Red Bull Park Plans ‘Consumer Experience’

NEW YORK Red Bull New York has hired Formation Sports & Media Marketing to handle commercial partnership sales for Red Bull Park, one of several soccer-specific stadiums being built around the country for Major League Soccer franchises.

Red Bull Park is currently under construction in Harrison, N.J., and will become home to the New York Red Bulls by 2009.

The goal, said Andrew Lafiosca, vp, marketing and sales for RBNY, is to create a consumer experience that goes beyond attending a game. In fact, the new stadium will incorporate interactive elements that could involve gaming.

“When people think of the sport, they’ll be thinking of Red Bull Park as the place to go to experience soccer in the U.S.,” Lafiosca said.

RBNY chose FSMM because of the history and understanding of the sport by its management team, as it seeks to “deliver credibility in what we are trying to do,” he said.

FSMM, a newly created division of U.K.-based Formation Group, is seeking four main sponsors for the stadium. This is a departure from the strategy employed by other U.S. team sports, which usually have anywhere from eight to 12 in-stadium sponsors, said Eddie Salcedo, director of FSMM: “This is a unique aspect to the stadium. It gives our partners greater exposure.”

Salcedo said FSMM is in preliminary discussions with some major brands, noting airlines and wireless devices as examples of categories.

The founding partners, depending on their categories, will have the opportunity to go beyond in-arena advertising. For example, with a wireless brand, different content downloads or texting options will be made available.

“We are looking to push the envelope, in terms of what we are going to offer the client. We are in a position to be very creative and open-ended into what a client is looking to do,” said Salcedo.

For a potential audio-visual partner, added RBNY’s Lafiosca, the aim is to utilize their technology in the venue itself: “We’re looking for stadium partners that help bring the overall consumer experience to the next level. We’re making sure we’re not just signing a partner for a paycheck, we’re signing them to help us create a better experience.”