[Editor’s note: I originally planned to create several posts about this event; but, alas I’ve been sick in bed since returning from Dallas.]
The first College Football Championship became a major event in colleges and athletics. As I wrote earlier http://www.scdgroup.net/2015/01/turning-game-into-signature-event.html, the challenge organizers faced involved making the inaugural event more than just a game.
I recognize that this multi-million dollar mega event is far beyond the scope of most associations; however, associations – no matter how large or small – can learn from the event.
Here are five elements that worked for the College Football Playoffs (CFP):1. Create a Fan/Attendee Experience
CFP converted two park stadium parking lots into a 6-hour tail gate party. It included:
2. Focus on Brand Details
- The CFP logo was everywhere on everything.
- The CFP logo signage was everywhere around the stadium as well as the airport.
3. Celebrate a Cause
- The philanthropic initiative called “Extra Yard for Teachers” sought to raise at least $5 million annually being directed to what is an ofttimes overlooked but still profoundly important profession.
- During the event, CFP promoted the cause via jumbotron announcements and other events.
- OSU-Oregon alumni were challenged (via social media) to raise funds for Extra Yard.
- In addition CFP made major donations to North Texas teachers via Donors Choose ... And every fan at the championship game Monday received a $25 card for Donors Choose.
4. Recognize Sponsors
CFP recruited major corporate sponsors AND did an outstanding job in recognizing them before, during and after the event. This included signage, in-game announcements and post game. Each of the major sponsors had “space and facetime” during the pre-game fan event.
5. Engage the News Media
|ESPN's Game Day|
- The organizers “sold” television rights to Disney and its ESPN networks. They were all over the place starting on Sunday ... when ESPN went to 24/7 coverage.
- ESPN had tv booths both inside and outside the stadium. Game Day was set up outside in the tail gate area so ticket holders could share
I may be biased because “my team” won the championship but the inaugural College Football Playoff championship game was a big success. And these five elements helped ensure that success.
Regardless of budget or size, associations and nonprofits can use these elements in designing their own events.