Some interactive sports brand activations are successful because they create an amazing visual experience. Others actually put the participants inside the activation to create unforgettable interactive experiences that will forever associate the brand with the activity. We’ve collected some of our favorite interactive examples in the list below, and we think you’ll agree that these are some of the best interactive sports brand activations of all time.
Our 5 Favorite Interactive Sports Brand Activations
While virtual reality experiences are the hottest trend at the moment, there is still a lot to be said for interactive experiences in the real world. Nothing can trump the strong psychological impact of adrenaline and muscle memory. With that in mind, we’ve taken care to include examples that use both virtual reality and actual reality in this list.
#5 – SXSW 2017 The Gatorade Experience
Gatorade pulled out all the stops for their awesome brand activations at the 2017 SXSW Interactive Conference. They welcomed guests to take part in an interactive experience showcasing the cutting edge of sports technology, with an eye toward the future.
Participants in The Gatorade Experience were paired with a trainer who guided them through a series of physical challenges, each with an element of in-depth data collection and analysis. Participants first stood in front of an Xbox Kinect sensor and performed 2 simple physical tasks – a squat and a jump. The sensor analyzed their movements to identify areas of weakness in their bodies that could benefit from concentrated exercise. Next, participants donned VR headsets and stood in at the quarterback position in a simulated football game. They were required to make real-time decisions as the play unfolded, and data was gathered on their reaction times. Finally, participants jumped forcefully onto a pad that was equipped with sensors to gauge their strength and impact.
After completing the physical skills tests, select participants had the opportunity to experience the future of sports nutrition. Gatorade demonstrated an electronic patch they’re developing which uses miniscule sensors to analyze an athlete’s sweat. Based on deficiencies exposed by the patch, a machine then formulated a special serving of Gatorade – custom tailored to that individual’s current needs. The participants designed their own insulated bottles, and the custom formulation was delivered in a sealed single-serving cup that could easily be mixed in the bottle. Altogether, this was one of the more interesting and innovative interactive sports brand activations in recent memory.
#4 – Pepsi Fan Deck at Levi’s Stadium
While the big budget special event has become the standard format for interactive sports brand activations today, we decided to include this one to demonstrate that there are such things as evergreen brand activations. Pepsi provides an outstanding example of one at the Pepsi Fan Deck at Levi’s Stadium. The Pepsi Fan Deck is a huge observation deck, overlooking both the playing field and the massive crowd of cheering fans.
Every element of the Pepsi Fan Deck is branded within a Pepsi theme, immersing guests in a deeply Pepsi-centric experience. Guests enter the deck by riding up an escalator through a Pepsi-styled tunnel. They gather around oversized picnic tables that resemble giant Pepsi bottle caps. And they can sit together to watch the game inside the “12-pack of fans” box seats that look like a case of Pepsi bottles. The Pepsi Fan Deck has become a popular destination for fans at every home game, and it continues to churn out thousands of social media impressions season after season.
#3 – AirBnB Rio Olympics Room
At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Airbnb had a huge hit with their unexpected Gold Medal Room, which was located inside the Olympics Arena. The room was a luxury suite with a glass wall overlooking the arena floor. Brazilian Olympic gymnasts Diego and Daniele Hypolito served as the suite’s hosts. And anyone who booked the room for a night was treated to exclusive seats at Olympic events and medal ceremonies, along with chances to meet international athletes and a VIP spa treatment at the end of the day. At an Olympics that was inundated with big budget brand activations, this one stood out as one of the most creative and buzz-worthy of them all.
#2 – NFL Training Camp
No one has been more successful in getting fans actively involved in their sport than the NFL. Along with Bud Light, the NFL created one of the most physical brand activations of all time with their NFL Fan Camp. This touring activation travelled to fans across the country for four months, inviting them to get physically active and take part in some of the drills and skills tests that are used to measure the progress of NFL players.
Fans got their heart rates up and broke a sweat as they took part in pass and catch drills, hit the blocking sled, and even played a little 4-on-4 flag football. This is one of the most physically intensive interactive sports brand activations we’ve seen – and it succeeded in generating excitement and participation in almost every single NFL city.
#1 – Verizon Game Winner
We’ve covered this activation before, but we think it deserves to be at the top of this list of the most creative and innovative interactive sports brand activations. Verizon put fans in the center of the action with this mixed-reality experience where fans lined up at quarterback with the game on the line to complete a game-winning pass and experience the thrill of victory as their virtual teammates and thousands of fans broke into emotional celebration as the clock ran out.
The experience was made possible with a huge interactive video wall, Xbox Kinect technology, and Greg Gumbel providing real-time play-by-play analysis. It was an unforgettable thrill for thousands of fans at Super Bowl 50, and it won some of the biggest awards for creative excellence in the industry.
Bringing Interactive Sports Brand Activations to the Tailgating Lot
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