A Marketing Home Run for the Nashville Sounds

By Edwin Acevedo, Guest Blogger | 4.27.17

The Nashville Sounds have partnered with technology company BKON Connect to create mobile digital experiences for baseball fans at First Tennessee Park. Taking the learnings from a four-game pilot in 2016, they are planning interactive mobile “hack the ballpark” experiences that give fans greater access to stadium information, promotions and on-field activities. The Technology Marketing SIG met April 25 with Alex Wassel, Marketing Director for the Nashville Sounds, Richard Graves, CEO at BKON Connect, and members of the BKON team that made it happen. Below is a blog post from BKON Connect describing the pilot with the Sounds, originally published September 14, 2016.  


A Marketing Home Run for the Nashville Soundssounds1

With our Bluetooth® beacon hardware broadcasting content, and our platform to manage the event, Sounds fans were greeted with live, rotating in-game content, including player stats that was like a second screen to the jumbotron, food, and beer menus, games, social media, promotions, and giveaways. It took less than a week to get the whole thing up and running, and fans enjoyed the experience. You could call it an inside-the-park home run.

sounds2About the Customer

Sounds Gameday Flyer

This year’s Triple-A Nashville Sounds ruled the regular season in the Pacific Coast League, finishing with a league-best record and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2007. They play their home games at First Tennessee Park, a gem of a ballpark that opened in 2015 with a capacity of 10,000. An affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, the Sounds have a reputation around the league of being technology early adopters, but their app hadn’t been updated since 2013 (the Sounds removed it September 2016).

The Challenges

  • The Sounds wanted to increase fan engagement on mobile devices through a variety of measurable channels, including Twitter, email, and text.
  • They also wanted to stay in touch with fans and generate buzz for the team and the stadium during the off-season.
  • One of the Sounds’ biggest fan frustrations is the design of the ballpark’s food venues. Menu boards are located high on the back walls of the main concessions. Because of this, they are difficult to see until customers reach the front of the line. Fans wanting ice cream or hamburgers could stand in the wrong line for an entire inning before realizing they needed to be at a different line to get what they wanted. The Sounds wanted to see if this could be solved through the Physical Web. (Spoiler alert: it could.)



“After 4 home games, we quickly realized that there were a lot of possibilities to use this technology to enhance the fan experience, engage with our fans in a new way, capture emails and fan information to build our database and enrich partnerships with our vendors and corporate promotions.”

Brian Mayhood, Vice President of Sales, Nashville Sounds



The Solutionsounds3

  • We delivered the first Physical Web deployment in a professional baseball stadium. Our proof-of-concept was set up for the Sounds’ final regular-season homestand, just five days after the Sounds green-lighted the project. This gave them a framework to build customized ballpark experiences for fans.
  • Our inbound proximity marketing tools made it easy to associate content to places and events in the stadium, and for people to discover nearby content.  We repurposed our existing PHY browser as an iOS app custom-branded for the Sounds. We called it Sounds Gameday. (Now known as “Inside FTP”) From start to finish, the new app was available for download in the App Store within a mere three days. Android devices also could see the same Physical Web content inside the ballpark with Nearby Notifications.
  • After dividing the stadium into seven proximity zones, we installed 30 Physical Web beacons inside the 10.8-acre stadium (which includes one on the mascot, Booster, and one in the Pro Shop). The PHY platform simplifies the broadcasting of content once beacons are in place. There is no need to configure beacons or pair them with a device. They just work.
  • Because baseball is dynamic and does not run on a timed schedule, we created CoverCardsTM content templates that could be quickly swapped out with each batter, each pitching change, each mid-inning promotion and each time-scheduled campaign. In all, we created more than 120 unique CoverCardsTM with relevant content for different aspects of a day at the ballpark and used Google Analytics to track engagement. This kept content fresh and inviting for fans.


