South By Southwest has successfully taken over the streets of Austin, Texas.
With model activations spilling out of bars, eating places, parking tons and venues, and lots of of celebrated founders, entrepreneurs and tech savants talking on panels in and across the metropolis’s downtown accommodations and conference middle, the excited buzz of the competition is palpable all through town.
Main advertisers have descended upon town in tandem with SXSW, each as competition sponsors and as contributors. C4 Power, Itaú Financial institution, Porsche, Showtime, Slack, Volkswagen, White Claw are the occasion’s main sponsors, with differing ranges and codecs of name presence all through the competition.
Dozens of different manufacturers are concerned in numerous capacities, from merely paying to have an SXSW-branded collection of occasions, contributing to panel discussions or sponsoring particular parts of the competition, like music, movie or comedy.
Entrepreneurs advised Adweek that the competition’s cross-section of attendees—starting from music and comedy to movie and rising tech—presents a singular proposition for model sponsors.
“South By is only a large, broad, cultural, revolutionary tent,” Puja Vohra, evp of name advertising and marketing and technique for Showtime, advised Adweek. “You simply need to be there.”
Showtime exhibits up once more
Along with its standing as an excellent sponsor for SXSW, Showtime additionally sponsors the SXSW Go app. Every time attendees open the app, they see an advert for Showtime’s model activation centered on the thriller/horror collection Yellowjackets, which is open to the general public on March 11 and 12. The model’s emblem can be on half of SXSW’s iconic tote baggage—HBO Max has its emblem on the opposite half of the branded stock.
Showtime declined to share how a lot it paid for its sponsorship deal, citing aggressive causes.
Whereas attendance numbers received’t be finalized and out there till after SXSW wraps, Peter Lewis, chief partnerships officer for the occasion, advised Adweek that it expects this yr to be “on par” with the form of participation they noticed previous to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Partnership costs for 2023 have been increased than final yr, when Covid-related uncertainty saved costs a bit decrease, famous Micky Ogando, CEO and chief artistic officer at Austin-based indie company Bakery. Final yr, Bakery consumer and Texas-based beer model Shiner was the official craft beer sponsor of the competition. This yr, the brewer’s diverting these funds to different partnerships, Ogando mentioned—partly as a result of elevated value of sponsoring SXSW.
Bringing Slack to life
Slack, one other SXSW tremendous sponsor, is bringing its personal immersive expertise to the Texas capital this yr. Whereas the communication platform additionally activated at SXSW final yr, its 2023 presence has a a lot greater footprint and a broader mission—to point out people that Slack can do much more than simply ship messages to your colleagues.
“We’ve got an enterprise viewers, which is extra of these software program resolution makers, C-suite people, after which we’ve got our self-serve viewers, that are staff influencers and basic inhabitants,” Colin McRae, head of name and inventive at Slack, advised Adweek.
The activation itself, which sits alongside Congress Avenue in downtown Austin between March 11-14, brings to life a few of Slack’s newer and lesser recognized options. That features issues like automating rote duties or connecting by way of huddles and clips, McRae defined.
Celebrating 50 years
For Patagonia, bringing the model to Austin served a distinct objective. The corporate right this moment launched its fiftieth anniversary marketing campaign, coinciding with the primary day of SXSW.
The marketing campaign focuses on “activism, aware consumption and connection” as a manner of “connecting folks to motion and serving to meaningfully change folks’s habits,” defined Aileen Ottenweller, head of name and enterprise influence at Patagonia.
“To kick off at South By, we deliberate a collection of occasions that assist catalyze that for the Austin neighborhood,” she mentioned. That features internet hosting runs, completely satisfied hours and path cleanups in addition to offering areas for grassroots environmental teams like PODER, City Roots and Austin Youth River Watch to attach with folks. Patagonia’s restore truck may even be out there to assist folks preserve their gear in play for longer.
The corporate paid a payment of round $5,000 to co-brand its SXSW-related programming and to make sure that its occasions can be found to attendees by way of SXSW’s on-line and in-app schedule, Ottenweller mentioned. Whereas it’s not an official sponsor, Patagonia’s CEO Ryan Gellert might be onstage with Katie Couric for a keynote on March 12.
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