Events play a critical part in a brand’s strategy. They help generate awareness, create valuable face to face time with customers, and build memorable experiences, strengthening trust and loyalty. Over the long run, these benefits will ultimately help drive revenue for your brand and still many company’s often overlook events in their annual sales strategy and marketing plan. And the times which they are included and executed, the events can often fall flat due to lack of human resources, budget and creativity.
Drake’s OVO Bounce festivities, held at the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport at the University of Toronto is the basketball portion of a larger FESTival. The week also includes a summit of educational seminars, catered toward creative visionaries, and two days of music concerts with world-class entertainers, of course. OVO Bounce brings together all walks of life to celebrate unity through sport, and at the same time showcases excellence on the court from athletes in the NBA, other professional leagues and new up and comers trying to make their name.
From the tip, the quality of the branding the OVO team delivered was impressive. And though budget was not likely a concern, we can scale the concepts to apply to all experiential events. Here are three branding tips we can learn from Drake’s OVO Bounce Festivities.
The Details – From the moment you pull up to the gym, you can tell something special is going on. It starts outside as the building is decaled with a large white OVO logo and the brand image, the owl. As attendees pull up, most don’t enter the building until videos and pictures are snapped posing with this as the background. Inside, the branding continues and, though it is subtle, it is everywhere: on every rise of the staircases, on all doors, on the glass surrounding the upper level of the gym, on digital screens and scoreboards, t-shirts and even a 16-foot image of the owl on a concrete wall that was popular and highly Instagram-able. When you experience details done the right way, it makes all the difference.
Interaction and Engagement – Also known as the event’s energy, the energy at OVO Bounce was high. When you stepped into the building and onto the court, you could just feel it. The music was loud and bumping, the hype man on the mic was funny and entertaining, and the basketball on the court was high-flying. The athletes came to play, and the crowd was loving it. Red Bull activated an entertainment station equipped with beverages and video games and the canteen was pumping out patties at a pace. The atmosphere was curated thoughtfully for the audience which kept them engaged, entertained and energized. Leaving an event after a time like this only strengthens one’s association with the brand.
Strategic Partnerships – For the event, OVO partnered with brands that align with their vision. Starting with the venue, the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport at the University of Toronto is a world-class facility and the optimal place to host this event. The event aligns with the universities new Basketball Excellence Program, which strives for excellence for its’ students both on and off the court. Partnerships extended to include Nike and Red Bull, both world-class brands who bring a level of excellence on their own. Both brands are serious about engaging their audiences and their involvement in the OVO Bounce festivities positively enhanced the experience for participants. Being smart about the brands you collaborate and align with is a strategy that must not be overlooked.
by Jody Euloth