Tag Archives: Caught Our Eye

Oracle stages remarkable comeback, but it’s still New Zealand’s Cup

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While Oracle Team USA may have defended the America’s Cup, they hardly represented the United States as they chose to field only one American sailor. Meanwhile, it was truly a national effort for the Kiwis as even the government gave its support to the America’s Cup challengers, providing $36 million dollars in funding for the program to bring the cup back to Auckland. The people of New Zealand were equally responsible for making this storied competition happen. Not only did their tax dollars fund a large portion of the team that was made up of 80% Kiwis, but the marine industry in New Zealand developed and manufactured most of the innovative technology that was showcased in the cup.

Many New Zealanders have to be wondering about the future of Emirates Team New Zealand. With this latest effort turning out to be unsuccessful, the country will not receive the NZ$600 million dollar boost to the economy it has received in its previous two defenses of the cup. The program’s shortcoming poses a tough question to policymakers in New Zealand: do they continue to spend public money at a potentially unsuccessful program, in a time where the country is considering austerity measures in other areas of government?

The effects of an America’s Cup victory, and defense, are clear to tourism in New Zealand. Contributing about NZ$15 billion to the nation’s GDP annually, tourism in New Zealand has typically seen a 12.5% increase in international visitors when they have the cup. However, this industry has been known to struggle in the absence of the Auld Mug.Image

As you can see, tourism rates in New Zealand were booming after Team New Zealand successfully defended the cup in 2000. When they were unable to defend the cup in 2003, growth in the tourism sector became stagnant and was further decimated by the global recession.

Even though the Kiwis were unsuccessful in this past run, they received a great deal of press from competing for the America’s Cup. Domestically, nearly a quarter of the New Zealand population watched the first weekend of racing. The cup was also broadcast in over 170 countries, bringing exposure to an untold number of international viewers. The United States had over a million people watching each of the first two races. However, these numbers were short lived when viewers dropped from one million to about a quarter million viewers per race for the rest of the series. While Team New Zealand sponsors such as Emirates, Nespresso, Toyota, Omega and Camper expected a greater return in the US considering how much it cost to invest in an America’s Cup campaign, they may have gained the respect and admiration from the famously loyal New Zealand sailing community for making one of the most prestigious and thrilling events in America’s Cup history possible.

With global economic conditions seeming to improve as of late, press from the America’s Cup may have provided the push that will cause New Zealand’s tourism figures start to grow again. While they may not realize the same growth rates as the early 2000s, we’re hoping the New Zealand government will realize a great enough return to justify sponsoring another challenge.

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If it’s private, then keep it private

While in Vancouver for the Olympics we came across the “The Bell Ice Cube”, hosted by Canada’s Bell Communication.  This large sponsor area consisted of a traditional activation video room with interactive screens along with another space acting as a lounge.  Now while this activation did serve a purpose and was enjoyed by visitors, unfortunately it did have a major flaw.

The outside of the sponsor area was branded and visible to the public, yet it was private and people were being turned away.  When will sponsors learn that you cannot have a private venue and brand it visible to everyone?  All this leaves you with is a lot of people feeling as if they are not good enough to gain entry!

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Engaged at Futbol Fiesta

caughtoureye4If you have ever been to the Futbol Fiesta prior to a Mexican National Soccer Team game then you already know that it offers a party like atmosphere including loud music, games, player appearances, and dozens of other activations presented by the sponsors. If you are a first timer (like I was last month in Dallas when Mexico played Colombia), then you are in for quite the experience. If you like to see passionate fans, engaged by equally ardent sponsors, than look no further!

Like all the events we attend, no matter how many good activations are present (quite a few in this case), there is usually one that really piques our interest. The activation that “Caught Our Eye” this time was presented by Home Depot. The Home Depot had several different booths open to fans, with multiple activities on hand. The particular aspect of their activation which impressed us the most was how they gave fans paint, brushes (items they sell) and large poster boards in order to make signs for the game. Whether you were painting the words “Let’s go Mexico!” or “Colombia Rules!”, you were able to take the sign into the Cotton Bowl for the game, and then bring the poster home with you as a souvenir.

Home Depot 3Not only did Home Depot engage fans by offering them the chance to directly participate with the soccer game, they also encouraged the use of their retail products and sent people home happy with free memorabilia. It seems to make perfect sense why the Home Depot activation was one of the busiest we saw.

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Bright Idea behind Cool Shades

caughtoureye4Earlier this month, Performance Research had the opportunity to attend a large music festival just outside Denver, Colorado. Drawing 50 musical acts and tens of thousands of their biggest fans, this event was geared up to be one of the biggest concert events of the summer.

While we set out to do our research, we could not help but notice all the activations that were present at the event. While we do have mixed results about some brands, one company really nailed their promotion on the head – based on fan demographic and atmosphere.

This company, with seemingly the most pull into their activation area, was First Bank of Colorado. First Bank had set up a small activation site underneath a white canopy tent. While unassuming to the passerby, word spread quickly of why you have to “find the First Bank tent!” First bank had their employees working at the event site, and upon your entrance they would offer you a pair of hip (even while branded w/ their logo) sunglasses. Before they knew it, people all over the festival were asking “Where did you get those sunglasses?”, followed by an answer that directed people to their site. Not only did First Bank provide a freebie that was fashionable and functional at the event which they were sponsoring, they generated high visibility and brand exposure for themselves. It would be nice to know how many people at the event had never heard of First Bank before and all the sudden found them self in search of the sponsors tent.

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