Digital Marketing Fuels Entertainment Branding

Eat·Roll·Play: KingPins

Since opening in 1963, Sunset Lanes Bowling Center in Beaverton, Oregon was known for being a vibrant hub of the community. Tom Burke and Jon Tang have been a part of the bowling industry since they started working at Sunset Lanes when they were 16 years old. Little did they know that they would one day be proprietors of the same beloved establishment. For 19 years, they operated Sunset Lanes and eventually opened an additional facility in SE Portland, KingPins Family Entertainment Center.

When Tom and Jon learned that Sunset Lanes would be torn down for new construction in 2015, they knew they needed to do something. Rather than shut down the bowling center altogether, they reinvented Sunset Lanes into KingPins Beaverton – a new facility with modern amenities.

Jon and Tom knew KingPins Beaverton would be a big change for the community and wondered how to best share the news. The two turned to Watson Creative for guidance on how to effectively launch the facility, maximizing excitement for its modern amenities while continuing to communicate its importance to the community.

Brand Strategy

Jon and Tom first contacted Watson Creative in 2015 when they were preparing to open KingPins Portland. Watson conducted an assortment of strategy workshops, field research, and interviews to understand KingPins’ long-term goals for their brand. From there, Watson was able to develop a voice and creative direction that supported their vision and would help drive them toward their goals.

Watson had the opportunity to hand-illustrate a KingPins logo that would appeal to their wide variety of bowlers, from casual families to competitive leagues. The graphic style incorporated a nostalgic and clean look for an updated take on a longstanding pastime. Its historic aesthetic was a nod to vintage Americana and simpler times.

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KingPins wanted their community to know that they were more than just a bowling center, and that they offered other forms of entertainment all under one roof. In addition to bowling, the KingPins’ arcade and TapHouse Bar & Grill were attractions that needed to be highlighted. The Eat·Roll·Play campaign was established to accomplish this goal and allowed the Watson team to expand upon each category over a variety of channels. The campaign also announced the grand opening of KingPins Beaverton and the extensive features of the new facility.

Experiential Design

Once the logo and branding were established, Watson was able to implement the brand across print, digital, and environmental design. Every customer touchpoint mattered, from print and digital properties to interior design. Watson ensured that guests’ experience at KingPins would be engaging and each interaction in their environment would be cohesive with the brand. Watson’s branding strategy was integral to a cohesive customer journey at KingPins.

Experiential Design

Once the logo and branding were established, Watson was able to implement the brand across print, digital, and environmental design. Every customer touchpoint mattered, from print and digital properties to interior design. Watson ensured that guests’ experience at KingPins would be engaging and each interaction in their environment would be cohesive with the brand. Watson’s branding strategy was integral to a cohesive customer journey at KingPins.

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In preparation of the grand opening of KingPins Beaverton, Watson designed and built a new website to elevate the brand and expand on Eat·Roll·Play. Our digital marketing development team worked behind the scenes to help retain the longstanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that had been established from the Sunset Lanes website. They applied several strategies to ensure KingPins ranked high in search engines, including:

  • Redirecting Sunset Lanes URLs to KingPins’ website
  • Implementing strategic meta descriptions, titles, subheadings, and image file names/tags
  • Creating new codebase
  • Local citations campaign
  • Auditing existing content

Watson updated all of KingPins’ social media platforms with Eat·Roll·Play campaign graphics, and used social media posts to tease out the amenities of KingPins Beaverton. Posts to the Sunset Lanes community ensured the new facility would be under the same management and would remain a cornerstone of the community. Watson crafted emails and social media content counting down the grand opening, keeping KingPins Beaverton top-of-mind to subscribers. Emails and social media posts linked to the campaign webpage where viewers could see historical photos of Sunset Lanes, read about the new amenities of KingPins Beaverton, and see progress on the new facility. Keeping this page regularly updated gave the KingPins audience new content and helped increase awareness and excitement over the grand opening of KingPins Beaverton.

Outcome

Adrenaline was high on the big day. The KingPins team had prepared for their grand opening for months. Watson secured press coverage of the event with two TV news stations, including KPTV Fox 12’s Good Day Oregon and KGW. Additionally, the Beaverton Valley Times wrote a feature on the KingPins grand opening. Their readership averages 8,000 people, and is targeted to KingPins’ core audience in Beaverton. KPTV was the highest rated and most watched news station in Portland’s 2016-2017 season, with Good Day Oregon topping the charts in the 18-49 age bracket. KPTV aired three live TV segments that highlighted KingPins’ amenities: bowling, the arcade’s virtual reality games, and menu items from the TapHouse Bar & Grill. The story was shared on KPTV’s Facebook page to over 600,000 followers.

KGW entertainment reporter, McKinzie Roth covered KingPins’ VIP ribbon cutting party on their afternoon news segment. KGW aired the event on live TV, including an interview with Tom and the first roll down the TapHouse Lanes by a child from Children’s Cancer Association. The Watson team also covered the grand opening with stylized photo and video coverage, which were utilized on KingPins’ social media platforms.

After months of preparation and work from both the Watson and KingPins team, KingPins Beaverton had a wildly successful grand opening. Although it was a Wednesday, the facility was busy throughout the day and guest feedback was positive. With polished and consistent branding, Watson was able to produce content that told the story of the transition of the beloved Sunset Lanes to the grand opening of KingPins Beaverton. “Watson Creative is the single most important reason KingPins has been able to develop brand identity in our community in such a short period,” said Tom. “Their team brings expertise and passion that is so important to succeed in our industry. The KingPins grand opening event was a culmination of their hard work and they did not disappoint.”

Today, the Watson team is thrilled to have an ongoing partnership with KingPins Family Entertainment Center. Our team continues to create and manage KingPins’ social media, implement digital marketing strategy, and create branded marketing materials for the Eat·Roll·Play campaign. Watson looks forward to new and exciting content in KingPins’ future as we continue to work towards their goal of being the best in the industry.

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2018-11-08T00:40:29+00:00