Game Day Cover Cards

  • At the same time, we developed a special microsite, (foodbeacon.com), to solve the problem of the menu boards inside the concessions stands. It included 110 food and beverage items found throughout the park and it provided location guidance for the hungry/thirsty fan.
  • All of the beacons were installed and checked in a single morning (by our marketing and sales crew), then fine-tuned on-the-fly throughout the four-game series with the Iowa Cubs.
Game Day Tap Actions

Game Day Tap Actions


Dynamic content: With CoverCardsTM for each batter and pitcher, the Sounds were able to change content for every at-bat, featuring the current batter and pitcher. They also ran promotions for seat upgrades, playoff tickets and a variety of giveaways, which fans accessed through the browser app via tap-to-email, tap-to-tweet, and tap-to-text. These promotions ran in between innings and by scheduled time, and they could all be changed with just a few clicks while the game was in progress. The Sounds made hundreds of real-time content changes throughout the four-game pilot.


Persistent content: The Sounds decided to persist some content, particularly virtual concessions menus when it proved to be extremely popular. “We had some of our staff scroll through it and would be like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know we had that beer,” said Alex Wassel, the Sounds’ Director of Marketing. “I also talked to a few fans who said it was great, that they didn’t know we had this menu item. I think that’s something that is helpful and useful and it’s not content that we have readily available on our website.”


  • Onboarding:  For people who preferred an app experience, a custom-branded browser app helped get people to use the Physical Web to see dynamic content. For people without the app, they could still engage with content through browsers like Chrome or Opera for iOS, or through Nearby Notifications for Android. Engagement with Physical Web content was about 77% through the Sounds app and 23% through general Physical Web clients such as Google’s Chrome browser or Nearby.
  • Incentivized actions: Before our Physical Web browser, Sounds staff members randomly selected fans at the game to participate in promotions. The app gave the Sounds the new ability to run promotions requiring entry by emails, text, and Twitter. One promotion, a text-to-win a free T-shirt, had to end after an inning because it was so successful. Incentives easily translate to retail audiences, making content like personalized coupons or app-exclusive buy-one-get-one offers available after entering an email address. For trade shows and conventions, the content could be a whitepaper or a presentation deck.


We were thrilled to quickly demonstrate to the Sounds how our inbound proximity marketing platform could make it easy for fans to discover nearby content they value. The simplicity and adaptability of our platform, and the fact that it works simultaneously with browsers and apps, was proven in real time, real fast.


In the end, the Sounds said it best:

“The Sounds are always looking for ways to enhance the fan experience at the game and BKON helped create a ballpark app that provided interactive content for our fans. It helped bring First Tennessee Park to life on game nights. It’s going to be very exciting to see how the Physical Web trends over the next year or two, how it impacts the way people consume information from their smartphones and how it can be utilized more in the sports world.”

Brian Mayhood, Vice President of Sales, Nashville Sounds

UPDATE: There has been an update to the Gameday app. It is now affiliated with the ballpark itself and is known as Inside FTP (First Tennessee Park). This change makes the app and the network of beacons in the ballpark available during the different concert and community events throughout the year.

[PODCAST] Dan Rogers brings stories to life at the Grand Ole Opry

By Chuck Bryant, Relationary Marketing | 10.6.16

Dan Rogers remembers listening to the original Grand Ole Opry radio show with his parents, trying to guess how large the crowd was or debating whether or not there would be a surprise guest.

“The Opry was a place you could go to in your mind on a Saturday night when you’re 8 years old and stuck in the middle of Nowhere, Illinois.”

Now almost 30 years later, Rogers is the senior marketing director at the Grand Ole Opry, and will be the featured guest at Nashville American Marketing Association Power Lunch on October 13, discussing the impact of the Opry’s storytelling opportunities on marketing.  

Rogers started as a graduate intern right after college, and hasn’t looked back since. He said The Opry presents so many unique opportunities for stories and experiences.

“It’s a place where you have all these personalities coming together,” Rogers said, “You could have Carrie Underwood listening to a bluegrass artist, or Vince Gill watching a new performer who idolized him growing up.”  

