The Event Professor is in.


From Pasadena to Miami, Enigma has conducted audience surveys at nearly a dozen college bowl games. Last month I got to attend the Capital One Orange Bowl in Florida where I caught a mild case of football fever!

Passionate, brand loyal fans enjoy game-day activities and tailgating for love of the team. This presents some very attractive partnership opportunities. According to Enigma’s independent post-event survey of 1000 attendees, some scored big while others were defeated.


The pre-game Capital One Fan Fest was really impressive, with more activities than even the most hard-core fan could manage in an afternoon. Check out the interactive ball diamond!

Thousands lined up to take photos with the Orange Bowl trophy in front of a Capital One backdrop. Others watched DJs and prestigious college bands perform on stage, followed by a Cole Swindell concert.

So how did Capital One score? About one-third of attendees participated in branded activities and most agreed the brand “greatly enhanced” their game experience. A substantial percentage are more likely to do business with Capital One because of this event. Sounds like a win to me!


Chick-fil-A’s clever marketers used a low-cost, high-efficiency method of reaching each guest. Every seat in the stadium greeted attendees with an attractive card featuring a promotional offer and link to a new app. Survey results determined that thousands used their promotional cards for post-game purchases. Chick-fil-A gets a first down!

Ever wondered if hiring an airplane to pull a giant banner of your brand is a good investment? Non-sponsor GEICO might be interested to know that despite their efforts, only 4 Orange Bowl fans mistook them for an official sponsor. Not 4 percent… 4 respondents. Fumble!


Survey says: a whopping 90% of tailgaters enjoyed a cold one at the event. Dos Equis has begun a major initiative to become the official beer of college football and that’s smart marketing. Still, our survey showed that 58% of fans purchased beer on-site and fewer than 10% stopped at the gorgeous Dos Equis branded bars. Non-sponsor Budweiser was recalled twice as often as other brands, but the cerveza has gained some yardage and the long game looks promising.


Enigma’s survey estimated that $5.3M was spent on tailgating supplies, but where were the liquor and food brands? Vodka was absolutely the top choice among fans yet there weren’t any sponsors in this category. A small percentage of hungry tailgaters purchased Chick-fil-A feasts to eat, but thousands brought their own steaks, burgers, and chicken to the game.


Party’s in the parking lot! There was a very impressive number of high-income, brand-loyal, SUV owners at the game. Also more than half of attendees were non-locals. Hopefully in the future we’ll see some awesome truck and tourism activations.

And what about the game itself? It was absolutely the most intense fourth quarter of football I’ve ever experienced. But I’ll leave that commentary to the football professors.

I have researched 800+ events worldwide and love to share stories. Please contact me if you want to discuss anything from visitor surveys to economic impact to sponsorship ROI measurement.

Want to know more about life as an Enigma researcher? Visit us on Linkedin and Facebook.

Y’all come back now.

Michael, The Event Professor

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Some Events we’ve surveyed:

Electric Zoo
Event Marketing Summit
WWE Summer Slam
Toronto Jazz Festival
Walt Disney World Florida Classic
Calgary Stampede
NASC Symposium
Chicago Auto Show
2012 Final Presidential Debate
Dublin Irish Festival
Red Bull Air Race
LA X-Games
Detroit NAIAS
International Plowing Match
Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival
Canadian Music Week
Edmonton Fringe Festival
Vancouver Film Festival
Miami Auto Show
Shanghai Storm EDM Festival
San Diego County Fair
Governor’s Ball Music Festival
Anime Boston
Pride Toronto
Red Bull Flugtag
Lone Star Rally
Pacific National Exhibition
Montreal Just for Laughs
Orlando Bowl Week
Beyond Wonderland
State Fair of Texas
Honens International Piano Competition
Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival
US Open of Surfing
New York Auto Show