Disney Advertising Builds FanFest Before ACC Championship Game

ACC FanFest Bojangles
(Image credit: Disney Ad Sales)

Before ABC broadcasts the ACC championship football game between Clemson and North Carolina Saturday night, Disney Advertising and conference sponsors Bojangles, Food Lion, Subway and New York Life will be engaging fans at a FanFest.

The ACC Football FanFest starts Friday and runs up to gametime on Saturday in Romare Bearden Park in Charlotte and features games, photo opportunities and product giveaways.

Disney Advertising sells official sponsorships for the conference. Participating in the FanFest is one of the benefits of being an official sponsor, Theresa Palmieri, VP, Disney Advertising Sports Brand Solutions told Broadcasting+Cable.

Disney mounted an ACC FanFest last year, but it was limited by lingering COVID concerns. Still about 12,000 fans attended.

“It’s going to be bigger and better,” Palmieri said. “This is the first year we feel like we’re back to normal where the majority of our brands are activating from an in-person standpoint.”

Disney and the sponsors collaborate on designing the FanFest activations. “They've really put a lot of thought into creating activations that are going to be additive and enhance the fans' game day experience,” she said.

Fans who download the Bojangles app will be eligible for a chance to win Bojangles gift cards throughout the weekend. Additionally, the brand will sponsor interactive activities like biscuit sampling, a vertical leap for fans to test their athleticism, and a traveling tailgate tent. There will also be a Bojangles-themed Jeep Renegade on-site for fan photo opportunities.  

Food Lion recently renewed its position as the official grocer of the ACC for another three-year term. The supermarket chain is the longest-running official sponsorship for the conference. Food Lion will sponsor a quarterback challenge, a plinko game and a 360-cam photo opportunity. The grocery distributor will also host a Food Lion Fresh Produce Stand where fans can sample fresh produce.

The FanFest main stage will house a set for onsite studio programming and ACC Chalk Talk, sponsored by Subway. The sandwich chain will be the presenting sponsor of all studio shows recorded both inside the stadium and on the main stage throughout the weekend. ESPN analysts will be receiving sub deliveries on set during the ACC Huddle ahead of the big game Saturday. Other integrations into programming over the weekend are also planned.

At this year’s event, there will be a big TV screen -- presented by New York Life -- that will let attendees watch the other conference championship games being played before the ACC contest starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Disney is also planning on showing the U.S. national team's game against the Netherlands in the World Cup.

ACC FanFest Food Lion

(Image credit: Disney Ad Sales)

On TV, Subway is the presenting sponsors of the ACC football championship game. “Their brand is going to be prominent during the ABC telecast,” Palmieri said.

The other brands will have a presence on the Disney’s ACC Network, which will be showing studio shows and other programming leading up to the game. The network will also show scenes from the FanFest.

“That studio coverage is going to take us to 8:00 p.m. That's when we'll punt it over to ABC and they'll tackle what's happening on the field, Palmieri said. ■

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.