Ever since I read about “Virtual Loft“, Starwood Hotels “Second Life” initiative (in Business Week), I’ve been thinking…how cool would it be for Lucas Oil Stadium to become the first, full-featured, virtual stadium within Second Life BEFORE THE ACTUAL STADIUM IS EVEN BUILT?!
As the Business Week article explains, Starwood’s strategy is to engage target consumers in the design process AND position the ALoft brand at the same time. While Lucas Oil designers won’t have time to collect design consultation from a virtual audience, the Lucas Oil brand could be enhanced by creating a virtual version of the building within Second Life or similar virtual platform.
Even as I write this blog, there are fans at our team website checking out the Stadium construction “fly through” video. In fact, the stadium video and stadium updates are among the most popular attractions on our site. Lots of fans want to see this building. They want to know what it’s going to be like. They want to get inside and experience it. And now that the structure is emerging and you can see it actually taking shape, it’s even more exciting. Yet fans won’t be able to actually go inside for another year and a half. The virtual version would serve to give fans what they want, it would attract sponsors into the building and produce early returns for Lucas Oil brand.
Imagine providing a way for fans to walk through the completed stadium (online) years before the real building is complete. Now imagine allowing the fans to interact with eachother, buy digital beer and licensed merchandise and other concessions, post messages on the big screen, meet friends in the club lounge, and do all the things they would do with their real friends at a real stadium (if they were allowed access). They’d even be exposed to sponsor messages and promotions, just like the real thing.