Monday, September 9

The America's Cup


I was in San Francisco last week and over the weekend, and got totally caught up in all the America's Cup fever.  It was a lot of fun ... something unexpected that I'd never experienced before.  It was Day One of the Finals, so people were definitely into it.  A pop culture moment that was a totally new thing for me.

I've never seen so many logos in my life!  So much so that in some cases it was hard to separate the logos from the event.  Even Team USA was really Team Oracle.  Well played from a branding and marketing perspective.

The America's Cup "village" was filled with sponsor activities, much like you'd see at the Super Bowl but the brands were all very all very high end (not a lick of Bud in sight).  It was amazing to see these kinds of brands doing all of this event marketing.  Think Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which is ironically this week.

Louis Vuitton had a pop up store with custom merchandise.  A $4,000 duffel caught my eye, but stayed right on the shelf!  Prada had a cap for sale at the schwag store (where btw none of the items were give-aways).  Lexus had a number of cars on display, just begging for a test drive.  And Charles Schwab was showing sailing footage in a special pop-up screening room.

There were some mainstay brands as well.  Nespresso also had a coffee cafe, Red Bull installed an energy bar, and Gillette offered men a shaving experience (given all the facial hair on display, that may have been the most appropriate spot at the event ... at least for a trim!).  And Puma had created a lot of the merchandise for sale at various venues, including the official store.

Not to mention all the team sponsors ... watching logos soar across the water was quite a sight to see, even from quite a distance.  A real source of pride, I am sure, for each of those brand teams.

The best part is that each brand did something in keeping with their equity ... and tied it to why consumers are a the event.  All tonally done in a very casual "sailing" kind of way.  It was like a bazaar of mega-brands, all situated along the San Fran bay, while we watched these amazingly beautiful ships fly over the water.  Quite the experience!

BTW, not bad for the San Francisco brand either.  At night the Bay Bridge is now also the backdrop for a dramatic lightshow.  Best time ever to be in the city by the bay.

Have you ever been?  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post

Note:  my new book on personal branding is now available during pre-launch on amazon.  Click here if you'd like to check it out!  The Personal Experience Effect!

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