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If you’re like me, there’s probably an iconic sports moment permanently etched in your brain. Maybe Michael Jordan’s switch-hand layup against the Lakers. Kerri Strug’s one-foot vault landing at the Olympics. Rulon Gardner’s underdog win over a 13-year undefeated wrestling champion.

My strongest sports memory was when I was 7. I watched Doug Flutie throw a “Hail Mary” touchdown pass as the clock ticked to zero to lift Boston College over the University of Miami in an amazing win. To this day, I still see in my mind and remember everything about that moment — how Doug scrambled in the pocket, how the announcers sounded calling the touchdown, and even how the entire team piled on each other to celebrate.

What exactly does this memory have to do with marketing and making meaningful connections with fans and customers?

Actually, a lot.

Making Brand Memories

Right now, my memory of Doug Flutie’s “Miracle in Miami” is tied just to him and the sport. But what if a brand capitalized on that moment in a meaningful way? Rather than just being a memory, that moment in time could become an incredible brand connection, too.

This is what gets me pumped. With mobile technology, marketers and brands have a huge (and right now, untapped) opportunity to own these moments that matter. By own, I mean create a hyper-targeted connection that benefits both fans and brands.

The Business Case for Owning Moments

Let’s stick with sports, although there are plenty of similar applications for live events, broadcast and retail. For this example, we’ll use the Cleveland Cavaliers from my home state of Ohio.

  • They host a max of 20,052 fans per home game.
  • They will play 41 home games in 2015-2016.
  • Let’s estimate 40 percent of fans have downloaded the Cav’s official mobile app.

Using these numbers, during home games, the Cavs have an opportunity to engage with almost 333,000 fans through their official mobile app.

Let’s go a step further and talk about specific moments that matter. In basketball, slam dunks are a perennial fan favorite. What if a brand were to take ownership each time Timofey Mozgov dunks? Thanks to data over sound technology, for example, an athletic shoe company could sponsor each instant replay broadcast to a fan’s mobile device through the Cav’s official app.

Let’s just see how much potential exists.

  • According to, on average there are 6.56 dunks per game, so I’ll even go a little more conservative and use the number five.
  • Let’s estimate 75 percent of the Cav’s app users opt in to receive these special notifications.

Over 1 million premium in-stadium impressions could be generated for the shoe company (which doesn’t even take into account viewers watching from home). More than just a billboard or ad, using owned moments to connect and engage with fans all the way down to their seats has the potential to generate impressive ROI.

Keeping Owned Moments Meaningful

There are a couple caveats to owning moments that matter.

  • First, the connection between the owned moment and the brand story needs to be authentic for fans.
  • Second, to stay meaningful, not every single moment can be owned. It can quickly become overwhelming or irrelevant to fans if a brand takes ownership of a moment that happens too frequently, like three-point shots.
  • Third, look for ways to naturally extend owned moments. If a fan experiences a meaningful moment watching branded replays of slam dunks via their mobile device in-stadium, how does that connection continue for the fan at home during the next game?

Brands, fans and teams alike stand to benefit with meaningful connections in these moments that matter. So what’s going to be the next memorable moment? And who will own it?

Discover how to capitalize on moments that matter by following @LISNR.  

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.