Fandom University

Getting Schooled in Fandom

Fandom University

Fandom U broke through a cluttered marketing environment to get college basketball fans to pay attention to Buick

Despite its many advancements, the Buick brand is still burdened with outdated perceptions that its vehicles are designed for old drivers, out of touch stylistically and technologically and not competitive with other premium brands.

As a sponsor for the NCAA, the Final Four presented the perfect opportunity for Buick to connect with a new audience of drivers and make them ask, “That’s a Buick?”  To accomplish this, we dropped the ball — literally. Instead of conducting an obvious basketball skills related experience, we tapped into the power of the fan, in particular the camaraderie that bonds them and college sports.

Buick Fandom University (Fandom U) is a school dedicated to the art and science of fandom with a mission to empower every fan with the advanced skills needed to elevate their game-day swagger and lift their team to victory.

Fans participated in wide variety of “courses” including Tailgate Theory (TG 350), Advanced Fight Song Techniques (FS 187) and T-shirt Cannon Mastery (CM 408)

Buick also provided fans with transportation to the arena at participating Marriott hotels.  The Fandom U experience was a complete success, receiving high results and praise during its 2018 and 2019 activations. Praise from fans was extraordinary with comments such as, “I would have never looked at Buick if I hadn’t seen this display today,” and “Buicks looks like they are for younger people now. My kids would love to have one of these!”  We’d consider that a slam dunk, don’t you think?


Fandom U broke through a cluttered marketing environment to get college basketball fans to pay attention to Buick (Year over year lifts in display impressions, social video views, and press coverage), re-evaluate their outdated perceptions of the brand (pre/post lifts in key image measures), and begin thinking of Buick as a “Brand for Them” (significant lifts in leads and sales driven by the campaign).

Tangible lifts in driving new brand exposures from the previous year’s activation:

  • YOY increases in display impressions (+6%)
  • Press coverage (+34%)
  • Social video views (+27% on Twitter)

Significant pre and post lifts in key brand image measures during the 2018 college basketball championships, proving the campaign was successful in changing outdated perceptions of the Buick brand:

  • Attractive styling (+15%)
  • Advanced technology (+13%)
  • Brand for Me (+8%)

Boost in brand awareness and engagement, indicating the campaign was effective in reaching the intended target (college basketball fans) during a key time period and getting them to engage further with the Buick brand:

  • 32MM campaign impressions during the college basketball championship
  • Over 6 months of engagement time with Fandom U over the college basketball championship weekend

Got college basketball fans to add Buick to their vehicle consideration set, proving effectiveness in getting college basketball fans to consider Buick a “Brand for them” and created new Buick owners:

Let's Chat