Question: what do the following things all have in common?

  • Paint drying
  • Snail racing
  • Static sponsor signage

If you are like me, your answer is: they are all kind of, well, boring.

I have never really understood why brands spend significant amounts of money to put just their logos up on stadium walls. Sure, it reminds people of the brand… like all the other brands that are squeezed into the place. It especially boggles my mind when brands look for deals where the signage is the primary component of the partnership. Years of Turnkey sponsorship measurement have provided clear evidence that brands with high levels of activation (beyond signage) see stronger lift in key performance metrics. These findings make perfect sense, of course – if activation wasn’t impactful, the event marketing world would cease to be.

The signage business isn’t going anywhere. Teams make a lot of money from selling that inventory, and it forms the cornerstone of many sponsorship packages. So how can brands make the most of their signage opportunity?

One easy way to improve the majority of signage out there is to add a call to action. It amazes me how few brands actually utilize one on their signs, despite studies demonstrating over and over their effectiveness. David Ogilvy, the father of advertising, swore by them. Consider something as simple as the following Budweiser ad, stationed in right field of Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies:

Buds

Believe it or not, simply adding “Grab Some Buds” to the sign is improving its ROI. Attendees are subconsciously thinking “Hey, I should grab some Buds”. Next thing you know, there’s the beer vendor with Budweiser on hand, and purchases occur. Including those three words on the sign was a very easy addition for Bud that will reap long-term benefits.

As more and more signs become digital, brands will have the opportunity to get more creative with their signage. In the meantime, brands should think about offering a message to go with the logo. Otherwise, it’s just like watching the clouds go by – except the clouds actually move.

Like what you see from blog author Steve Seiferheld? Follow him on Twitter at @steveseiferheld.

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