When fans walk inside the walls of the Staples Center this fall to watch a Los Angeles Kings hockey game, prized properties that are both owned by AEG, they’ll be watching an on-ice product led by a new regime.
And if some are so inclined, they’ll arrive to the arena courtesy of a new partnership with Uber that will further enhance the fan experience for events, and help provide a more seamless process in both arriving and departing the arena.
AEG announced a multi-year deal with the ridesharing company that aims on helping expand transportation options for fans and give benefits to eventgoers who are visiting the 27 different AEG venues around the world that are part of the deal.
“Across all of our assets, whether it’s a sporting event, concert or festival, we are always looking for ways to amplify the fan experience. We partnered with Uber because of their size, scope, advanced technology and similar commitment to a first-class fan experience,” Nick Baker, senior vice president of global partnerships for AEG, told AListDaily. “AEG is a global company spread across five continents. When looking for a transportation partner, it made sense for us to partner with a company that has a similar global presence. Our partnership officially kicked off in December, but we continue to roll out Uber Zones across our venues and assets worldwide . . . Each of the markets included in the partnership is key to AEG and Uber.”
The union makes perfect sense for both parties and fans considering having convenient transportation options are a primary part of an event experience. The deal also includes digital and traditional in-venue signage for Uber as well as premium marketing and social promotion and integration into select AEG Presents festival apps.
Baker said they will be marketing to consumers through customized perks and exclusive offerings across multiple social platforms. But there will be different strategies for both domestic and overseas.
“We want to make sure our offerings are fitted to reach each,” Baker said. “First, we want to inform consumers of the pick-up and drop-off locations and how convenient those will be. For example, fans will be directed to the Uber pick-up zone that is closest and most convenient to their section—not just a location they have to find when they exit the building. For folks that are taking advantage of this partnership, you can expect to see surprise and delights both as you’re arriving and departing the venues as well as special offers and promotions that will be connected to and based off of particular assets involved in the partnership.”
Although the deal incorporates marquee venues and assets around the globe—like The O2 in London—considering the Kings are one of AEG’s most acclaimed possessions, there will be a Los Angeles-specific leg to the marketing activations in the city, including special offers and merchandise for fans during away games, a driver incentive program for Kings fans who sign up to be Uber drivers and a “King of the Month” promotion, which will honor specific Uber drivers on-ice and reward them with tickets and VIP experiences.
Luc Robitaille, the franchise’s legendary left-winger, is the star of the video that was produced to promote the campaign. Robitaille, who on Monday was named president of the team and will now oversee all hockey and business operations, surprised fans by riding in an UberPOOL and playing a little trivia to boot.
The Kings had a complete front office makeover on Monday by firing the two-time Stanley Cup winning duo of coach Daryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi.
Another organization dealing with a diet of negative headlines in recent months is Uber, who now becomes the official rideshare and transportation partner of AEG while ramping up its experiential marketing efforts.
“I think through collaboration with powerful brands such as Uber, continued communication directly with our fans, and through feedback, we will keep looking down any avenue that enhances the game day or live event experience,” Baker said.
Follow Manouk Akopyan on Twitter @Manouk_Akopyan