There are several things in the World that I have yet to experience. I haven’t ventured to the top of the Eiffel tower, I haven’t visited the Great Wall or seen the Taj Mahal, and the list goes on and on. However, there is one experience I hold that not many people can say they’ve done. I have personally had a hand in lighting up the Empire State Building…and it was incredible.
After what felt like a year of team planning meetings with Microsoft, application submissions, approval process committee reviews, all just to get a foot in the door we finally received a letter confirming our request, we got it. Game on.
Before we knew it, GESM was climbing (via four elevators), 86 floors to the observatory deck of one of the most iconic buildings in the entire United States. Overlooking the entire city you could see both stadiums clearly and the reality of our campaign set in. In 48 hours we would be determining what color the Empire State Building’s lights would glow, blue or red.
The next three days were a whirlwind of crazed events filled with hundreds of fans all eager to show their support for only one of the MLS teams in New York, NYCFC or Red Bulls. Our goal was to reach as many fans as possible in three days over social media and on foot and boy did we do just that. Our team, decked out in blue and red gear, travelled to each of the 5 Burroughs and New Jersey to determine what color fans declared New York to be.
The support from both the fans and the clubs was epic (an amazing success with 132,000,000 million impressions for Windows). We couldn’t have predicted this kind of competition would erupt when we started planning the campaign back in January. With the Empire State Building on the line, each club dug down deep and pulled out all the stops to try and one up the other. No one wanted to lose this battle.
As the number of votes (142,024 to be exact) seemed to drastically increase by the second, the minutes were slowly counting down to declare the cities fate. We continued to receive communications from all parties trying to find out who was in the lead but we made sure to hold an unwavering position, the decision was to be a complete surprise.
As 9:00pm on June 27th, approached I made my way to the roof deck of a hotel adjacent to the famous building — I wanted prime seating. I can honestly say one of the coolest experiences I’ve had while working in marketing was sitting 100 floors up on that Saturday evening to see the Empire State Building lit in NYCFC blue. What a rewarding moment knowing after several months of planning our group were the ones who made that happen. That was truly an unbelievable team success.