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:

Event Marketing Summit
State Fair of Texas
Canadian Music Week
WWE Summer Slam
Honens International Piano Competition
Governor’s Ball Music Festival
US Open of Surfing
Red Bull Flugtag
LA X-Games
Nickelodeon SlimeFest
Miami Auto Show
Vancouver Film Festival
Dublin Irish Festival
NFL Pro Bowl
MTV SnowGlobe Music Festival
Beyond Wonderland
Electric Zoo
ACL Music Festival
Orlando Bowl Week
New York Auto Show
Anime Boston
Orange Bowl
Montreal Just for Laughs
Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival
San Diego County Fair
Chicago Auto Show
Red Bull Air Race
Shanghai Storm EDM Festival
Boots and Hearts Music Festival
EDC Las Vegas
Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival
Indianapolis 500
Pride Toronto
Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction
Daytona 500
Detroit NAIAS
Pacific National Exhibition
Edmonton Fringe Festival
NASC Symposium
Calgary Stampede
Lone Star Rally
Toronto Jazz Festival
Comedy Central Clusterfest
Walt Disney World Florida Classic
2012 Final Presidential Debate
International Plowing Match