March Madness is a beloved time of year for college hoop fans. Everyone is focused on creating the most perfect bracket, which always ends up the complete opposite of what you anticipated because of the number of upsets that occur during these games...but I digress. March Madness is really all about the heart-stopping, awe-inspiring moments of 68 college basketball teams as they compete to be crowned the N.C.A.A. men’s and women's basketball champion. Companies that sponsor these games take notice to the involvement of fans and are constantly trying to find ways to best market to those who participate. For this year’s Final Four in Houston, Texas, N.C.A.A. sponsor AT&T worked with Team Epic and MKTG to create an immersive activation at the Final Four Fan Fest designed to help fans feel connected to the game, which ties to the brand’s marketing campaign.
Their current campaign is all about the 'Network of You'—how AT&T’s network is personalized and keeps you connected to the things that are important to you any time and any place. There is probably no other sporting event in this country that creates the roller coaster of emotions that the N.C.A.A. tournament does. So AT&T wanted to see if there’s a way to capture that emotion in a tangible way and show people what it feels like, to give college basketball fans that very future-forward, connected experience. And just like that, the "Pressure Point" was created!
The "Pressure Point" was a space in the Final Four Fan Fest area made to look like a front court in basketball. As participants stepped up to free throw line, a variety of sensory elements kicked in to simulate what players experience when shooting a game-winning shot. Large screens on either side of the court displayed the faces of fans as their cheers played through speakers. Dramatic lighting put the spotlight on the participant, while flashbulbs appeared to go on and off in the background and the floor pulsated to simulate a heartbeat. In addition, each participant wore a biometric wristband from Atlas Wearables that tracked changes in their heart rate as they prepared to take a shot. At the end of the experience, guests received their personalized biometric data and a video of their shot that they could share on social media. How cool is that?
AT&T truly connected fans to the Final Four with this epic experience. We hope it inspires you (and we know it has inspired us) to create something just as spectacular someday. Kudos to AT&T for devouring the details of this immersive activation that tied into their marketing campaign so seamlessly. We look forward to seeing what you come up with for 2017!