As we head into the homestretch for baseball, and the kickoff of college football, another three good ideas that popped up as the week came to an end…
Certain-Lee The Best Promo of the MLB Season: The San Francisco Giants keep finding ways to do it right and first with fan engagement, and now they have found another one. On Tuesday, the Giants will hold “Bruce Lee Tribute Night” at AT&T Park to honor one of city’s most iconic figures. Lee, the martial arts superstar, was born in San Francisco in 1940. With 2012 being the “Year of the Dragon”, the Giants, with a strong Asian-American following in a city that loves pop culture, decided to go the unconventional way to honor “The Dragon” himself. Shannon Lee, Bruce’s daughter, will be in attendance to perform the National Anthem, with Linda Lee Cadwell, who was married to Bruce up until the time of his passing, to throw out the ceremonial First Pitch.
While all that is great, the best part is that the team went above and beyond to get national attention with a viral video of Lee slashing his way through other bobbleheads, and created a logo and other themed products to tie the night together. Star Wars nights have been good fun for MLB this season, but the Giants have gone one better.
Going Lowes: As we said earlier this week, 2012-13 is becoming more and more the year of college engagement, so it should come as no surprise that one of the best fan-engagement marketers in the home improvement space, Lowes, has created a national marketing platform through IMG College to activate at no less than 80 colleges this fall.
Yes many brands have signed on with local schools or to back television platforms around various and sundry national promotions, but Lowes will use their partnership primarily in the digital and mobile space. They will link promotions and giveaways in and around game experiences to promote products and then drive consumers loyal to those colleges back to their site or local stores to redeem. With loyalty to college second perhaps only to NASCAR, the affiliation of Lowes and a school will be strong, but the affiliation ties to a passionate game experience can create an even bigger ROI for the brand, and should help boost the coffers and awareness of all the participating schools for year one.
Heisman House Comes Back: For the second season in a row, Nissan and ESPN are joining to present The Heisman House, a fictional residence where past winners of the famed trophy hang out, talk about their playing days and watch college football the will be incorporated six interstitials. The spots feature Nissan vehicles and 12 Heisman Trophy winners include Robert Griffith III, Mark Ingram, Archie Griffin, Ron Dayne, Ricky Williams, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson, Eddie George, Marcus Allen, Matt Leinart, Herschel Walker, Tim Brown as well as a guest appearance by Sean Astin, the actor who played Notre Dame’s Rudy Ruettiger.
It is a great viral extension for the Heisman brand, and really should help current schools think bigger hen using the digital space to promote their players this fall in fun and interesting ways. Maybe it’s a raid on a Heisman House knockoff, maybe schools do their own version of “Rudy” dropping by for a visit, maybe it’s a student program tied to an actual house near campus that becomes the home of that school’s Heisman candidate. The beauty of the digital space is its immediacy and its creativity, so bringing back the Heisman house and its elite guests is strong for an iconic sports brand that has undergone a nice facelift the last few years.
And on to the weekend…