2019 #LAOForum Recap

Looking back at the 2019 Brand Partnership Forum

The partnership marketing community gathered in Nashville for the 9th Annual Brand Partnership Forum from October 16-19, 2019 and everyone was buzzing! From the opening night party on Wednesday until brunch on Saturday, the event was a tremendous success. Here’s a recap of the event!

New Faces… New Companies!

With 150 attendees from over 100 different companies, we were thrilled to introduce the new attendess to the Brand Partnership Forum. Some of these first-time companies included Carnival Cruise Line, Exxon-Mobil, Holland America Line, Lionsgate Entertainment, Hershey’s, Madison Square Garden Company, MGM Resorts International, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Planet Fitness, Regal Cinemas, Sam’s Club and Spotify. These companies joined alumni from entertainment companies and brands like Kellogg’s, DreamWorks, Sesame, Sony TV, Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures, Clear Channel, Henkel, Valpak, Universal Music Group, Just Born, PlayStation, Lego, Six Flags, and Discovery. Non-profits organizations were also well represented by companies like Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, St. Jude, Best Friends Animal Society, American Cancer Society, Humane Society of the US, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, ASPCA and more. Additional companies are mentioned throughout this post!

The Forum’s Opening Night Party, sponsored by Disney Music Group, kicked off the event!

Analog at the Hutton Hotel was the perfect venue for the Forum’s Opening Night Party. Everyone in attendance said that the night felt like a college reunion. The evening was hosted by Disney Music Group and featured a live performance from their group, Temecula Road (https://www.instagram.com/temecularoad/)

Sessions on Thursday jumped right into partnership marketing trends, tactics and insights!

The purpose of the event is to share trends, insights and partnership marketing tactics from each of the presenting companies and industries. Attendees were treated to Industry Insights on Thursday from Kellogg’s, Blue Diamond, Planet Fitness and Burlington Stores.

While casual conversations introduce attendees to great partnership opportunities, our RoadShow Snapshots provided a deeper dive into key initiatives. These 5-minute “snapshots” were delivered by Big Machine Label Group, The Country Music Association, Disney Music Group, iHeart Radio, Kidz Bop and Universal Music Group. The highly-concentrated format allowed everyone to leave with a quick review and the appropriate contact at each music company.

One of our favorite traditions takes place as we close out the main sessions on Thursday. For years now, kids from the local Boys & Girls Clubs of America chapter greet attendees as they exit the ballroom with smiles, cheers, and cookies! What a perfect way to send off attendees as they prepare for the Thursday night activities. 

Thanks to A+E, Thursday’s lunch was one for the “history” books

Whether you are a history buff or not, A+E’s lunch was fun… and educational too! The lunch celebrated History Channel’s 25th Anniversary and added some new attendees into the mix. Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman and General Grant treated our attendees with stories from the past.

Time to hit Broadway! A special night presented by Xbox and The L.A. Office 

Our annual trip into the heart of Nashville is always a Forum highlight! Nashville Underground was the perfect venue to kick the night off. The reception was sponsored by Xbox in celebration of the new platform release, GEARS 5! The video floor showed attendees playing GEARS 5 while the bar poured spirits from Campari and wine from Fetzer Vineyards.

Nashville Underground’s rooftop was the spot for our dinner under the stars! The evening celebrated The L.A. Office’s 25th Anniversary and brought together three LA Office favorites… food, drinks and fun! Dinner was a BBQ buffet and it was perfectly punctuated with 1000 Stories wine. After dinner, something crazy happened for about an hour. If you were there… you know what I mean. If you weren’t, you will have to ask someone that was!

Friday: More Insights, Opportunities, Games and a visit from Peppa Pig

Allowing for a little time to sleep in, sessions kicked off at 9:30am with a session from Best Buy, who spoke about their turnaround story and partnership activities.  

From there, we moved to a snapshot presentation from PlayMonster, followed by a quick game of “Relative Insanity” that invited a handful of attendees to choose captions for potential memes of pictures from previous events. 

Design agency WC+A then presented their capabilities (ps. they did all the design work for the Forum), which lead right into Snapshots from our Corporate Members in the TV industry: A+E Networks, Crown Media, Disney Channel, DreamWorks Animation, eOne, NBC Universal, pocket.watch, Sesame Workshop, and Sony Pictures Television. 

