American Express OPEN Brings Big Brand Activations to Small Businesses

fan experience, fan engagement, brand activations

When American Express launched their OPEN program, they envisioned a service that would support small business owners with new financing options and credit cards developed for small businesses.  At the outset, no one could have predicted the viral success of the OPEN program, which has grown into a phenomenon which includes national ad campaigns, sponsored brand activations, and a thriving community of entrepreneurs from every corner of the country.


The first huge win for American Express OPEN came in 2010, when it sponsored the inaugural Small Business Saturday™ to spark competition with huge global retailers in the days in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

The following year, AmEx launched the OPEN Forum as an online community where entrepreneurs can share ideas, advice, and comradery.  The forum became a smashing success, and over the years it has become the undisputed gold standard in online content marketing.  

Along the way, countless small businesses have enjoyed national media attention through OPEN’s television commercials and online videos.  Now American Express is exploring options to take the OPEN campaign a step further by sponsoring interactive brand activations for small businesses at major sporting events around the country.  

Big Brand Activations for Small Businesses

When the average small business owner plans their marketing budget, they quickly recognize the limitations that come along with being small.  Visions of primetime ad campaigns and huge billboards fade into the realities of small newspaper ads and sidewalk chalkboards.  

This is especially true in the lucrative arena of sports promotions.  Business owners can engage with local sports fans over social media, and some can afford a small amount of traditional advertising.  But the idea of putting their message front and center through an interactive brand activation at a major sporting event like an NFL game is far beyond their reach.

AmEx OPEN is searching for a way to solve this problem and bring major sports brand activations within the reach of local small businesses.  At TGSM, we’re very excited that AmEx is considering our interactive fan engagement trailers as one way to bring big-time sports activations to small businesses everywhere.

Big Time Fan Engagement with TGSM Interactive Trailers

fan experience, brand activations, fan engagement

Tailgating Sports Marketing’s interactive trailers deliver a premium tailgating experience that drives immediate fan engagement and ensures ongoing loyalty.  Our trailers attract and retain the most desirable demographics any brand can hope for.  How does a TGSM brand activation work?  There are four key factors that have been designed in to the TGSM experience: Engage, Interact, Activate, and Measure.  

Brand Activation Factor #1: Engage

At any major tailgating event, there is exactly one service that is in higher demand than the beverage vendors.  You guessed it – the restroom.  Our sanitary, state-of-the-art restrooms draw people in effortlessly at tailgating events.  When faced with the alternative of a crowded port-a-potty, every fan at the event will prefer our luxurious and spacious restroom trailer.  

Even fans who don’t need to use the restroom will congregate outside our trailers to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi signal that is broadcast over a 5,000-square foot area.  As fans enter the signal’s range, they receive a branded notification that Wi-Fi is available, along with a prompt to connect with the push of a button.  

The results are astounding.  Our trailers are exceptionally effective at drawing in women, millennials, and family groups.  These ideal demographics can tip the scales for any brand in terms of revenues, social media activity, and brand loyalty.  

Brand Activation Factor #2: Interact

When a fan steps in to the 40×40 ft. footprint of the TGSM display, they become instantly immersed in interactive options from every angle.  Massive video walls cover the trailer’s exterior – displaying live feeds from the day’s event and scores from around the league interspersed with your brand’s unique messaging.  

Fans can pose with their friends in front of our large touch screen selfie booths to capture the atmosphere and excitement of the big game.  Each photo can then be automatically shared over social media with your brand’s logo, social handle, and desired tags included with the image.   

Inside the trailer, interactive screens abound.  Each urinal and toilet stall offers interactive gameplay along with branded messaging.  When fans stop to wash their hands on the way out, they are greeted by a 70-inch vanishing TV mirror.  All told, there are 22 interactive screens inside the TGSM trailer – each offering the opportunity to interact with your brand.  

Brand Activation Factor #3: Activate

Throughout all the interactions with the screens and the wireless network, there are several opportunities to uncover valuable information about your visitors.  This means that you capture a considerable amount of data, and you gain many opportunities to activate your audience through follow-up offers, discounts, and notifications.  

Through our integrations with the mobile apps for various stadiums, you can push special offers and notifications throughout the entire event.  We work with several of the biggest developers for stadium mobile apps, and we’re adding new integrations all the time.  

Your ability to activate your audience extends well beyond gameday, as we capture a unique mobile ID for every user who connects to the free Wi-Fi network – allowing you to send push notifications and review demographic and behavioral data long after the event has ended.  

Brand Activation Factor #4: Measure

The amount of data captured during a TGSM brand activation is astounding.  The trailer design includes 23 beacon touch points that track traffic and dwell times throughout the entire experience.  

You’ll know how many people attended, and how long they stayed.  You’ll know which screens they watched, and for how long.  You’ll know which ads captured the most viewing time overall.  And you’ll know which screens provided the most influence and interaction.  

If you use push notifications to follow up with your audience – you’ll know who opened the messages, and you’ll know who redeemed any special offers, along with when and where the offers were redeemed.  

Results that Speak for Themselves

In 2016, the Washington Redskins deployed a TGSM trailer to re-activate their Red Zone tailgating lot, and the results were staggering.  We’ve seen this type of response again and again, and every successful deployment lets us know that the TGSM approach is an excellent long-term strategy for sports-based brand activations.  Here’s what we achieved at FedEx Field for the Redskins:

  • Traffic in the Red Zone tailgating lot increased by 220%
  • The length of stay for the average fan increased by 60%
  • The age of the average fan dropped from baby boomer to millennial
  • The percentage of women visiting the Red Zone lot increased from 20% to 44%
  • Social posts from the Red Zone skyrocketed up 460%

Bringing High-Powered Brand Activations to Small Businesses

We have followed the ongoing development of the American Express OPEN program with great interest and gratitude.  At TGSM, we’re big fans of small businesses everywhere, and we love supporting the entrepreneurs and employers who drive the American economy forward.  

That’s why we love the idea that American Express OPEN had when they started looking for ways to bring the powerful results of cutting-edge interactive brand activations into the hands of small business owners.  We love helping small businesses succeed, and we would love to see their unique messages and offers displayed on TGSM trailers at sporting events across the country.  

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About Tailgating Sports Marketing 80 Articles
Tailgating Sports Marketing was established to provide stadiums, festivals, tailgating associations, concerts, and other events a fresh alternative to temporary restroom facilities. TGSM offers a state-of-the-art, fully interactive restroom trailer designed as an interactive engagement activation experience. Restrooms feature HD digital displays, interactive media display triggers, and mobile device gaming. Aimed at providing guests an unforgettable, comfortable and unique restroom experience, the units are also lucrative revenue opportunities for venue owners, sponsors and advertisers.

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