The tradition of the Opry starts with the stories artists and fans share about their unique experiences with the radio show, concerts, or personalities.

“It’s about the music, but it’s also this very special relationship between the artists and fans.”

For an establishment seeped in tradition, Rogers is trying to expand the reach of their stories through organic uses of social media by artists and fans. In the old days the only method of delivering an experience was through radio or TV. Now stars and fans interact on social media, sharing stories in real time.


While the show might not be as prominent as it once was, the Opry is still an important staple to so many people. Rogers thinks back to watching so many up and coming artists who perform at the Opry for the first time, and invite all their family members from all over the world to see them.    

“You’re reminded of what an important part of America is right in our backyard in Nashville.”

Connect with Rogers on LinkedIn.

On October 13, Dan Rogers presents The Grand Ole Opry’s Secrets to Using Storytelling for Impact at the NAMA Power Lunch at City Winery. Register now.  

Editor’s Note: The NAMA Power Lunch podcast is a production of Relationary Marketing in partnership with the Nashville American Marketing Association. This episode was produced by Chuck Bryant and host Clark Buckner, edited and mixed by Jess Grommet, with music by Zachary D. Noblitt.


Chuck Bryant is co-founder and CEO of Relationary Marketing, a podcast production agency that creates broadcast-quality interviews for rich content marketing, event promotion, relationship nurturing and thought leadership.

Incoming NAMA President: Get Ready to Have Some Fun!

By Jamie Dunham, NAMA President | 7.24.16

Happy New Year, NAMA!

It seems a little funny to say, “Happy New Year,” but for the Nashville Chapter of the American Marketing Association (NAMA), it’s a New Year, and our talented new board has been busy with plans for new NAMA year 2016-2017.

www.public-domain-image.com (public domain image)

So in the spirit of the season, let’s throw some confetti and thank last year’s leaders for a great foundation on which to grow. And let’s countdown this New Year with some new goals and initiatives – because that’s what marketers do.

Here are some of the changes in our new year:

New Venue for Our Power Lunches
That’s right, we are moving our lunch meetings to the fantastic City Winery venue that will well accommodate our speakers and programming with state-of-the-art staging and audio-visual.

And we will have discounts for Lyft to get us there in style.

Our Hospitality Chair Teresa Faust is working with her group to get us ready for our first Thursday Power Lunch on Sept. 8. And our programming committee led by Ann Howard is planning smart insightful speakers.

New sponsor Relationary Marketing will create podcasts with our speakers to allow us to know them better.

What’s your jam? Ours is The One Hitters, a fun One Hit Wonders Band, where NAMA member Peter Cronin and his band mates rock out.

2016 NAMA JAMA Graphic

So “Baby Come Back” to our NAMA JAMA Mixer on Aug. 9 at Stagepost. You like it “More Today than Yesterday,” and you’ll be “Fallin’ in Love” with NAMA and your new friends.

Mixing Up Our Mixers
After NAMA JAMA, we’ll be hitting the road for our mixers, exploring offices of some of the top marketing groups in town and visiting some interesting businesses in town.

A big thanks goes to Lynn Bennett’s membership team and the Grand Mixer Bill Selph for getting us out on the town.

Also, look for impromptu invitations to pop-up events for drinks in a popular watering hole.

Serious about SIGs
President-Elect Lori Whitbey and the SIG chairs are working on new SIG events for B2B, Healthcare, Non-Profits, Marketing Technology, Research and Collegiate Relations.

Get to know our SIG Chairs – B2B’s Paula Milam, Healthcare’s Andrea Gillotte, Non-Profits’ Bob Duthie, Marketing Technology’s Knight Stivender, Research’s Sheila King and Collegiate Relations James Scherer and mark your calendar for your favorite group.

We will also be extending the invitation to members interested in SIG start-up events in new categories like entertainment.