After a presentation of case studies from ZOe Productions, who is instrumental in putting on our events, we headed to lunch and then returned to our final sessions. Green Giant provided terrific information on B&G’s acquisition of the brand, its place in a larger portfolio, and their marketing and partnership priorities.  

It was now time to have some more fun… picking winners for The BIG Ticket! Big thanks for our prizing partners: Fetzer Vineyards, Fandango, PlayMonster, Planet Fitness, Burlington Stores, and Xbox

After prizing, we heard the backstory of the Grand ‘Ol Opry, which ended the sessions for the day.

Big Machine Label Group sponsored our Friday reception and provided a top-notch talent showcase

Big Machine Label Group led us into an artist session at Analog with musicians Payton Smith (https://www.instagram.com/thepaytonsmith) and Avenue Beat (https://www.instagram.com/avenuebeat/)!   After a really special performance, everyone was able to mix and mingle with the team from Big Machine and their artists. The afternoon ended with everyone wanting more!!

Keep The Conversations Going on MarketingPartnerships.com!

The Forum brought together a community of marketing professionals with the goal of great conversation and creating relationships that will help in future partnership activities. All of the attendees gained access to the Forum Event Page on MarketingPartnerships.com where they can see and connect with everyone that attended the Forum. Over 200 partnerships have been born from relationships created at these events and many more were nurtured through the site. Check out the event page on MarketingPartnerships.com today!

What People are Saying About the Forum

“This is not only the best-produced conference I have ever attended, the removal of aggressive sales people creates an environment where real connections can happen.” – Joe Corn, Sam’s Club

“Continues to be a step above the rest in terms of industry conferences. Great exclusivity, amazing attendees, and life long relationships!” – Scott McAdams, PlayStation

“It’s an event that delivers on all of its promises, connections, insights, and new ideas are all to be found at the Forum.” – Lance Still, A+E Networks

“I walk away from every LAO event with new contacts, new ideas, and new insight on the industry.” – Jackie Collins, Disney Music Group

“Content is very diverse – which makes you think beyond your normal partners and see how you could do things differently!” – Deb Turoczy, Just Born Quality Confections

“A causal forum that truly invites you to network in a way that isn’t forced where you hear from a variety of industries and learn best practices that sparks future ideas.” – Dani Merkrebs, eOne

“Best partnership forum available. Not one wasted moment as you’re meeting decision makers representing dozens of brands who want to partner with you today.” – Neil Roberts, Tennis Channel

“This conference is an annual part of our partnership planning and strategy. It consistently delivers premium content, quality attendees, and impactful connections.” – Tony Barnett, Boys & Girls Clubs

“If your brand benefits from partnership marketing, you need to be here. (One of the few conferences where the speakers ARE the attendees. They don’t simply bounce after their presentations).” – Rebecca Frommer, ASPCA

“The most strategic forum to be if you want to cultivate long-lasting business relationships that will result in lucrative partnerships.” – Stefanie Luciano, Fathom Events

The Calm Before the Storm

Each year, the teams from The L.A. Office and ZOe Productions enjoy a night on the town before the Forum begins. This year’s Tuesday night kicked off at House of Cards Nashville before hitting a few bars on Broadway!

Special Thanks to our Forum Sponsors

Corporate Sponsors:  Campari, Cost Plus, Kellogg’s, PlayMonster and Xbox
Non-Profit Partners:  Boys and Girls Club of America, Special Olympics, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital
Gold Sponsor and Marketing Partner:  WC+A
Special Activity Sponsors:  A+E, Big Machine Label Group,  and Disney Music Group
Supporting Sponsors:  Allied Global Marketing, Brookfield, Fandango, Fetzer, Lime Media, Nextperience, Niagara, The Dot, The Marketing Store, TPN, ZakHill and ZOe Productions

7 New Theatrical Partnerships to kick off this Fall!

 

Every blockbuster-packed summer tends to be followed up with year-end box office hits, and 2017 proved to be no exception. As the weather started to cool down, some great fall partnerships heated up!

Check out these seven eclectic examples from movies that spanned genres from animated journeys, a comedy sequel, two superhero adventures and a mystery drama, with partners that ranged from experiential, CPG, technology, QSR, health & beauty, automotive and travel brands–truly something for EVERYONE!

THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE | Color Me Mine

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Warner Bros.’ THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE debuted in the United States on September 22, 2017 and centered around a teenage ninja struggling to accept the truth about his villainous father while battling a danger threatening his homeland. You read about the McDonald’s partnership here recently, and while the movie also joined forces with Visa, the partnership with paint-it-yourself pottery franchise Color Me Mine included movie-themed “Kids Night Out” events in stores nationwide that involved the whole family. Check out what those entailed here.


MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE | Musselman’s Apple Sauce

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Animated musical comedy fantasy MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE was released October 6, 2017 by Lionsgate. The story followed “The Mane 6” –Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity–on an unforgettable journey to save their home from a new dark force. Of the seven partnerships the movie garnered, the one with apple sauce manufacturer Musselman’s gave fans a chance to win a Carnival Family Cruise grand prize! Read what the other prizes included here.


A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS | Amazon Alexa

A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS

STX Entertainment’s comedy sequel about three under-appreciated moms who deal with their own mothers visiting during the Christmas holiday, A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS, ushered in six partnerships. These included one with Amazon’s intelligent personal home assistant and created a magical holiday experience with the first-ever Alexa powered premiere. Learn how the device took center stage at the party here.


THOR RAGNAROK | Red Robin

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Marvel Entertainment’s THOR: RAGNAROK is the third installment of the superhero franchise that debuted November 3, 2017. It centers around Thor’s quest for survival in a race against time to prevent the destruction of his world and civilization. To celebrate this adventure, the film featured four partners, and to satisfy fan appetites, Red Robin’s “Burgers and A Movie” promotion with Fandango allowed customers who purchased a  limited edition gift card to the chain to receive something extra. Details here.

 


MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS | Proraso

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20th Century Fox’s MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is a mystery drama based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. This is the fourth adaptation of the novel that follows a world-renowned detective who tries to solve a murder on the famous European train in the 1930s. Debuting November 10, 2017, it included an all-star cast and nine diverse partners. One such was with high-end shaving products brand Proraso that invited fans to become “the world’s greatest detective” with a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip for to New York City. Check out what the mysterious trip included here.


JUSTICE LEAGUE| Mercedes-Benz

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Warner Bros.’ JUSTICE LEAGUE is the fifth installment of the DC Extended Universe, based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name that hit screens November 17, 2017. A group of heroes and outcasts assembled to save the planet from the incoming threat of new villains. The film’s six partnerships included one with Mercedes-Benz, which touted their new 2018 E‑Class Cabriolet as a new member of the superhero group and latest symbol of justice on their website. The partnership also featured three of the automotive brand’s vehicles, with new interior developed for the film, in the movie. See what other exclusives were part of the promotion here.


COCO| Southwest Airlines

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Rounding out the pre-Thanksgiving festivities is Walt Disney/Pixar’s 3D computer-animated musical fantasy adventure film, COCO. Debuting November 22, 2017, the story follows a 12-year-old boy in a small, fictional Mexican village who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery that leads to an extraordinary family reunion. The movie featured nine different partnerships, one of which was with Southwest Airlines. Read about how the carrier celebrated the film and culture of Mexico here.

This rounds out a sampling of just a few of thousands of partnerships we are tracking. Stay tuned for future blog posts that will cover the partnership marketing industry across more brand and entertainment categories. Additionally, for access to more partnerships and marketing opportunities, log in or create a profile on MarketingPartnerships.com. Basic profiles are free.


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On behalf of the team at The L.A. Office, we’re glad you’re here and will see you next time!

 

Fall Superhero Partnerships That Pack A Punch

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QUICK READ: To celebrate the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, THOR: RAGNAROK, Marvel Entertainment teamed up with Red Robin and Fandango’s “Burgers and A Movie” promotion. Customers who purchased a $25 limited edition gift card, also received a complimentary Fandango movie ticket to see the film.

 

JUSTICELEAGUE_Mercedes

QUICK READ: Warner Bros. Pictures and Mercedes-Benz teamed up to celebrate the theatrical release of JUSTICE LEAGUE. The partnership featured three of the automotive brand’s vehicles, the E-Class Cabriolet, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo, with a new interior developed for the film, and the G-Class 4×42 in the movie.

DIG DEEPER:  Learn more about THOR: RAGNAROK & Red Robin, JUSTICE LEAGUE & Mercedes-Benz, or over 8,600+ other marketing promotions at MarketingParnterships.com.

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