Growing up in Texas, snow days were rare. Even just a little ice or a little snow typically resulted in everything shutting down. My friends and I would spend the day running, sliding, and eventually falling on the ice. It may have only happened once or twice in my entire childhood, which made it all the more memorable.  

This last week it snowed in South Central Texas. Since I was in Oklahoma (where it did not snow), I received many photos, calls, and texts about the “crazy snow” that was happening in and around Austin: my nephews playing in it and building a snowman; my mom having to get a kitchen spatula to clean off her car windows to go to work; my friends telling me how hard it was to drive through all that snow.   

From what I can tell, there wasn’t more than an inch. Making a snowman was way more work than it should be since snow had to be gathered from four different yards.  Windshield wipers probably would have cleaned off the windows just fine, but that doesn’t matter to any of the people who experienced this event. The “blizzard of 2017” will be marked forever in their memories. I know my brother will be telling stories to his son about how much he hated snow the first time he was in it, that time it snowed in south Texas. Even a quick look at my “trends for you” section on Twitter shows what a big deal that little bit of snow was to the people watching it happen.

Why is this relevant to us as marketers? Events like these are rare, and while they may seem minuscule to some, the people who experience them will keep those memories for the rest of their lives. There’s a natural opportunity for you to connect with people in these moments and to become part of an indelible memory.

Whether the event that happens is a game, a freak weather event, or even just a spur of the moment gathering of people, there will be opportunities that you and your team can capitalize on. Here are a few things to think about if you ever find yourself experiencing a “snow in south Texas” type event.

1. Capture the moment. It seems obvious, but make sure you record it. Document the event as much as you can. Whether it’s snapping a few photos of the snow to use for holiday materials next year or making sure you capture the stories of people who experienced it, capture the moment and look for opportunities to share it again later on down the road.

2. Be timely. Timing can be everything. Just look at the impact Oreo made during the Super Bowl Blackout a few years ago. When unique moments happen, your ability to respond quickly can make or break your ability to connect with people. If you aren’t ready as the event is happening, don’t try to force it. Jumping on the bandwagon too late makes you seem less relevant .

3. Be genuine. This is a phrase that gets repeated in marketing conversations quite often, but with something like this you have to be genuine. A large part of that comes with being true to your brand. If the event does not fit or fall in line with who you are as a brand, let it pass. It is better to sit on the sidelines and watch things unfold than to put something out there simply because you felt it was required. 

4. Tie your brand to the event. During the recent snow, a lot of the Twitter activity I saw related to snow at Kyle Field. Opportunities for photos of an Aggie helmet covered in snow on the 50 yard line are few and far between, but by capturing the moment in that manner, fans will forever remember the time it snowed during Aggie football season. 

5. Embrace the moment. Often this type of event is unexpected and brings out a little bit of craziness. Embrace it. This is not something that is going to happen often and it might not ever happen again. As long as you’re reacting in a way that’s consistent with your brand, don’t be afraid to do something different to take advantage of a unique opportunity. 

The Florida sports landscape is one that is truly unique. It is the third largest state for intercollegiate and professional sports in the nation. A sports fan’s paradise set in a paradise climate. In other words, the ultimate challenge for a sports marketer trying to drive fan attendance.

When the average yearly temperature is 70 degrees it’s going to take a lot more than winning games to get the casual fan to regularly attend a sporting event.

The University of Florida has a reputation for cultivating championship teams, as well as championship experiences for their fans. Gators Athletics is one of only a handful of universities that have elevated their fan experience with the newest video technology.

Fans got their first taste of 3D projection mapping in February 2017 for the Florida-Kentucky Men’s Basketball matchup at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The buzz was immediate.

As Florida prepared to begin the 2017-18 sports season with permanent arena 3D technology from Quince Imaging in place, they already had a very clear vision in mind. To accomplish their goals, Florida Athletics engaged Old Hat to create one-of-a-kind stunning videos for four sports: Volleyball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Basketball, and Gymnastics. The results thus far have engaged and impressed fans, recruits and competitors alike.

The variety and professional quality of 3D videos make for an unforgettable fan experience at all O’Dome events. It turns the ordinary pregame introductions into a production traditionally saved for an Olympic Opening Ceremony or Super Bowl Halftime Show. Most importantly, Old Hat is able to produce a fully customized solution that meets the University’s requirements for both cutting-edge creative technology and budget.

Old Hat and Florida Athletics fan entertainment relationship and creative collaboration go back several years, partnering on 3D animated video board games, in addition to historical videos for the storied Gators Baseball program.

Old Hat has collaborated with more than 150 sports organizations comprising of professional and collegiate sports leagues and associations. Old Hat is a pioneer in 3D projection mapping. First in the industry to produce 3D video projection at the collegiate level. Old Hat aims to improve the game experience and help give fans a game day they’ll never forget.

 

 

  

Duke Men's Basketball fans are used to seeing great basketball, and thanks to our partnership with Duke Athletics over the past 4 years on Countdown to Craziness, their fans are also used to seeing an epic floor projection show to kick off the basketball season.

Every year we work with Duke Athletics to come up with something that's bigger and better than what was done the year before. This year was no exception. Months of planning and discussions happen before we even begin the video production process. This is necessary so that we can determine a theme and concept that the show centers around.

The concept behind this year's Countdown to Craziness Court Projection was bringing Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium back to life. The basketball court had been dormant since its last game in March and it just needed the electrical switch flipped to charge it back up to full craziness. Deep in the inner-depths of Cameron is the storied program's history. The heart of Cameron. This is where you'll find all of the buzzer-beaters, dunks, blocks, hustle plays, and hugs. This is where you'll find the banners and trophies. As each highlight continues to build the electricity goes into a complete frenzy. Once you step on Coach K Court you BECOME a part of it all. See for yourself!

 
 
 
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