Last year when the Sharks hit the postseason, we launched our Playoff Mode ad campaign.
The marketing plan called for TV, radio, outdoor and digital assets along with neon signs distributed to area bars and restaurants that could literally be toggled on to Playoff Mode.
The campaign—and especially those neon signs—struck a chord with the Sharks faithful. According to the Sharks VP of Marketing, Doug Benz: “We saw higher TV ratings, stronger ticket sales, and more community activation.The idea of Playoff Mode really resonated with our fans.”
So this year the Sharks, along with their agency of record Division of Labor, invested even more heavily in Playoff Mode—with a neon-inspired campaign that builds on last year’s success but then takes it to the next level.
What did we do? The creative team created 23 unique neon designs—one for each Shark’s team player and as the playoffs commence they will light up all over the bay area.
And we’re not just taking it to outdoor, digital and social. Playoff Mode neon will be everywhere. We’re coordinating with the Sharks internal production teams who will take the neon designs into the pre-game 3D light show—a truly amazing production coordinated by the talented Dustin Lamendola. Additionally, custom Twitter animations will be created and in-stadium signage is already in place. And the biggest piece: 10 different custom neon signs to hang in bars and as fan giveaways. We anticipate the Burnzie (Brent Burns), The Don Father (Jonas Donskoi), Dilly Dilly (Bendon Dillon) and Jumbo (Joe Thornton) installations to be among the most coveted.
Of course, it’s not feasible to give every fan a five-foot neon sign to light up their living room. So we collaborated with the Shark’s street team who will be heading out into the community and handing out Playoff Preparedness kits, replete with teal phone covers, Playoff Mode rally rags, and teal light bulbs. Fans can then “turn on” Playoff Mode on at home. “You can show everyone you're in playoff mode by putting that (teal light bulb) in your front porch light and showing off your teal.” says Benz. The new neon designs are now emblazoned on everything from rally towels to T-Shirts, hats, and related swag in the Sharks shops at SAP Center.
The Small Agency Blog is produced by Division of Labor; a top West Coast advertising agency and digital marketing firm that’s been named Small Agency of the Year twice by Ad Age. The award winning creative shop services clients on a retainer or project basis. And also offers brand consulting services and hourly engagements for startups and brands interested in testing new ideas, but who aren’t quite ready to invest in an integrated campaign or media spend. We can assist with brand strategy, brand voice, early stage asset development, video creation and other communications to get things up and running without busting your budget. Click here for a free consultation.