Springtime Activation

This time of year, hope springs eternal.  March Madness culminates with the Final Four, the MLB season is underway, and the NBA and NHL playoffs begin.  While there is a lot to watch, a few sponsor activations caught my eye.  One is as simple as a gift with purchase while the other two find new ways to engage with fans.  The following is a quick snapshot.

  • T-Mobile offers free baseball

As the official wireless partner of MLB, T-Mobile continued their free MLB.TV subscription (value of $119 per customer) giveaway in support of their “T-Mobile Tuesdays” promotion.  The free subscription was accessible via the T-Mobile Tuesday app on March 26 for subscribers.  If you are a baseball fan, it doesn’t get much better than this.

  • Captain Morgan and Lyft giveaway free rides for the Final Four

Captain Morgan and Lyft are giving away up to $20,000 in free rides in Minneapolis this weekend tied to the Final Four.  Lyft users receive a $20 credit toward a “safe ride” in the downtown Minneapolis area from 7 pm to 3 am Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7.  Users 21 and over must enter the code “CAPTAINGAMEDAY” to receive the credit.  Interesting to note, neither Captain Morgan (Diageo) nor Lyft are NCAA sponsors. Great ambush marketing with a worthy cause.  I’m just not sure what fans are supposed to do Monday for the Championship game;)

  • Buffalo Wild Wings goes all out

As the “Official Hangout of NCAA March Madness”, Buffalo Wild Wings is doing everything they can to get people off their couch and into a BWW.  When I say everything, I mean everything such as their “Jewel Stool”, which is a custom-built barstool with a built-in cooling apparatus that provides numbing relief.  There’s also a chilled cup holder and a “beer me” light.  Apparently, this is a play on the trend of increased vasectomies (30%+ during first/second round games) so men can recover while watching games.  On a much more normal note, patrons could also partake in fun games like an “unbustable” bracket pick ‘em to win prizes throughout the month and if someone ends up with a perfect bracket they could win their very own Buffalo Wild Wings with the location, design and décor customized by the winner.   All of this coincided with BWW’s always entertaining TV spots throughout the tournament.