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SAP Struts Its Stuff on Super Bowl Boulevard

B-to-B Marketer Constructs Giant Structure on 42nd Street to Showcase Technology

By Published on .

In an on-air report from Super Bowl Boulevard -- the giant NFL themed festival running through the heart of New York City this week -- a local radio station surveyed the landscape and asked, "Well, who is sap?" pronouncing the name of the German enterprise-software company like the gooey substance oozing from a tree (correct version: S. A. P.).

Many wandering through the festival this week might ask the same question as they encounter SAP's large structure on 42nd street. With installations from consumer brands such as M&Ms. Papa John's and XboX lining the streets, it's fair to ask why SAP, a b-to-b company at its core, thinks it belongs. Maybe it's trying to be one of the cool kids?

Not so, said the company's group VP of global sponsorships, Chris Burton: "We would not invest one dime on Broadway if we didn't think it could be, to use a sports metaphor, a game changer for SAP."

Mr. Burton said SAP's involvement is what the future of b-to-b marketing will look like. "It's no longer about a Wall Street Journal ad, it's no longer about such and such runs SAP in an airport. We have to get out and show [potential customers] what the outcomes can be when SAP technology is put to work."

Inside the structure -- which can be toured in the video below -- SAP installed interactive screens that allow fans to see SAP technology applied in a football context -- a fantasy football player comparison app, for instance.

"We know there's going to be a significant amount of waste," Mr. Burton said. But, he added, "If the small percentage of people that would actually buy our products leave thinking, 'Wow, I didn't know SAP could do that. I thought they were only a big [enterprise resource planning] vendor. Look what they can do.' It would be an amazing outcome."

Ad Age visited SAP's structure on a frigid and windy afternoon this week, so please pardon the shaky introduction:

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