Why Championship-Tier Campaigns Center Contextual Relevance

July 2, 2024

Have you ever wondered why TVs in bars pretty much always have sports on? Sure, part of it is so customers can run up their tabs with three hours of day drinking. But why a game and not, say, Game of Thrones

It’s because sports is one of those things that unites us, permeating culture and giving us something in common to talk about. Sure, Red Sox and Yankees fans might dispute whether sports unites – until you ask them how they feel about the Mets.

Since sports is very much location-based, it represents a powerful hook on which to hang contextual relevance, the practice of aligning an ad’s creative with the environment in which the audience encounters it.

Contextually relevant New Balance liveboard in Boston after Celtics' championship victory
One thing’s true about sports, whether football or fútbol, base or basket – it’s more fun when you’re winning. That’s why advertisers in Boston are celebrating the Celtics’ NBA Championship victory with billboard-based cheer, showing that sports and OOH go together like Tatum and Brown. It requires agility and flexibility to stay current with something as fickle as the fortunes of your favorite team, so how do advertisers do it?

If contextual relevance is the secret sauce of creating consumer connections, digital out of home is the squeeze bottle. DOOH empowers advertisers to swap creative on the fly, while our XPress dynamic ad creative capability can take it further and customize a campaign in real time. Ads can incorporate creative elements like live game scores or use if/then triggers to present different variants – say, alternate copy after a big win vs. a loss.

Contextually relevant Miller Lite liveboard triptych in Boston after Celtics' championship victory
There aren’t many wins bigger than the NBA Championship, the Celtics’ first since 2008, so it’s no surprise that 1.7 million fans attended the victory parade (SOURCE: Berkshire Eagle). The parade marched from the West End to Back Bay, trailing along the MBTA’s Orange and Green Lines, which buzzed with excitement as trains full of attendees traveled to the celebration. Spectators were not only exposed to our advertising on the T throughout their travels; they also lined up in front of numerous OUTFRONT billboards and specialty pieces as the NBA champs rolled by. That’s a huge audience, all in one place, with one thing in common: love for the Celtics.

With out of home, advertisers can use this common thread to tie themselves to the team and ride the wave of its success. In terms of strategy, it’s a slam dunk. And while you can’t exactly build a championship victory into a media plan, more reliable events like the Boston Marathon – attended by half a million people annually – offer a similar opportunity (SOURCE: Boston Athletic Association). We have a playbook for making the most of big events like that: we call it PRIME for a Time.

Bank of America spectaculars along route of Boston Marathon
If you’d like to learn more about how to show off your team spirit, or how to be on the ground when thousands of running shoes pound the pavement, get in touch with OUTFRONT now.

Author: Jay Fenster, Marketing Manager @ OUTFRONT
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