When Research in Motion wanted to drive consumer adoption and foster loyalty for its BlackBerry mobile device and BlackBerry Messenger technology, it turned to a partner with an intensely passionate and loyal fan base of its own – the National Hockey League (NHL).
In a panel presentation at ad:tech, New York on Tuesday, the NHL and Starcom Worldwide – BlackBerry’s agency – explained their multi-channel success and the unique platform that utilized the BlackBerry Messenger technology to embrace the hockey fan’s experience.
At the heart of the campaign was a daily web video show, the BlackBerry All Access Pregame Show, which streamed at NHL.com on game days. The show combined in-studio analysis of the night’s matches with tips from reporters at the games – often sent to the studio anchors via BlackBerry Messenger.
At the same time, BlackBerry owners could sign up to receive a stream of mobile messages from Stanley 10 – an NHL employee who sent inside information to fans before, during, and after the game. Meanwhile, TV broadcasts on the Vs. network called back to the NHL.com show earlier in the day and promoted the Stanley 10 BlackBerry persona.
All in all, it was a three-screen tactic that made sense and worked for both brands. “If you removed blackberry and substituted it with another brand, [the campaign] wouldn’t be as tight,” said Larry Gelfand, SVP of medial sales for the NHL. “The consumer would walk away wondering what the relevancy was.”
In the end, 1 million viewers watched the web show, and 40 percent spent more than 15 minutes watching, almost unheard of for streaming web video. The brands doubled the goal for Stanley 10 activation, and the BlackBerry Messenger adoption converted to sales: the brand continues to grow, as do sales.