The most exciting football news to come out of San Diego this year is likely to be that you’re holding a Snapdragon in your hand, something you wouldn’t know but for a bold experiment in branding and advertising.
About that snapdragon in your hand: Most people, when they picture “snapdragons,” probably picture tiny little flowers, not a giant stadium or their smart phone. That’s because most people don’t know much stuff.
A “Snapdragon” isn’t just a flower anymore: it’s the device that probably makes it possible for you to play “Angry Birds” during business meetings and it’s the home of the San Diego Chargers for eleven days – as you’d know if you read The Sports Business Daily, like I do. This article:
talks about how Qualcomm is going to use the Chargers’ home field – which gives little advantage to anyone but Qualcomm— to educate and entertain people (“edutain?”) about what it is they do, and what it is they do is make wireless chips, among them, Snapdragons.
Snapdragon, in short, is the brand name Qualcomm uses for its cell-phone powering chips.
Snapdragon processors by Qualcomm are the digital brains inside mobile devices made by companies like Samsung, LG, Nokia, and HTC , and Qualcomm has decided it’s time you know about it.
So what they’re doing is changing the name of their stadium, from Qualcomm Stadium to Snapdragon Stadium, for 11 days. They started on December 18, so from now until the end of the year, the Chargers will be hosting the Ravens in Snapdragon Stadium, and the newly-rechristened stadium will host two bowl games: the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (which was played on the 21st,) and the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (coming to you on the 28th).
Let’s be honest: you probably never much thought about what Qualcomm, which has held the naming rights on the stadium since 1997, does. So this is an interesting marketing move on their part: The name itself is catchy, and the move has already generated some publicity for them. Scoop San Diego wrote an article on it (http://www.scoopsandiego.com/news/home-of-the-san-diego-chargers-in-snapdragon-stadium/article_f0c176fe-22b9-11e1-b7a9-001a4bcf6878.html), and “Sign On San Diego” did, too (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/09/snapdragon-invade-qualcomm-stadium/), so Snapdragons may be the next name that people recognize for chips in their phones.
It’s also going to be interesting to see if this trend catches on, as companies begin to highlight products they want to hype by temporarily renaming stadiums. Next Christmas, you might find your shopping list is being written by the names of the venues your favorite teams are going to play in, as companies brand stadiums from Thanksgiving on with the name of the hot products. (I’m picturing the Packers and Bears meeting at “Tickle Me Elmo Field.”)
But regardless the future of things like this, the move will pay off for Qualcomm if people start seeking out phones with Snapdragons in them. And if Philip Rivers can put together at least one good game this year on that night they play the Ravens.