There are few brands in the Northeast that use sports more as a platform for awareness than Amtrak. From New York to Boston to Philly to Washington, fans cannot watch a broadcast or attend a game without some kind of call to action by America’s premier national train service. It is with that in mind that a fun opportunity exists for those sports brands to activate with an active demo in May. That platform is Amtrak’s National Train Day, which will be held on May 14 not just in the Northeast but in cities across the country to build awareness and loyalty for rail service as the summer approaches.
Now what can teams do to activate in a fun way with their partner? Well there are a host of digital activities already in place, from Facebook posts to photo contests and beyond. Several teams like the New Jersey Devils have already encouraged fans to upload photos wearing gear while on Amtrak, to win prizes from the team and the brand. Maybe there is a “training” component that plays off the physical kind of training and the actual riding of the rails, where fans are rewarded not just for being green and taking public transportation, but for being fit and leading an active lifestyle as well. If you are any one of a host of MLB teams that have Amtrak as a partner, maybe it’s time for a “Spring Training” event, where kids online get to do a series of contests related to the rails and are rewarded with tickets and other opportunities by the teams. A number of celebrities are involved in the program in the past, most notably actress Rosario Dawson and weatherman and personality Al Roker. Finding some players or coaches with a passion for trains, from model trains to conventional travel, might also be in the offing for a promotion.
Even with its troubles in the past year, as a service, Amtrak remains vital to this country’s infrastructure. As a brand, few are more dedicated with their spending in sports than Amtrak. Therefore, combining their national activation with some fun call to action platforms for the sports demo makes good sense. Yes there will be the awareness messages at stadia and on air for the program. However going that extra mile would give fans added value, create a series of fun programs that can be done both in stadium and well away from a game that day, and raise awareness for a vital and effective business entity, all in the name of good fun and effective travel. Hopefully some proactive brands jump on the train, and have some fun.