Here We Are Now, Entertain Us!
February 15, 2012 by Barrett Davie, EVP & Founder
Calling all "Guardians of the Fan Experience," you know who you are! I think we need to chat.
Having just spent the last 36 hours with the sales and marketing departments of five different professional sports teams, and with countless others for the past several months, I'm in need of some advice, and I'll start there. For the more adventurous, I'm looking for some willing co-conspirators…
For those of you who create the game day experience for millions of Americans walking through stadium turnstiles each year, your task is to make the magic. In essence, your charter is to weave together the on-court/field/ice action with other entertaining elements, while also mixing in the required commercial messaging of your sponsors and advertising partners.
While a lot of thought must go into striking the right balance between meeting the needs of a team's marketing partners while enhancing fan experience, as with all artistic endeavors, there is sure a lot of subjectivity in this process. It all starts with what you want your fan experience to be, right? Having met with so many of you over the last few years, there's one consistent word you each use to describe your vision for that experience: entertainment.
Is the game being played by your team, in front of the fans' eyes, entertainment? It better be. What about the way your team is introduced before they take the field? Of course, that has to be entertaining. What about the time between periods, quarters, or halftime? Again, if those spaces of time aren't entertaining, your fans will question the value of your ticket prices.
What's clear here is that the right question is..."How are we making the fan experience as entertaining as possible?"...and not, "How much of my game day content is commercial vs. programming?" Let's face it, some of the most entertaining content in the world is advertising, because it has to be. Having just experienced another record-setting Super Bowl, we're reminded once again that entertaining advertising is as much of a fan draw as the game itself.
Marketers want it to be easier to use the stadium environment as a media vehicle, because it offers highly receptive consumers who are ready and willing to accept and act on brand messaging. These marketers want to better engage with their consumers in your buildings, and they know that the only way to do that is to make their stadium advertising more entertaining.
We talk to a lot of big brands and sophisticated marketers and one thing's clear; they want the same thing that you do. They want the consumer to so fully experience everything happening in front of them in the stadium, that they would rather be right there, right now, than anywhere else.
So now that we agree we are all in the entertainment business, who among you, teams and advertisers alike, wants to put on the greatest show on Earth?
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