I spent the past weekend conducting a hospitality experience at the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. But, no visit to the track would be complete without a trip through the Dover Fan Zone to see how different brands are activating at the track.
The NASCAR environment can be crowded from a marketing standpoint. Lots of brands, pop-up tents, bright colors, noise – how can you make sure you stand out from the crowd? Sprint does a good job, being the series title sponsor, with an oversized exhibit area that is focused on their products and technology. Instead of a generic video board, they have one dressed up to be a popular Samsung phone. And, Sprint did a great job of rewarding their current customers with a special hospitality area complete with a dedicated prize only available to current customers.
3M took a different strategy, using a similar sized footprint to showcase a wide range of products. Using the consistent theme “Technology Driving Innovation,” the brand asked race fans to register at one central location and then gave them a card to swipe at various stations to win prizes and receive product samples. Get all eleven stations completed, and you were eligible to win a trip to Daytona.
M&T Bank took a different approach, using a racing game to attract younger fans while engaging their parents to open up bank accounts. My favorite thing about this activation (other than the great visual of Miles the Monster holding an M&T Bank flag) was the sheer utility of it. Branded ATM machines provide an excellent at-track benefit (particularly for current customers) and having actual branch employees on site meant that race fans could get their questions answered and sign up for accounts right there on site.
AAA also did a good job at the track, having race fans enter information at interactive kiosks in order to have a chance to win racing-themed trips while watching brand messaging on video displays. Their ever-popular “spin to win” prize wheel also went over well with race fans, as did having the Miles the Monster trophy (pictured at the top of this post) on display for photo opportunities.
And finally, MAV TV, in partnership with the USO, had an incredible military exhibit on display. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been inside a mobile operation center, and certainly didn’t appreciate the level of complexity involved in setting up a tent like the one pictured below. And I enjoyed the chance to climb inside a mobile Humvee unit. Great way for fans to engage with the military and collection boxes let them support the work that the USO does around the world.
Of the different activations I’ve pictured, which one is your favorite and why?