While Bing has been able to spread its influence to the Yahoo! U.S. search engine and is doing decently in its own right, shifts like the Yahoo! Japan/Google partnership make it more and more clear that Bing must find appropriate niche markets if it’s going to survive. The group that Bing is targeting currently? Sports fans.
In an attempt to tailor its services further to a sports-oriented audience, Bing began a unique competition at the start of November this year: a tailgating competition. While they haven’t been promoting the event much in their official channels, Bing did release a special feature on their University of Phoenix competition that took place on December 5th.
The competition is designed not merely to highlight the fun of sports, but of fandom. The competing teams have to put together the best possible party, where their attire, food, energy, and activities are evaluated. Competitors must also participate in trivia games and sports competitions such as throwing footballs through hanging tires. All events will be held in the parking lots near major stadiums and will be judged by local celebrities, retired athletes, and other prominent figures. Joe Cahn, the Commissioner of Tailgating recognized across the country, acts as the Master of Ceremonies and officiator at each event.
The remaining qualifying rounds of the tailgating competition will be located at the New Orleans Superdome (12/12) and the Seattle Qwest Field (12/19). The winners from all six regional competitions will then compete in the finals at the Fort Worth Sundance Square on February 3rd.
Bing is using the series of events as a marketing opportunity to ingratiate itself with sports enthusiasts. In addition to showing off Bing technology at the events themselves, they are accompanying promotional materials with a quick guide to sports-oriented Bing solutions like Instant Answers, Visualize to Win, and Sports Compare.