Free Member Events
Sometimes we just like to roll up of sleeves and learn some new things.  Sponsorship’s chair Austin Harrison is working with our sponsors on some casual member-free events to allow us to learn some new skills. Stay tuned.

Our Sponsors are leading the way in making our year successful. We thank each of them for their contributions.

And our treasurers Jason Hoard and Jeff Peden are keeping us fiscally responsible. Oh, and they love a good party.

Our historian Julie McReynolds is providing continuity, and our secretary Kurt Kirton is working on updates to our Job Board.

Our Communications team, led by Melinda Hudgins Noblitt and our Social Media team chaired by Elizabeth Duffey, will make sure you are informed with new blogs, a newsletter, website updates, and social media. Mark your calendars!

And our Volunteer team chaired by Tim Earnhardt will make sure you find a place to plug in.

Our goals are pretty simple: this year is about making long-lasting marketing friends, learning some audacious new skills, and having a little fun.


Please take the time to make new friends at NAMA. Instead of just coming to “network,” wouldn’t it be great if you got involved, made lasting relationships, learned some new skills, and found great business partners?!

That’s something to toast about! Happy New Year, NAMA!



Jamie Dunham is 2016-2017 President of Nashville AMA. She is founder and president of Brand Wise, a brand strategy firm with a focus on building culturally relevant brands. She authors the popular blog Lipstick Economy offering perspectives on marketing to women. Brand Wise is hosting Red Letter Day, a one-day marketing to women event on August 5. 

Ten Things You Should Know about NAMA

By Jamie Dunham, NAMA President-Elect | 12.29.15

top 10

I am a sucker for Top Ten lists, and 2015 has been a good year at the Nashville AMA chapter, so I thought it would be helpful to reflect on the Top Ten Things You Should Know About NAMA:

  1. Informed Marketing Insights
    Our members say that learning the latest marketing trends is one of the top member benefits. To ensure that learning continues, our NAMA Programming team spends hours juggling calendars, contacts, hot topics and research to bring us programming from informed leaders in their fields.Some of the topics from 2015 Power Lunches have included Experiential Marketing, Video Innovation, Non-Profit Marketing, Marketing to Women, Social Media experts and Sports Marketing leaders. Each speaker provided current information and insights not found by just reading blogs or reading books, and they were very generous in sharing their current experience in their fields.After the 2015 Super Bowl, we heard from Nissan on its approach to the Super Bowl campaign from enlisting top bloggers early-on to actual advertising and social media, and we were able to hear first-hand results.
  1. Shared Expertise
    At NAMA, we have hosted member-only events that provide shared expertise in a variety of subjects from how to hone your presentations to how to deal with clients. Karl Sakas, an agency consultant and business coach, met with us this month to provide his insights on creating great client relationships and how to deal with difficult client situations.
  1. Category Knowledge
    We have several special interest groups within NAMA that provide excellent programs targeted at specific categories – Business to Business, Healthcare Marketing, Non-Profit Marketing, Technology Marketing and our newest group Research. Our Healthcare group regularly brings in market leaders like Rebecca Climer, SVP of Marketing and Communications at Saint Thomas Health to discuss their marketing strategy. Research hosted a round table as their initial event this year.  And our B2B group brought in Gannett to talk about marketing strategy.
  1. Relationships
    NAMA is an extremely welcoming group. With the growth in the Nashville marketing community, NAMA provides a home for marketers where they can make peer relationships not available elsewhere. Getting involved, attending meetings and working on committees provide opportunities for marketing relationships that live beyond your current job.I have several close friendships with persons I have met through NAMA. These relationships have made my life richer and my professional life more relevant. I count on these friends for important advice, special insights and referrals to specialists I might not know.
  1. Inside Scoop
    I have a friend who always says, “What’s the scoop?’ Well, when you are involved at NAMA, you have inside information on business changes, corporate changes and new jobs. This information makes your cocktail conversation richer, and friends will look at you as the “person in the know.”
  1. National Perspective
    NAMA is part of the American Marketing Association, a national organization that provides an array of resources (also a top member benefit). Its website provides excellent resources, events, webinars, publications, and content helpful to marketers. Take a minute to read The AMA’s Top 10 Marketing Stories of 2015.
  1. Local Leaders
    Where else are you going to meet some of Nashville’s top marketing leaders? We host top leaders across all disciplines and brands. In our friendly and inclusive environment, we encourage NAMA participants to learn from these leaders. And, many times, these leaders are looking for talent. Win-win!
  1. Experience and Career Growth
    We encourage all volunteers and board members to add their NAMA experience to their resume and LinkedIn profile. NAMA is a great way to gain leadership experience and to build competency in a different marketing discipline. Prospective employers are always interested in your passion for your industry and participating in NAMA is a great way to exhibit that passion.
  1. Valuable Partnerships
    NAMA has been asked to participate in several other marketing events throughout 2015. We provided volunteers to Emma’s Marketing United Conference and the Fuel Lines New Business Conference.In exchange, discounts were available to our members. These conferences were highlights of the marketing year in Nashville and were enjoyed by our members.
  1. Networking
    I left networking for the end of the list. Most people say networking is an important benefit to participation in NAMA; however, I think participation is the key to networking.Just showing up at a meeting, collecting business cards, and pestering people for coffees and lunches is not effective networking.Networking comes from really engaging with fellow members, getting to know about them on a personal level and working/learning together provides the foundation for real and sustained networking. I’m confident that many of my fellow members will join me in this insight.Getting to know folks at NAMA is easy. We provide many venues – monthly coffees, monthly mixers, breakfasts, lunches and parties. So jump in!

