Gold Medalist Red Gerard, in flight. KUBR
As a service, OAAA is providing a quick way to congratulate local Olympic winners on digital billboards. This article explains how it happened.
On February 11: “Send me the template,” said a billboard GM in northern Ohio, “and I’ll get that up right away.”
It was 7:37 in the morning.
On a Sunday.
Before noon that day, billboards would congratulate Team USA’s first gold medalist of the 2018 Winter Olympics, in an area near Lake Erie that claimed snowboarder Red Gerard as a local hero.
A US Senator from Ohio soon would share a photo of the congrats board with his 338,000 Twitter followers:
Here’s how OAAA got ready to help celebrate local medal winners.
What was the goal?
To prepare an attractive, easy-to-use template to congratulate medal winners as a public service, while also respecting Olympic trademarks and sponsors’ rights.
Who produced the creative?
It was designed by OUTFRONT Studios: Richard Molinaro (Houston Art Director), Eddy Herty (National Creative Director).
Where are the photos from?
Team USA posts online head-shots of the athletes.
When the first medal was announced, how did it work?
The official list says Red Gerard’s hometown is Silverthorne, CO. But after Gerard’s gold-medal slopestyle run, Ken Klein at OAAA noticed social media reports of enthusiastic fans in Rocky River, OH (population 20,264).
At 7:19 a.m. Sunday (February 11), Klein emailed Lamar manager Tim Gerity in Ohio, noting that gold medalist Gerard originally was from Rocky River, OH (his family moved to Colorado).
Gerity responded at 7:37 a.m., asking for congrats creative.
From home, OAAA’s Nicole Randall populated Gerard’s picture into the congrats template and emailed ready-to-post creative to Gerity. At 11:52 a.m., Gerity reported that the congrats message was running on the local digital billboard network that includes Rocky River, near Lake Erie west of Cleveland.
On Sunday afternoon, an Irish pub owner in Rocky River (Gormley’s) sent OAAA a photo of the nearby congrats billboard, which would be shared with hundreds of thousands via social media.
In Colorado, which also claims Gerard, Mile High Outdoor contragulated the young snowborder (and other champions such as gold medal skier Mikaela Shiffrin).
As Team USA won more medals, billboard messages popped up elsewhere. When snowboarder Jamie Anderson won gold, billboards were posted in the Reno and Carson City markets.
Digital billboards in southern California featured medalists Shaun White, Adam Rippon, and Chloe Kim.
Nancy Fletcher, OAAA’s president and CEO, said the effort to recognize Olympic athletes highlights these points:
- Collaboration. Multiple media companies are involved, for a common purpose.
- Flexibility. Copy can be posted quickly, even on Sunday.
- Connection to communities. In Rocky River and towns like it, out of home media is part of the hometown culture.
via 2018 Billboard Insider