Creating an Immersive Brand Experience at the Red Bull Wake Open


The Red Bull Wake Open in Tampa, Florida is the world’s largest Wake Boarding contest and they wanted to do something new and engaging from a guest experience perspective this year. So, after reviewing various mobile technologies they decided to partner Smartsy to incorporate Visual Recognition and User Generate Content into their branding and collateral to help make them more interactive and actionable.

The custom app was easy to use and built around Red Bull’s main priorities for the event: driving guest engagement, generating new content and building athlete awareness. To do this various functionality was incorporated that allowed users to unlock secret content from posters and wake board rider cards (think baseball cards for wake boarders!) that offered insider perspectives on the competing athletes and the event itself.

During the event the fans could also capture their own experiences and see themselves on the Jumbotron, which created a lot of good user generated content and buzz. They were also asked to vote for their favorite rider (electing who would be the official “Fan Favorite”).

In addition to that they could see content from previous Wake Opens, as well as share content over their social networks and follow their favorite riders on FB or Twitter.

Despite inclement weather at the event, held over two days in Tampa on July 5th and 6th, the app ended up with a lot of adoption and users provided very positive responses to the app. While Smartsy can’t disclose specific stats on the results, they can say that they experienced very strong voting numbers, sharing across social networks, content ‘liking’ and user generated content exceeded expectations, and received extremely high numbers of visual recognitions, especially on a per download basis. The feedback from both Red Bull and guests were that they loved the new experience and thought it was a really fun way for Red Bull interact with their fans.

Written by Paul Dunay
Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating awareness for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the global vice president of marketing for Maxymiser a leading web optimization firm, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for the last six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Buzz Marketing for Technology, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.