If you are not currently a member of NAMA, 2016 might be a good time to join so you can enjoy more NAMA benefits. By the way, 95 percent of our members say they are satisfied with the NAMA membership.

Digital SIG: David vs. Goliath – How Segmentation Helps You Compete Against Larger Competitors

Join us for lunch (provided) as Keith Brannan shares his experiences as CMO of Bancvue, the provider of Kasasa which marries big-time financial services with the personal touch of community banking. He will dive into both Challenger Branding and B2C segmentation and how they help compete with larger competitors. He will also share how Kasasa ties marketing efforts to in-branch conversions, the tools they use, and how they integrate their marketing across channels. For B2B, he will discuss how to use both performance and firm-o-graphics segmentation to find high quality clients that stick. This is a great chance to hear from a practitioner on the front lines of marketing and how digital tools help level the playing field.

About our speaker

A 20-year veteran of the financial services and technology industry, Keith Brannan increases ROI for community financial institutions by aligning organizational design, differentiated brand strategy, go-to-market initiatives, and a vision for consumer and corporate marketing tactics with sales objectives.

Keith is Chief Marketing Officer of BancVue®, the innovative leader in branded, community-powered banking products proven to drive profit and growth. He directs growth initiatives for BancVue and the company’s client base of nearly 750 local banks and credit unions. He also drives adoption of Kasasa®, a national brand of free rewards checking accounts offered exclusively at select community financial institutions.

Prior to BancVue, Keith was Vice President of Strategic Marketing for Country Financial. He directed sales, marketing, and brand strategy as well as resource management and marketing program design.

Keith led dozens of growth initiatives for the $3.5 billion financial services organization over eight years. As Financial Security Office Director, Keith spearheaded the largest initiative in the company’s history. Starting in 2004, he led a successful five-year plan to increase ROI and re-position the company. Additionally, he developed Country Financial’s corporate strategy practice.

Careerbuilder.com called on Keith in 1999 to lead product development and corporate marketing. Developing a new identity including image, logo, messaging, product and pricing influenced the growth of the organization from a 500K annual revenue to a quarter billion dollar buy out in 3 years.

Keith first gained C-level vision of the financial services landscape in 1995 at Accenture, when he served as Financial Markets Consultant to Fortune 500 companies. Clients included NationsBank, Fleet Mortgage Corporation, Financial Ideas Exchange, and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.

