Recap: Quirky Sponsor Hits and Triggers

Amanda Greco and Tyler Ferraro lead a discussion looking at punchy clever sponsor triggers. We look at why they work and how to build them.

This Huddles’ Topic was quirky sponsor hit like a broken glass sound effect after a foul ball, repeating PA announcement trigger or sponsored audio clip for a Power Play. These quick in-game elements  provide valuable sponsor inventory without filling an inning-break or time out.

We look at examples and creating a powerful hook.  Guest panel includes the irrepressible Amanda Greco and Vegas Golden Knights Tyler Ferraro. This was a memorable hour discussion that included guest from the NHL, MILB, WWE, NBA, MLR and more.

Tyler Ferraro of the Vegas Golden Knights and Henderson Silver Knights hockey teams cleverly identified the style of these triggers as a “Meme Mentality”, thinking in short punchy clever hooks.  He shared a fun (non-sponsored) meme they are using when pucks go into the stands as the team plays the popular internet audio clip “You are coming home with me.

The discussion came back several times to the vital role audio plays in game presentation. Jen from Abbotsford noted how much she valued her audio tech and how integral they are to feeding fresh ideas into the game.  Kraken’s Jonny Greco also noted that audio is such an inexpensive tool compared to others.  WWE Live Event Producer Scott Smoot shared in his productions AUDIO is key. Nothing happens until audio goes. Audio leads and the rest follows.  Not only is audio cheap and easy, it is the likely the most important audience trigger cue.

During our Huddle call we talked about the following examples:

  • Youngstown Phantoms – Glass Repair:  The Phantoms had a fun sponsor activation with Window Depot. Whenever a puck deflected off the glass and out of play, the used a glass breaking sound effect and a quick PC read for Window Depot.Memorable. Non-obtrusive. Connected to the action. Fun.  Amanda Greco explained, “Everyone dreams of a sponsor activation that catches on.  Attaching the sponsor name, logo or jingle (or all three!) to an activation that fans love …is the ultimate goal.  It’s the ultimate golden egg, finding a promotion that benefits the sponsor, and your fans.” (read more here:
  • Lake County Captains – Windshield Repair: When a foul ball goes over the stadium presumably into the parking lot the team plays a shattering glass sound clip…then reads an Auto Repair Windshield company PA and graphic on the video board.
  • Cleveland Monsters Hockey – Are you Kidding me? Following penalties on the home Monsters team, the PA announcer reads the official business of the penalty and says the Power Play is brought to you by North Olmstead Nissan….along with their commercial advertisement audio clip of a guy saying “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”
  • Cedar Rapids Kernals – Lifetime Contract for Fans:  Fans who catch a foul ball at the game are also given a “lifetime contract” to the team and their compensation includes a free ice cream from HyVee.
  • Akron RubberDucks – LUIGI:  Whenever a foul ball left the field and went into the stands the PA would read: “Fans, that foul ball was brought to you by LUIGI.”  Scoreboard provided the company logo to support as well.  Without actively instructing anyone the fans have become trained to shout “LUIGI” with the announcement.  Even this early-season Wednesday Night crowd of 1,295 fans was making a lot of noise for each successive foul ball. Luigi’s is a down-home institution offering hearty pies and now memorable to baseball fans from this sponsor hook.
  • John Brown U Toilet Paper Toss – Amanda shared a legacy trigger driven by students at John Brown U who launch toilet paper after the seasons-first basket.

Tyler shared a great recent example of working and reworking promotions to find that clever twist that can take any execution from ‘eh’ to OUTSTANDING. In his example the VGK were giving away a lucky row of tickets.  Great examples like Tylers’s are an example the value spending an hour in a Huddle can bring.

After deconstructing these hooks and triggers our panel and group came to some conclusions:

  • CLEVER – Connecting the trigger to the sport and sponsor in a clever way is  what makes it memorable.
  • CONNECT – The possible broken windshield from a foul ball connects directly to sponsor and cements the connection
  • MEME MENTALITY – Think punchy quick and clever, like how memes instantly hit the punch line
  • AUDIO – The power of audio can’t be understated
  • SIMPLE – Keep it simple
  • SPONSORS – Connect these punchy hooks directly to sponsor in direct and memorable ways.

Ayron from the Seattle Kraken also added an interesting term to the game operations lexicon. “Environmental Triggers”  These external forces, like a nearby train passing train can be used to trigger remarkable moments like the “Rally Train”.  This line of creativity peaked Austin Rugby’s game director Kari Norvell interest…. her team plays inside a racetrack!

Thanks to everyone who joined the call. Shout out to our excellent guests Tyler and Amanda for their insights.

Members of Plus participate on these calls and have access to the full archived videos on Plus.

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