How media brands like TEN: The Enthusiast Network master experiential marketing

October 07, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By The Enthusiast Network

onFor publishers looking to diversify their revenue streams, experiential marketing is gaining momentum. In August, The New York Times got into the game with the acquisition  of  experiential marketing agency Fake Love to amp up the efforts of its T-Brand Studio. Bloomberg and Vox Media have also taken sharp turns into the space. No surprise given that 51% of marketers reported plans to increase their spending on experiential content in 2016.

The trend doesn’t have experiential agencies worried about their bottom line just yet, but the fit is lucrative one for publishers. Experiential marketing benefits from the audience, insights, and editorial credibility in vertical areas of interest that media outlets can bring to bear. Digital publisher TEN: The Enthusiast Network is one of a few media networks making serious hay in the sector.

In 2016, TEN took over operation of the  Dew Tour, an action sports competition circuit. When TEN stepped in to take over, the tour was anchored by several televised tent-pole events. Under the stewardship of TEN, the brand has evolved into an “always-on” media brand with digital and social content distributed year round through its owned and operated channels as well as through TEN’s network of established and credible media brands. With television now  a marketing channel for the events themselves, vs the end product.

According to Adam Cozens, vice president and general manager, Dew Tour, the credit for TEN’s success with the experiential brand lies with TEN’s large and deeply engaged enthusiast audience, and its experience engaging them with its own events and content.

“We know the audience for these sports.” says Cozens. “We publish for them daily across social, the web and print.  So we knew what we could change.” TEN re-imagined the structure of the competition, the digital distribution and content creation, generating more chances for the audience to engage instead of observe.

“We made strategic changes to the focus of Dew Tour’s own activations on-site. We actually produce and built our own activations on-site to really engage fans in an authentic way incorporating technology and participatory experiences elevating the overall fan experience at the event.”

Of course TEN isn’t a novice at creating experiences. For years the company has created events for the audience of its owned and operated brands, putting on over 50 events a year for fans of brands like custom car brand Roadkill,  skiing focused Powder, auto tastemaker Motor Trend, and  skater favorite TransWorld Skateboarding. According to Cozens programming for those endemic audiences helped TEN re-imagine Dew Tour.  “There are ideas that come from some of our amateur contest series that we’ve owned and operated for years in the action & adventure sports space. Those experiences helped us think, we’re action sports enthusiasts creating action sports events vs. experiential agencies or TV broadcast platforms creating action sports …read more

Source:: Digiday