These are recap notes from the Day 2 Keynote at CETW brought to us by MetLife, specifically in regards to the experience/engagement that they created at the new Jets/Giants stadium. Having been at the new Cowboys stadium and completely underwhelmed by the level of fan engagement through technology, I was impressed by what these guys set out to do from the beginning and what they’ve done up to this point. They’re continuing to push, too.
Speaker: Jeff Damon, VP MetLife
Much of their activation strategy came out of the desire to separate themselves from previous sponsors
They wanted to deliver an unexpected experience, especially considering what they might otherwise be “known for.”
Traditional sponsorships – signage play for brand exposure and awareness, hard to make your brand stand out
Meadowlands cornerstones – different for 3 primary reasons:
- MetLife would be 1 of only 5 sponsors, gave opportunity to stand out to fans
- Stadium home to 2 sports teams
- Ability to be exclusive brand presence on 3 levels in that humongous stadium
Their goals for this sponsorship:
- Enhance brand image
- Actively engage fans (note, “actively” – not just put up signs)
- Measure engagement
- Increase consideration
- Provide world-class hospitality
Central philosophy for this effort – make fans miss MetLife if we weren’t there
Recipe for fan engagement – environment + activity + technology
Prizing central to their activity activations – instead of extending all of the perks (tickets, souvenirs, etc..) to sr. executives, they want to give those back to the fans.
The key to all of the activations was technology. Engage and capture. (Partnered w/ Sapient Nitro.) Personal swipe cards (Countdown Cards), 62 touch screens throughout stadium, 34 hand-held tablets, some activities tied directly to MetLife’s FB page – all activity tied back to the cards, keeps history.
For the most part, their “signage” (they have exclusive control of the content that shows up on that screen – unlike most, if not all, of the partnerships that exist) is used to advertise their prizing campaign. This is good – they’re not advertising MetLife, per se, they’re advertising the experience that they’re giving to the fans.
They’re looking to utilize new technologies, too – for example, Kinect. Mobile app (PocketPass app. – their agency is Crispin, Porter)
Results – 78,00+ measured activations, 36,000+ countdown card sign-up, 32,000+ visits to their website
- Enhance gameday experience, don’t interrupt it
- Combination of activities and technology works to engage
- Teams value fan focus from sponsor
Room for improvement (what they’re learning from and going to improve):
- Simplify messages
- Don’t underestimate the tailgate
- If you build it (online), they won’t (necessarily) come
Questions from audience:
How do we know it impacted sales?
A: Overall a program trying to reach fans in new, different ways. There’s not a straight way to measure that. Measurement is designed to understand how people are engaged in the program.
How do you manage brand ID?
A: Needed to create a new brand – MetLife Central (for sports marketing).
Superbowl in 2014? Significant factor?
A: Challenge w/ Superbowl is an NFL property, not a Jets/Giants property. It’s going to be a challenge. Going to be a great media play for sure, but in terms of fan activation, don’t really know what they can do.
How challenging was it to manage the content that went across all of these screens?
A: Laugh. Very challenging. We had network challenges. Lots of lag.
Interesting note – the question of “ROI” has come up in every session the past two days and even more interesting, no one has given a direct answer. “Depends” is the consistent answer.
This answer always should match back to the objectives. What are the objectives of the initiative? Whatever those are, that’s what you should measure. And there are many ways to measure those things.