Go RVing kicks off its 2011 advertising campaign this weekend with spots airing on ESPN’s coverage of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) tour on Sunday (Jan. 9) featuring a special “Go RVing USA vs. The World” team event pitting six American bowlers against six international bowlers.
This is the fourth consecutive year that Go RVing has sponsored the PBA Tour, according to a news release. Go RVing ads will air on ESPN networks as well as PBA’s official website, www.pba.com, from January through mid-April. Go RVing logos and signage will also be featured prominently on-site at PBA Tour events during the same time frame and on apparel sported by “Team Go RVing” members. These include all-time top career earner Walter Ray Williams, defending U.S. Open champion Bill O’Neill and 2010 Dick Weber Open winner Michael Fagan.
PBA Tour coverage airs on ESPN early Sunday afternoons – beginning this Sunday – with encore presentations on ESPN2 and ESPN Classic re-airing during the week.
Go RVing will also be the title sponsor of the PBA Playoffs Round 1 on March 27 in Indianapolis. This is the first time ever that the PBA has instituted a playoff competition at the end of the season, creating additional buzz for the Go RVing event.
Go RVing’s 2011 integrated media plan also includes a comprehensive cross-platform buy on the Food Network; content on pre-movie programming in movie theaters; and advertising on leading national cable networks, magazines, search engines, websites and the social network Facebook.
“With an increased budget this year, Go RVing will stimulate even more consumer demand,” said James Ashurst, RVIA’s vice president of public relations and advertising. “Leads rose by roughly a third in 2010, and the various elements of our new 2011 media plan were designed to help dealers, manufacturers and campgrounds identify more qualified prospects.”
ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen will be at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., to accept keys to the second College Fanz Game of the Week “Fanz Van” built by American Custom Vehicles of Elkhart, Ind.
The College Fanz broadcast team tours the country broadcasting NAIA football and basketball games live on its College Fanz Sports Network website.
The College Fanz Van is a specially equipped and painted Prestige Traveler. The Prestige Traveler is a new concept in traveling and overnight comfort. With the looks and luxury of a limousine and the comfort and amenities of today’s custom motorhome, the Prestige Traveler is quickly creating a crossover class of its own in the automotive touring industry, according to a news release.
The College Fanz schedule calls for 40 visits to college campuses nationwide.
“We are proud to be the Official Fanz Van of The College Fanz NAIA Football Game of the Week Tour,” stated Terry Minix, president of American Custom Vehicles. “The Prestige Traveler is compact, provides ultimate comfort, and is a proven tailgating machine — it’s the perfect Fanz Van for the tour,” he concluded.
Built on the Daimler Chrysler Sprinter chassis, the Prestige Traveler is powered by the V-6 Mercedes Benz 3.0-liter V6 common rail-direct injection (CRD) turbo diesel engine. This power train delivers powerful, smooth, clean and quiet performance with the added benefit of exceptional fuel economy — up to 24 MPG on the highway.
“From the ultra lightweight composite materials we use to make the coach lighter than when it arrived at our facility, to luxury appointments and upholstery found only in European and marine designs, we’ve departed from the conventional RV of today with every design decision for The Prestige Traveler,” stated Minix.
The second year of ESPN’s hugely popular campaign to promote its NBA coverage has put RVing at center court and attracted thousands of fans to tour the official NBA/ESPN RV (pictured below).
Top NBA stars and personalities including Shaquile O’Neal, Jason Kidd, Mark Cuban, Gilbert Arenas and Dwight Howard appear in the spots, road- tripping to games alongside ESPN broadcasters Mark Jackson, Mike Breen, Stuart Scott and Jeff Van Gundy. The funny television spots ran throughout the regular NBA season across all ESPN networks and on ABC. They have also become YouTube hits, according to a release from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
In addition to the TV spots, ESPN teamed with the NBA to start the “NBA on ESPN RV Tour,” a non-traditional marketing initiative that brings the official ESPN RV to NBA games, where fans are invited to tour the “one-of- kind, self contained, traveling fanfest” as well as to meet with ESPN personalities, play interactive games and shoot hoops using the basket on the back of the unit.
The RV Tour is not only popular with fans attending NBA games, but also with the virtual fan community. The Facebook fan page “NBA on ESPN RV Tour” boasts more than 14,300 fans who log on to watch bonus short videos of players’ shenanigans in the RV and share pictures of themselves alongside the RV at NBA games.
“For the second straight year, the popular ESPN/NBA campaign has put NBA stars and sportscasters together in an RV, bringing an awareness of RVing to millions of Americans,” said Gary LaBella, RVIA vice president and chief marketing officer. “Not only are the ads and short videos a lot of fun to watch, but they also mean great exposure for the RV industry. ”
To view the short videos, visit:http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/specialsection/yournbadestination/#. Or on Facebook, search for “NBA on ESPN RV Tour” and become a fan.