Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

Coca-Cola activates CIAA sponsorship via mobile concierge app

Coca-Cola is making the most of its sponsorship of a college basketball tournament via a new browser-based mobile application designed to make sure attendees do not miss any of the activities surrounding the event.

Coca-Cola has been a corporate sponsor of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament. This year, the company?s marketing efforts around the tournament in Charlotte, NC, includes offering the Enjoy More CIAA Coke Zero mobile app.

?This app furthers our commitment to CIAA?s fans by bringing everything CIAA to the palm of their hands,? said Lauventria Robinson, vice president of multicultural marketing ffor the Coca-Cola North America Group.

?The Coke Zero drinker is very mobile savvy, so we wanted to develop a way to gather information about the CIAA via a mobile platform ? which we feel connects with our target audience better than a Web site or a brochure,? she said.

?Finally, with more than 200,000 people expected to visit Charlotte this week, we felt this was a great way for people unfamiliar with the area to get pertinent information - food, events and schedule - offered up in an easy and engaging way by Coke Zero.?

Push notifications
The CIAA tournament typically brings more than 200,000 people to Charlotte for five days of games and related activities.

Coke Zero is the tournament?s official soft drink.

The new Enjoy More CIAA Coke Zero smartphone app was designed to make attendees aware of all of the events happening between games and around Charlotte.

Coca-Cola created the browser-based app, which works across multiple devices.

Features in the app include an event schedule and interactive map. There are also push notifications to alert fans where to head next for fun activities.

Additionally, app users will have access to exclusive nightlife events, with a chance to win VIP passes.

The marketing effort behind the sponsorship also includes a Twitter tie-in, with fans able to follow the action and share their experiences using the hashtag #enjoymoreCIAA.

Sports marketing
Last year, a report from Motricity found that 79 percent of sports fan use mobile for activities such as checking scores to watching recaps as a way to help them keep up to date on their favorite teams.

The report also found that sports fans are most interested in mobile applications that let them view a game from the perspective of a player. SMS and mobile Web can also a play an important role in sports marketing.

Fan activation
Coca-Cola has built similar apps around a specific event previously.

During last year?s March Madness tournament in New Orleans, the Coke Zero Mobile Concierge was made available on smartphones as a hub for all 2012 Final Four activations and events. It provided event information, aggregated some of the social chatter associated with New Orleans during Final Four Weekend and rewarded consumers through programs like specials or behind-the-scenes content.

The content was available via snap tags/vanity URLs provided to fans from street teams and posters.

Additionally, last summer at the Coca-Cola Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, a similar mobile app was built to keep attendees up-to-speed on all of the events happening at and around the festival.

?Users will see our landing page when they go to from their mobile device,? Ms. Robinson said. ?The home screen features our live news feed, which will be updated with live posts, event photos and match scores.

?They will also be able to access the menu from the home screen, providing them with maps, ?hook-ups? to local food and entertainment options, schedules, nightlife and VIP opportunities,? she said. ?Users will also be able to Tweet and Message directly to Twitter and Facebook from the app.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York