Full disclosure – I’ve been a stoolie since 2009. I was a sophomore at Umass-Amherst, a Patriots/Bruins/Celtics/Sox fan (in that order), and a typical college student. The site was right up my alley and spoke to what I cared about at the time. I’ve kept up since then and watched it grow into the media powerhouse it’s become. So when I visited Yamaha UC at InfoComm 2019 and learned they partnered with Barstool Sports, I was eager to cover the story.
What I discovered as I dug into the story was a unique, new-age marketing strategy.
Most people know the brand name Yamaha for motorcycles and pianos. Many people don’t know that they also make commercial AV equipment. The UC division of Yamaha found itself in a unique marketing situation – how to build a brand within a brand.
Enter Barstool Sports, and a media strategy that excites me as someone that writes about businesses as a living. Yamaha UC partnered with Barstool Sports not only to outfit Barstool’s new headquarters with audioconferencing equipment, but to sponsor podcasts and videos in order to reach Barstool’s audience.
First, the equipment had to fit. Pete Overmyer, Head of Media Technology and Production for Barstool Sports, tested the equipment, worked with Yamaha UC support to get it on the network, and implemented devices in conference rooms, huddle rooms, and desks at the new Barstool Sports headquarters. Check out the video above to learn more about that process.
Once the technology was in place, the marketing portion of the partnership kicked in. The goal is to reach commercial AV end users where they consume content privately. A typical male, 25-year-old consumer of Barstool will learn about Yamaha UC’s products and bring that knowledge into work. Perhaps that same person is even in the IT department and has purchasing power to implement the technology themselves. Yamaha UC hopes to partner with more organizations like Barstool in order to hit the end user at home and build brand awareness through the professional consumer.
The idea fits perfectly with Yamaha UC’s easily-deployed, user-friendly products. Where a complicated, expensive, wired AV system might not appeal to these folks, a simplistic, front-facing conferencing device is something every laymen employee uses. If the IT department is smart, they’ll outfit laymen employees with these types of devices to cut down on their own headaches – an easy-to-use device means less service desk calls.
The strategy is one I’ve not heard of before in the AV industry, but I think it’s really smart in the long-term. There is less of a barrier between work and home than ever before. The consumerization of technology has led to more user-friendly products that resemble what end users have at home. So why not market commercial tech to the consumer in cases like this?
I’m excited to see how this strategy plays out. Check out the video above to learn more!