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AT&T ‘Mobilizes' Sponsorship

Warc, May 05, 2015

CHICAGO: AT&T, the telecoms group, is connecting its sponsorship efforts more deeply than ever to its core brand proposition – a trend assisted by the fact mobile phones are now an "endemic" part of live events.

Mark Wright, the company's vp/media and sponsorships, discussed this topic at IEG's 2015 Sponsorship conference in Chicago.

And he reported that the firm's diverse sponsorship initiatives – from the AT&T Stadium in Dallas to the Tribeca Film Festival and an annual PGA TOUR pro-am competition – increasingly make use of its unique slate of assets.

"Your phone and your mobile device is about as endemic to the activity these days as it gets. So we're about mobilising that experience," said Wright. (For more, including details of AT&T's mobile-fuelled tie-up with the Dallas Cowboys, read Warc's exclusive report: AT&T uses mobile to activate stadium sponsorship.)

In line with this heightened "expectation level" among attendees at sporting and cultural events, AT&T believes it can provide truly distinctive opportunities for rights holders.

"It seems like five years ago they didn't even have a device that worked in a professional sports setting or even college. Now, if it doesn't work fast enough or download fast enough, they are disappointed.

"Everyone seems like they have their phone out and they're looking for that next piece of juice in terms of content or a picture that they send to their friends. That, in our minds, makes us a different kind of sponsor.

"It's a real ally with the property … and we're doing the best we can to kind of expand that and give that extra insight and extra piece of content that makes the event even that much more special."

The firm's efforts have included a "digital clubhouse" at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament, a dedicated app for the AT&T Stadium and holding a "hackathon" at the Tribeca Film Festival to explore new modes of storytelling via mobile and wearables.

But whether it's boosting cellular capacity so consumers can send picture messages to friends, upload images on social media or access exclusive content on-site, AT&T knows serving such needs promises to boost its brand.

"We're a part of that, obviously, and we want to make sure that experience is the best it can be," said Wright.