Lexus Partners with NBC on NFL Hashtag Twitter Game

Count Lexus as one of the first major brands to dive into the sports social media gaming space, as the luxury auto maker has partnered with NBC Sports to produce a game that allows sports fans interact with sports trivia and win prizes during the NFL Playoffs.

Called TweetDrive Engineered by Lexus, the promotion is essentially a “social media activation tool,” according to an AutoGuide report. Sports fan register with Twitter, follow the game during NBC broadcasts of NFL football games and tweet answers to trivia questions to #LexusTweetDrive. Each correct answer delivers yards toward a touchdown, and each touchdown enters fans into a drawing for two tickets to a 2012 NBC Sports sporting event.

The move is significant because it marks the expansion of brand advertising during sporting events into social media tie-ins. Super Bowl XLVI on February 5 will mark the first time Lexus has advertised during the NFL Championship game, and that it felt the necessity to include a Twitter tie-in is likely to be matched by other brands in the years to come. That means a growing number of consumers will not only be watching the game at parties in coming years, but interaction with a smart phones or tablet during the game will become a standard practice.

Lexus Vice President of Marketing Brian Smith announced the program.

“TweetDrive Engineered by Lexus offers a unique way to challenge sports fans to put their knowledge about football and social media to the test,” Smith said. “There is a lot of excitement about football this time of year and Lexus is pleased to join in the action through this program.”

In engineering the campaign, Smith moved quickly to put Lexus out front of social media promotion tied to Super Bowl commercials. He was named Lexus’ marketing chief in September after Toyota hired former Lexus executive Dave Nordstrom to head its social media strategies, according to a Lexus Enthusiast report.

Lexus VP of Marketing Brian Smith breaks new ground with social media campaign during Super Bowl

Rovell’s 2012 Sports Business Predictions Include Mobile Spin

Darren Rovell > Tebow

Powerhouse CNBC Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell today published his 2012 predictions for the sports industry.

Three of Rovell’s 2012 predictions are most relevant to the mobile sports business community:

1. The sale of game start times and final minutes will drive sports sponsorship.

MSR says: This plays into the hands of mobile sports application developers. If you own the last five minutes of a Knicks game, and there’s a lengthy television timeout, what do you do? Look for game-time sponsors to promote branded games and contests during those valuable time periods. That’s good for sports social media application developers, who today find chief marketing officers and advertising agencies are a tough sell. That won’t remain the case if Rovell’s prediction comes to pass.

2. Sponsorship and trademark will continue to thrive in the college sports arena

MSR says: In 2011, college sports emerged as proving ground for the most innovative uses of sports social media applications tied to live sporting events, and continued health of NCAA sports will foster continued advancement.

3. Teams will spend money to adequately wire stadiums and arenas

MSR says: Rovell’s comment marks one of the first times a mainstream business reporter has identified that live sporting events will need to have connectivity equal or better than the sports bar or home in order to remain competitive. In addition, for connectivity companies like Verizon, Sprint and AT&T, the stadium and arena will continue to evolve as the primary place where a large percentage of its customer base will decide whether they will keep their carrier when their service contract comes up for renewal.  Ten years from now, if mobile applications and sports information services continue to grow in importance and efficacy, the stadium or arena may be THE place where consumers decide whether their carrier has the chops to win your business the next time it comes time for the consumer to commit.

Rovell’s predictions are a must read.