The Future of Stadium Signage - For Auto Partners
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To generate buzz around the launch of the new Civic R Series in Ireland, Honda displayed a large, interactive billboard in the trendy streets of Dublin that allowed consumers to actually start the car (featured on the billboard) by texting "START" to a designated shortcode (51500). Upon doing so, the call-to-action signalled the lights on the car to light up and smoke to exit from the car's exhaust pipes on the billboard.
Consumers that engaged with the billboard received a bounce back link to a Honda mobile brochure, providing additional details about the car, and also had an opportunity to receive a free ringtone of the car's engine roar if they engaged with the billboard via Bluetooth technology. The four-week campaign ran during June 2010.
Honda's innovative billboard technology serves as a great benchmark for sports organizations looking for new ways to take their signage to the next level, notably in baseball. While a billboard with interactive elements could not be run in-stadium during play, there is plenty of down time during games (between innings, pre-game, post-game, pitching changes, etc.) when brands could engage with fans via SMS technology without having to feature personnel on-site to operate the signage.
Look for a number of sports organizations to begin experimenting with SMS technology to take their stadium signage and brand activation to the next level!
Brian Gainor is a passionate sports marketer with agency experience as well as an extensive background working in the NFL, NFL Europe, and collegiate athletics. As a Sports Partnership Activation Consultant, Brian created Partnership Activation, Inc. to provide sports business professionals with "industry best practices" - creative ideas that provide opportunities to generate incremental revenue.