Blog - How to host a tournament style experietial marketing event - MJSThere are many ways to engage and interact with consumers at your experiential marketing events. The ultimate goal for each one is to get the consumer to try the product and convert to a buyer. Agencies employ Brand Ambassadors to effectively communicate the brand’s personality and benefits directly to the consumer.

A great activity that incorporates participating with the brand with a fun and enjoyable experience for the consumer is a tournament. Pro Motion hosted the “Corona al Campeon” sand foosball tournaments for the Corona Extra and Corona Light brands. The events were held at select sports bars in predominantly Hispanic areas of four U.S. cities: Chicago, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Two winners from Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles won a trip for two to Mexico to meet and watch the Mexican national soccer team play at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.  Two sweepstakes’ winners from Miami were awarded the same grand prize.

When hosting this type of event it is important to keep the following tips in mind to maximize the success of the program::

  1. Great Locations:  Tournament style events are a great way to activate sponsorships, especially at sporting events.  This is a chance to build off of the enthusiasm of your consumers for the sport or team they love.  Tournaments also work really well at on-premise and retail events.
  2. Pre-Promotion: In order to maximize attendance numbers, you must publicize the event ahead of time. An impromptu event in a heavy traffic area, such as downtown, will work great for mobile marketing tours. However, a planned tournament will require some press beforehand.  A good way to advertise the event is via social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. You can also utilize other outlets such as television, radio and billboard advertising as well as PR.  This is the perfect opportunity to brand the venue ahead of time with information about the event. The ultimate goal is to gain as much exposure for your event ahead of time to increase attendance.
  3. Prizes:  Make it worth your consumer’s time to participate.  Provide the opportunity to win lucrative prizes. This could include sweepstakes, trips, VIP packages or even a cash prize.  Although an ultimate grand prize is a worthy hook you don’t have to break the bank to provide great incentives.  You can offer branded premiums or tournament titles.  Don’t underestimate the thrill of bragging rights!    Don’t forget to have the legal department review the sweepstakes and tournament rules to make sure you have crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s.  If you are providing a large ticket prize for a game of chance or skill make sure you understand “How and When to Use Promotion Insurance for Experiential Marketing.
  4. Branding:  Use this opportunity to brand everything you can so it is easy for consumers to connect the fun event to your brand.  If the event takes place indoors, make sure your branding is visible outside the establishment as well.  Park your branded vehicle in a prominent location.  Utilize banners and inflatables to draw attention to your event.  Inside you can brand the establishment with hanging banners, tabletop signs, coasters, napkins, branded buttons for employee uniforms, you get the idea.  Be creative and come up with some fun ways to brand the establishment.
  5. Crowd Participation:  Be sure to get the crowd interested in the event.  You can extend the experience beyond the actual players.  Get an engaging emcee to pique the crowds’ interest.   Provide impromptu prizes for the best fan, the loudest cheer or the most creative costume.  Interview attendees and ask for their support for the players.
  6. Final Event:  Host a championship game and grand finale event.  This is a great PR hook and provides excitement and generates buzz about the campaign.  Invite consumers from every event to attend the championship with signage and in-person announcements throughout the duration of the event.  If you collect consumer data then you can send a personalized email invitation.  Give your loyal consumers an added incentive to attend by providing a special premium for those who come to the event with the invitation. Host the event in a grand location such as a sports stadium during half-time or use this as an opportunity to reward a retailer by hosting at their location.
  7. Post Promotion: Be sure to extend the life of the event.  Encourage social sharing by including your brand’s social media web addresses and hash tags on your branding.  Take onsite photos and post to your social media site encouraging consumers to check out their photo online.