Super (Bowl) SchwagPosted by in Uncategorized
Post by Kendyl Wright
As the daughter of a sports fan, I grew up going to conference tournaments, national championship games and everything in between. I think my first love for brands was discovered through the free treasures I received during pre-game, halftime or post-game activities at these big events. Who doesn’t love those t-shirts cheerleaders shoot up to the nosebleed seats?
As I got older, my initial love for the giveaways turned into an obsession to visit each booth at the expos to find the actual good stuff. I have a vintage State Farm Insurance tee from a SEC basketball tournament I attended in 2002 that I still wear to the gym – I love it. Subsequently, I’ve picked up and thrown out hundreds of other random items from a variety of brands that I cannot recall. As I got older, I would ask the booth workers (which I now know are known as brand ambassadors) how they got their job, how they like it and what they do during a typical day.
How appropriate that my job now consists of helping brands identify what to put in those booths, hiring those brand ambassadors and teaching them how to engage consumers in a meaningful way at these events. My end goal for my clients is always to find something that won’t get thrown away, either literally or figuratively. In a sea of endless brand logos and promotional crap like pens, noisemakers, temporary tattoos, etc., how do you stand out? I can no longer look at an event without judging the brand activations and imagining ways to do it better or envying those who do it best.
I have been extremely lucky to run sponsorship activations and campaigns for brands at some of the world’s biggest events including New York Fashion Week, the Chicago, New York and Baltimore Marathons, Food & Wine festivals and more. But I have yet to represent a brand at the Super Bowl. Along with the NBA All Star weekend and the Olympics, it’s my pie in the sky goal.
While other people are excited for the Super Bowl commercials this weekend, I’m excited to see how the brands engage on the ground with consumers at the game. What’s the point in spending millions of dollars on a flashy ad if you are not able to interact with the attendees in your target audience? Furthermore, what’s the point of spending millions of dollars in sponsorship if the consumer doesn’t take anything memorable away from the experience? Besides, who needs one more foam finger in their garbage can on Monday morning?
What’s the most memorable item you’ve ever received from a brand? For me it’s that vintage tee from State Farm (I hate when brands pass out the standard XL White logo cotton tees) and a box of customized fridge magnets from Daily Candy that I received at NY Fashion Week in 2008. Tell us here for the chance to receive a box of branded goodies from past sponsorships!