At InStadium, we know there’s nothing like being there live, both for the sports fan and for brands that engage these fans while they’re in-the-moment and stress-free. The Buffalo Bills have added an exciting new area to help their game-day partners further enhance their brand activations and reach new levels of engagement.
New Era Field sits in the suburbs of Buffalo surrounded by parking lots, naturally lending itself to one of the strongest tailgating cultures in the NFL. Though the lots don’t open until 9:00 a.m., it’s not uncommon to see fans in the surrounding areas of the stadium even earlier. Wanting to capitalize on this early-arriving crowd and provide fans an engaging entertainment destination in the hours leading up to the game, the Bills developed the “Billevard”. This quarter mile stretch of activation sits right in front of New Era Field and provides plenty for fans to do.
A few of the highlights in the Billevard include a Labatt beer garden, sponsor activations, DJ, food trucks, break dancers, games, souvenir photos, caricature artists and even a remote barber shop where fans can get a charging buffalo logo buzz cut into their hair. In addition, the Bills radio partner, WGR 550, does their pregame broadcast live from the Billevard where fans are encouraged to watch and ask questions.
“Bills sponsors have fully embraced the Billevard concept,” Pegula Sports and Entertainment’s Director of Corporate Partnerships, Kelley Van Ness told InStadium. “Tim Hortons has a full lounge space with couches, tables, corn hole and Timbits samples. M&T Bank uses the opportunity to provide fans with great giveaways, and Pepsi and Yancey’s Fancy are on hand offering product samples to guests.”
New Era Cap, headquartered in Buffalo, NY, has taken their pregame activations to the next level and continues to push the envelope with activations like “Smash a Jet” for the Bills home opener versus the New York Jets. Here, fans were able to take a sledge hammer to an actual airplane. For the Bills vs. Broncos game, New Era Cap invited fans to “Circle The Wagons” by bringing an actual horse drawn wagon to the site. For the Bills vs. Buccaneers game New Era Cap had a “Dunk-a-Buc” activation where a dunk tank featured a pirate ready to be plunged into the water.
As the season progresses, so too will the Billevard with warming stations for fans in the colder months and different food and beverage offerings for those looking for something to warm them up and keep them entertained.
For marketers, reaching an audience while they’re most receptive to the brand’s messaging is a vital. The live sports environment combined with unique activations allows brands to make a meaningful connection with their audience while they’re in a heightened emotional state creating a campaign that lives on far longer than just game-day.
And if you like what you've read, subscribe to InStadium Insider now!