Keith received his management education from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where he received the Exec Education Certificate from Kellogg Management Institute. He also holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Alabama.


Emma Bistro
11 Lea Avenue
Nashville, TN 37210

Friday, May 15, 2015 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (CST)


Please Support NAMA Sponsors


March Digital SIG: Mobile Marketing for Brands

Join us for lunch (included) to learn more about mobile marketing for brands.  Mobile Marketing is not an island. It’s not a separate tactic, but an integral part of any strategic path a Brand or Company chooses. Tara Scarlett, Director of eCommerce, Digital Acceleration at Mars Petcare, will share her experience from Coca-Cola and Mars Petcare on promoting and integrating mobile into the broader Digital Marketing landscape – from the point of impression to the point of sale, including strategy, execution, and metrics.

About our speaker

Tara Scarlett, Director of eCommerce Digital Acceleration at MARS Petcare combines the art of marketing with the science of data in leading teams to design and launch digital marketing programs focused on building awareness, consideration and sales. With over 18 years experience, she excels at visualizing the possibilities and defining approaches to make programs come to life with purpose and value to the brand and the consumer/customer. Scarlett has worked on the agency side and the client side of business and is a great connector and teacher, exceling at paving pathways for innovation or thinking outside the box. She has proven valuable for many brands including clients on the agency side like AT&T, Bloomingdales, Cetaphil, Marriott, and from the client side with The Coca-Cola Company and MARS Petcare.

Scarlett is a past board member on the American Marketing Association in Atlanta, Mobile Marketing Association and a Carrier Customer Forum, Customer Relationship Marketing Association and continues membership with AMA, CRMA, MMA.  Additionally, she is actively involved in education reform and growth opportunities in Middle Tennessee. Scarlett sits on the LEAD Academy board and an Education Foundation board which is dedicated to providing educational support in middle TN, to students of all ages.

 Emma Bistro
9 Lea Avenue
Nashville, TN 37210

Monday, March 23, 2015 from 11:15 AM to 1:00 PM (CST)



Please Support NAMA Sponsors


November Digital SIG: Jay Baer and WOMMA

What is Word of Mouth marketing and how can it help you drive revenue and profit? Join WOMMA, best-selling author Jay Baer, and the Nashville AMA on a special Nashville exclusive Google OnAir session November 8th as we unlock the power of word of mouth marketing for your organization.

After a 45-minute discussion with our presenters, we are going to give our most active Twitter followers the chance to ask Jay and Suzanne Fanning any question they wish. Interested guests may send their questions directly to @WOMMA or @NashvilleAMA or use the hashtags #WOMMA or #NashvilleAMA.

Date: Friday, November 8th

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m, 

Location: Emma Bistro, 9 Lea Ave. Nashville, TN 37210.

This is a FREE event for member and non-members and a link to the live streaming will be provided the day prior.

Register Now Button 23-48-33



Jay Baer is a hype-free marketing strategist, speaker, and author and President of the social media and content marketing consultancy Convince & Convert. A digital marketing pioneer, Jay has consulted with more than 700 companies since 1994, including Caterpillar, Nike, Visit California, Allstate, Petco, Columbia Sportswear, and 29 of the Fortune 500.
He was named one of America’s top 3 social media consultants by Fast Company magazine, and his Convince and Convert blog is ranked as the world’s #1 content marketing resource. He’s also co-host of the popular weekly Social Pros podcast.

Suzanne Fanning is the President of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. She was an early believer in the power of WOM. By connecting with and empowering consumers (even before all the cool kids were talking about WOM) she was able to unleash the power of worldwide brand evangelism to drive unprecedented results for several global companies.
Fast Company, Ad Age, Forbes, and PR Week have all featured the award-winning programs she helped develop. You may have also read about them in marketing books like How Smart Companies Get People Talking, Brains on Fire, the Secrets of Social Media Marketing , Killing Giants and Groundswell.