Big Ten Network is up against some heavy sports networks for tune-in. Especially for its newest show, BTN Tailgate. While BTN doesn't have the same scope as its competitors, it does have one thing on its side: Big Ten fans, the most loyal fans in all the leagues. Luckily, the Big Ten Network is also nimble enough to pay attention to all those fans. Meet the Fannequin. Standing 7-feet-5-inches tall and dressed in proper tailgate attire, Fannequin will hold the signs of fans who couldn’t make it to the game. Fans simply text their game-day sign idea to the Fannequin Bot (24410) and choose their team. The best sign submissions will be held by the Fannequin on live TV during the show.
With the help of my amazing producer and a few production partners, I designed the Fannequin, custom jersey and outfit, all decked out in BTN logos, as well as the sign templates customized for each team in the league. Our developer then made a text-bot that anyone could interact with, allowing people to quickly text to a sign-maker across the country. The printed sign could then be held up on-air at BTN Tailgate shows by the Fannequin, letting fans smack-talk at the game while still on their couch. We then quickly made a series of banners, posters, and promoted the above videos to help drive fan engagement to text our sign-maker and tune-in to the show to see if their sign made it on-air. People loved it. BTN loved it. Screenshots of the fannequin on-air have even become part of BTN's social content. You can check out some of the examples from fans and BTN below: