IRVINE, Calif. – We have had an exciting week at the Phillips 66 National Championships, highlighted by Katie Ledecky’s world record in the 400m freestyle. While our eyes have been focused on the pool, we occasionally turn around and look at what’s going on outside the pool. Here are a few of the promotional highlights of the week. For photos, check out our SwimCam Gallery
1. TV/Web Viewing: Wall-to-wall coverage of the event online, Universal Sports, NBC Sports Network and the weekend broadcasts on NBC bring every second of the meet to fans. Traffic to USASwimming.org is seeing a 200% traffic increase.
2. #FunnestSport Baseball Crash: The ‘Freeway Series’ with the Angels hosting the Dodgers concurrent with our Nationals made a great opportunity to photo bomb the event and promote our sport. (Photo, below).
3. Dunk Tank (right): As fans entered the Dodgers-Angels game, they experienced the #funnestsport with free hot dogs, SwimToday branded bottled water and our own dunk tank. (Photo, Below).
4. Live Social Media Video Board: Fans in the venue at Nationals received running social media commentary on the video board, featuring a live stream of Twitter, Instagram and Vine updates using the #Phillips66Nats hashtag.
5. Sigma Gamma Rho Clinic: More than 25 ladies of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority participated in a #swim1922 clinic hosted by AT&T and Olympic medalist Maritza Correia. Partner TYR provided the equipment. (Photo, below).
6. Sign Language Swimmer: A new 15-second TV commercial features a deaf USA Swimming athlete using sign language to state “the funnest sport there is.” The ad appears on YouTube and made its network debut over the weekend on NBC.
7. Mommy Blogging: Ten “mommy bloggers” joined the event to learn more from SwimToday spokesperson and five-time Olympian Dara Torres on how to get kids (and their blog followers) involved in youth swimming. #momtrendsSWIM
8. Daddy Blogging: A tweet-up hosted by @playgrounddad included a Q&A with @DaraTorres to help parents enroll their kids in swimming.
9. Making a Difference: Stephen Dwyer is a young swimmer from Mesa, Arizona, battling leukemia. He received a close-up view of the races with his hero, Conor Dwyer, (no relation) and sat with Rowdy Gaines in the NBC booth – even wearing the headset. #dwyerstrong. (Photo, below).
10. One-Stop Shop: For the first-time, all three of USA Swimming’s corporate partners – Arena, Speedo & TYR – are together under one retail shopping tent. (Photo, below).
11. Goodyear Blimp: Enough said. A sports icon. (Photo, below).
12. Media: More than 100 media credentials were granted to national and international media outlets. Leading off the event were eight press conferences, featuring the top stars, resulting in international coverage.
13. Deck Pass: Swimming fans took selfies with Olympians, earned patches, upgraded their seats and took part in 25 different digital achievement promotions. (Photo, below)
14. Autographs: Twenty-five swimming athletes sign autographs for USA Swimming and sponsors, making it one of the most star-friendly sports in the world.
15. Big Crowds: Several nights of the meet sold out thanks to local flyers, eblasts to surrounding LSCs, geo-targeted Deck Pass promotions and a roster of the best swimmers in the world!
16. Sponsor Promotions:
- Speedo Best Seat in the House: Fans scan a code in Deck Pass to win a seat upgrade poolside on the red Speedo couch for finals.
- BMW: Dedicated parking for BMW owners and a 1-year lease for the best swimmers in the Arena Grand Prix Series.
- Arena: Touch the wall bounce house, good luck National Team banner and #ColorsofVictory contest and graffiti artist.
- TYR: Goggle toss and cut out pic with Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers.
- AT&T: Created a lounge for the athletes.
- CeraVe: Distributed sunscreen for the fans in the California sun.
- Mutual of Omaha: Display with Josh Davis and the Breakout Swim Clinics.
- Master Spas: Michael Phelps Challenge in their spa.
17. #Streamlining: The social media sensation picked up even more mojo once the event started.
18. TrueSport Scavenger Hunt: A Deck Pass patch scavenger hunt, teaching fans to win the right way through the lessons of USADA’s TrueSport.
19. #StrikeOutALS Challenge: Olympian Tyler Clary took the ALS Ice Bucket challenge and then topped it off with an epic bellyflop in front of the crowd before finals Saturday. A day later, NBC on-deck reporter Carolyn Manno took the challenge, with Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel showering her with the cold shower.
20. Athlete Entrance/Exit: Fans can get up-close autograph and selfie opportunities as the swimmers enter and leave the pool.