Goodyear breaks world record to showcase affiliation with sports

In December, Goodyear set a Guinness World Record for the world's largest game of cornhole, also known as a beanbag toss.

Company: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Agency: Coyne Public Relations
Campaign: World's largest game of cornhole
Duration: December 28, 2015
Budget: $185,000

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company set a Guinness World Record last month for the world’s largest game of cornhole, to drive consumer awareness of its involvement in the College Football Playoff Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Before the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan State Spartans faced off at the December event, cheerleaders from both football teams played the oversized game of cornhole, also known as a beanbag toss, from the iconic Goodyear Blimp.

Last year marked the second consecutive year that Goodyear was the title sponsor of the Cotton Bowl Classic. The company also celebrated its 60th anniversary of providing aerial coverage for sporting events via the Goodyear Blimp, in 2015.

The idea to break the Guinness World Record was developed by Coyne PR and Goodyear, with an aim to showcase the brand’s deep-rooted history with sports.

The campaign team sought to tie the activation into the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic by featuring cheerleaders and mascots from both respective schools. The team also coordinated to have a Guinness World Record adjudicator on-hand to officially witness the event.

The massive cornhole game board was fabricated over the course of several weeks in a New Jersey workshop and then assembled in one day at the Goodyear airship base in Pompano Beach, Florida.

The newest member of the Goodyear Blimp fleet, Wingfoot One, took to the skies on December 28. Two cheerleaders from both Michigan State and Alabama were on board, and dropped makeshift beanbags onto the constructed game boards from 200 feet up in the air. The teams' respective mascots, meanwhile, cheered them on from the ground.

The campaign team had to coordinate a helicopter circling the blimp capturing aerial footage, as well as direct the pilots in the blimp where to fly to have the beanbags hit the cornhole board. Parties involved included the production crew, participants from both Michigan State University and the University of Alabama, and the Guinness World Record adjudicator.

With a huge visual – the 64 by 32 foot cornhole board – plus the Goodyear Blimp, video and photography from all angles and elevations were key to showcasing the magnitude of the moment. These elements were captured in a B-roll package and pre-produced 60-second video featuring coverage from the ground all the way up to the helicopter and Goodyear Blimp. An Associated Press photographer was also in attendance to capture photos.

Using a targeted media list, the Coyne team executed outreach, leveraging a multimedia news release featuring the 60-second video captured on-site.

"The campaign offered media a fun and unique way to reinforce Goodyear’s connection to the sport," said Seth Klugherz, director of marketing at Goodyear. "We positioned the world’s largest game of cornhole as a lighthearted potential predictor for the outcome of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, as cheerleaders from the competing teams took to the air in a cornhole competition, which ended in a tie."

In addition, Goodyear was able to dovetail the cornhole game with on-site activations. More than 110,000 fans at the Cotton Bowl Classic witnessed the world’s largest game of cornhole, as it was showcased on the jumbotron during the event’s first quarter.

The record-breaking stunt was featured on national TV, including Good Morning America, HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade, ABC’s World News Now and America this Morning, Fox’s America’s Newsroom, CBS’ This Morning, and MSNBC’s First Look.

The campaign also secured coverage from USA Today’s sports site For the Win, Bleacher, BroBible, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, FanSided, and Uproxx. Additionally, the campaign garnered extensive local coverage in print, broadcast, and online media outlets across the country.

The campaign has received 101,769,151 impressions and more than $2.5 million in comparative advertising value to-date.

"With an intriguing and unique event, the Coyne team was able to insert the Goodyear brand into the national conversation surrounding the College Football Playoff, beyond its sponsorship status," explained Klugherz. "This effort drove nationwide awareness of Goodyear’s longstanding commitment to college football, plus its more than 60 years of providing aerial coverage over the sport."

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