One of the things I love about my job is that it provides me with the opportunity to mix business and pleasure. This past Monday, our agency helped organize a VIP experience for one of our clients at Redskins Training Camp. Including a visit from Comcast SportsNet’s Redskin Insiders, explaining exactly what happens during a practice at camp. My son has become a big Redskins fan, so I brought him along with me.
A few notes to pass along, from both a personal and a marketing perspective:
- If you ever decide to take a 9-year-old to a practice, make sure he understands exactly what a practice looks like. “Dad, I thought this would be more like a game, but with some breaks to talk about what they are doing wrong,” was the comment I got after watching 30 minutes of position drills.
- If you are a brand looking to interact with fans at training camp, make your activation as mobile as possible. The way this camp was set up, all the activities were located at the far end of the complex, waiting for fans to come to them. It’s possible that due to the nature of the facility that was the only option afforded to sponsors. However, always ask about opportunities to be mobile – outside the gates, in the parking lots, throughout a facility – in order to interact with as many people as possible and generate the most interest for your brand. The teams and properties may have a variety of very good reasons to say “no”, but it never hurts to ask.
- Best activation I saw at Training Camp: Virginia 529. My son had a chance to throw a football through a target, while I took advantage of the spin-and-win wheel to earn tickets to the following night’s Flying Squirrels baseball game.
As I understand it, the Redskins move to Richmond for training camp has been a wild success. Crowds have been large and steady, generating lots of revenue for the city and the team. And, getting out of Ashburn has been an exciting change for everyone. The facility in Richmond looks great, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s camp visit.