Sunday December 3, 2023

Wearables as a Sponsor Asset

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

By: Arin Segal, @arinsegal

When you graduate from college as I did in June, lots of time suddenly becomes available. The past year, I have progressively added more and more newsletters to my database and books to my shelf. Something I noticed with all of this reading? The incredible opportunity for interactive sponsorship activations. Signs are becoming digital, fans are spending incredible periods of time on phones and the experience of an event is expected to be immersive.

“Sure, the sponsor of those bands probably has some other signage around the area, but what they have just created is a memory that fans will take with them.”

— Arin Segal

Tech is an incredibly hot space across the board, from VR to mobile apps and wearables to analytics. But how do you authentically incorporate tech into a sponsorship to make it catch someone’s eye without distracting from the event? Well, it isn’t easy and there are plenty of failures, but there are also plenty of successes.

Let’s walk through an example of a way tech could create an incredible experience AND leave fans with a keepsake to take home. You walk into the NHL All-Star Game and are handed a small canvas bracelet that has LED lights inside. On top of it is a battery box with the logo of the All-Star Game and all of the bands come in a mixture of colors to represent different teams in the league. On that canvas band are logos for one of the title sponsors of the event who want to activate, giving the sponsor immediate activation just from people wearing these wristbands. As fans trickle in, seats are filled and it is time for pregame moments like the national anthem to occur. Lights go down and as the flag is on the ice, a digital flag appears through the rink as wristbands light up based on location (small sensors lie within each section sending signals). The crowd is immediately in awe, looking down at their wristband or fishing it out of the jacket pocket that they stuffed it into. Then other moments happen with fans becoming part of the light show.

The game begins and fans think that was all the wristbands would do, but wait there is more! Each time a goal is scored the bands light up in the color of the goal scorer’s team. We make it to intermission and as a band takes the ice for a short performance, the wristbands are suddenly active again with lighting to match the music. As the game ends and fans exit the area, their wristbands stay lit in the winning team’s colors all the way to the parking lot.

Sure, the sponsor of those bands probably has some other signage around the area, but what they have just created is a memory that fans will take with them. So who did this? Well there are two companies I have read a lot about, PixMob and Xylobands who have brought their technology to various sporting and entertainment events. Arsenal, for example, used Xylobands at an event with Puma to launch their new kit design and the bands had been branded with the Arsenal and Puma logos.

The key lesson, here, is that when you think about creating a sponsorship asset for your next event, go beyond just the simple signs that will get sold anyways and look to create a few additional experiences that involve a brand partner AND make the event even more unique. It may not always work in terms of expected ROI, but you can guarantee that a stadium full of lights will instantly become Instagram and Snapchat material.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Fitness Drives Apple to Record Quarter

Apple reported record fourth-quarter revenue of $90.1 billion.

Apple Could Unveil Extreme Sports Watch

Apple is reportedly planning to release a smartwatch that has more screen area and metal casing and is geared toward extreme sports athletes.

Oura Raises Capital at $2.55B Valuation

On the heels of surpassing 1,000,000 rings sold, the smart ring maker announced it has raised capital at a $2.55 valuation.

Alphabet Notches $75.3B Quarter, Eyes Fitness Play

Alphabet brought in $75.3 billion in fourth quarter 2021 revenue. The company could soon integrate fitness wearables with Google TV.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

CFP Looking to Super Bowl for Media Rights Plan


Featured Today

The College Football Playoff is considering rotating TV networks for the national championship game.

CFP Considers Super Bowl-Like Rotation For National Championship Game

Multiple networks could share rights to the championship game, sources told FOS.
Brett Favre
November 27, 2023

Favre Welfare Case Hold-Up? "AG’s Office Has Not Expressed Interest In Pursuing"

The DOJ interviewed Brett Favre in early 2020.
The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.
November 24, 2023

The Pac-12 Plays Its Final Regular-Season Game. Then A Court Decides Its Fate.

The conference's future rests with a court decision.
Lane Kiffin
November 9, 2023

Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Lawyers Argue for Dismissal of Player Lawsuit

FOS obtained audio of Lane Kiffin's interaction with the player behind lawsuit.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Saco Bay PT
Multiple - USA Careers

MLS’ Chris Schlosser on Pioneering the Digital-First Sports League with AI

Chris Schlosser discusses MLS's growth and digital transformation.
Titans stadium.
April 19, 2023

Titans' Historic New $2.1B Stadium One Step Closer to Reality

About $1.26B in public money would go toward the new stadium.
April 25, 2023

Oakland A’s Could Share Stadium with Triple-A Team

The Oakland A's could be searching for a place to play.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.
May 20, 2022

Crypto Crash Impact on Sports Sponsorships

Prior to the last two weeks, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, exchanges, and a host…
March 11, 2022

The Evolution of Consumer Wearables

The wearables market has seen incredible amounts of growth since the onset of the pandemic. Trends like telemedicine and remote patient monitoring have helped spur adoption and inspired new consumer products that allow for the tracking and collection of biometric data.
February 11, 2022

The Role of Live Sports in Streaming

The streaming wars have intensified as the field is as competitive as ever. One way to retain customers? The answer might be live sports.
February 4, 2022

Super Bowl Ad Market Examined

The Super Bowl is now only one week away and the stakes…