Diane Kruger, Joshua Jackson, Julianne Hough, Darren Criss, Sophia Bush and Justin Chatwin. The highlight of the afternoon was a lively and crowd-pleasing performance by recording artist, Santigold.



Official Governors Ball Music Festival Kickoff Party Hosted by Skyy Vodka

Skyy Vodka was the official spirit of the Governors Ball Music Festival and also hosted the official kickoff party on a luxury yacht…that’s right, a yacht! It was an invite-only affair that featured DJ sets by James Murphy (DFA / LCD Soundsystem), Baio (Vampire Weekend), Ladies Night and Tennessee Thomas. More than 800 guests, including celebrities Anna Kendrick, Chace Crawford, Olivia Palermo, Harley Viera-Newton, Leigh Lezark, Aziz Ansari and David Cross, sipped on specialty SKYY cocktails.


skyy vodka

“We are thrilled to partner with The Governors Ball Music Festival to be part of New York’s largest and most high-profile music event and to support such exciting, ground-breaking talent,” said Umberto Luchini, Head of Marketing, SKYY Vodka. “Music festivals and cocktails go hand in hand and this summer’s Governors Ball celebration reinforces SKYY’s continued commitment to innovative marketing programming targeting key tastemakers and music enthusiasts.”


Gatorade and the 2013 NBA Finals

If you happened to be watching this year’s NBA Finals from June 6-20, you probably noticed Gatorade logos in almost every shot: Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade dunking the ball with a big ‘G’ under the basket, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich calls a timeout and there’s a giant orange cooler right next to him.


“Gatorade’s investment in the NBA Finals is a smart business move,” said Matthew Ong, Retail Analyst at NerdWallet to FORBES.  “While the brand is starting to emphasize print media over TV – hypothesizing that print gives a better medium to tell the story of the newer Gatorade Prime chews and Recover beverage shakes – TV is still king for Gatorade’s established sports drink business.  Print can tell a nutrition story; high profile TV ads remind viewers who’s on top.”

To learn about the basics of sponsorship and the new industry-leading practices for sponsorship measurement and ROI, join us for our webinar.

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Top 5 Athletes to Follow on Twitter

These athletes are all great to follow because of their engagement with fans, insight on their respective sports and current events, and also just giving the general public a peek into their lives. It’s almost as if you’re right there with them in the locker room after the game – albeit without the smell of B.O. and dirty uniforms.

This gives athletes the ability to market themselves, and mold their personal brand towards any direction they want it to go; they no longer rely on a public relations team or a spokesman. Keeping their fans interested will lead to fans caring about what the athlete has to say, and in turn, brands will want to sponsor who the fans are interested in.

So without further ado, here are your top 5 athletes to follow on Twitter (in no particular order):

1. Chad Johnson (Football) – Unemployed NFL Receiver
@ochocinco: 3,782,415 Followers

Chad Johnson tweets about his everyday life and really interacts with his followers. Chad frequently poses discussions on various topics ranging from dating, to picking a next travel destination. If you ask a question, he tells it like it is, with no filter. Chad also happens to treat his followers out to meals by tweeting the event out. He also tweets out video game challenges over Xbox Live to his followers. If that’s not caring about and engaging your fans, I don’t know what is.


2. Kevin Durant (Basketball) – Small Forward – Okla. City Thunder
@KDTrey5: 3,048,313 Followers

Kevin Durant frequently replies to questions from his followers, and gives excellent basketball insight. During the NBA lockout last year, Durant tweeted that he was bored and wanted to play some flag football. A follower replied that his intramural team at Oklahoma State could use him, and sure enough, KD shows up! The intramural team had to forfeit the game since KD wasn’t a member of the team, but not before he threw 4 TD’s and got 3 INT’s.


3. Chris Kluwe (Football) – Punter – Minnesota Vikings
@chriswarcraft: 122,982 Followers

Yes, you read that correctly, a punter is on the top athletes to follow list. He tweets about what’s on his mind, is incredibly witty, and loves video games. Chris does a great job of giving his fans a view of his life in professional football.


4. Shaquille O’Neal (Basketball) – Former NBA Center
@shaq: 6,349,754 Followers

Shaq had always been a charismatic and funny player during his career, and it’s continued into his retirement. He often posts pictures of his whereabouts, and invites followers to come join him. One thing he isn’t afraid of doing, is throwing an insult or joke right back at anybody.


5. Brandon McCarthy (Baseball) – Pitcher – Oakland Athletics
@BMcCarthy32: 92,234 Followers

Certainly one of the goofier athletes to follow on Twitter, he talks a lot about pop culture and gives his take on current events. Brandon has some hilarious one-liners and he mixes it up with his followers quite a bit.


These examples show the power that engagement has for these athletes; fans can relate to them on a more personal level. Brands and companies need to take note of this when choosing athletes to endorse, because social media has opened up a new door when it comes to sponsorships.

Which athletes do you think have the most sponsorship potential?