On the heels of the Bitcoin St Petersburg Bowl event aired on Friday evening, Tony Sakich, Marketing Manager at BitPay jumped onto reddit to answer any questions the public may have.
When the restaurant Beef O’Brady’s resigned as sponsor for the St Petersburg Bowl, the role was quickly scooped up by BitPay. BitPay, the Bitcoin payment processor was the core sponsor of the college football game between North Carolina State University and the University of Central Florida which took place in Florida.
There was certainly a buzz, and it wasn’t just about football. The pre-sale tickets were sold exclusively for Bitcoin. Mr. Bitcoin made his mark as a mascot wearing hot pink glasses and a matching top hat. Not to mention Outlaw Country music star Shooter Jennings giving his massive shout out for Changetip.
In the “Ask Me Anything” subreddit Sakich explained he: "has always been a futurist at heart and fell in love with the cleverness of Bitcoin about 3 years ago". The campaign for the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl would have been no small feat. When Sakich was asked if he felt the event was a success, he responded confidently, “It was the first time anything bitcoin related trended nationwide so I would say yes in that aspect. We also introduced many new people to bitcoin which is always a giant win.” - TonySBitPay
During the game, ESPN aired two BitPay commercials filmed by the Felton Interactive Group, a local production team hired for the two projects. The commercials allegedly reached over 100 million households and both took on their own identity. One embodied humor by representing credit card companies as mafia men collecting their fees, and the second targeted merchants explaining the benefits they can receive from using BitPay.
BitPay Television Commercial:
BitPay Professionals Commercial:
“BitPay seems to work hard to strike a balance between shining the spotlight on bitcoin and advertising its own service. As a regular bitcoin user I don't hear a lot about BitPay even though you're a very successful payment processor. What is the thought process behind the management of your brand image?”
“We realize that the success to bitcoin is consistent, open-source development of the bitcoin protocol and technologies surrounding it so supporting that is always a priority. BitPay also focuses on merchants as we are exclusively a payment processor. Our client operations and compliance team's only concern is to continue to make the onboarding process easier and the level of customer service superior to not only every other bitcoin payment processor, but every other payment processor period.” --TonySBitPay
Sakich further explains in the subreddit, that BitPay focuses heavily on merchants. This can be seen in the latest documentary 'The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin' in which Roger Ver explains the concept of BitPay to a grocery store owner in the San Francisco Bay area.
“Most things in running a successful business haven't changed, and providing quality customer service along with addressing concerns in a human way is what we do. No company runs error-free, but good companies admit their mistakes and try to do everything they can to make them right for the customer. So far, we feel we have done a good job at that.”
When Sakich was asked if he viewed the publicity as a success, he advised that he is, “Comfortable to say that more people have been exposed to bitcoin than ever before.” According to trendsmap.com, it wasn’t just the United States retweeting the college football game. #bitcoinbowl could be seen in Europe, Africa, Australia, Japan, Philippines and Bali. According to Topsy.com at the time of writing this article 19,413 tweets contained #bitcoinbowl. Not a bad effort for the campaign, and it appears that the Bitcoin community feel the same way congratulating Tony on a job well done.
“Brilliantly executed campaign tonight, Tony. It was amazing to see all the various personalities (from Warner Bros Records to a professional wrestler) throwing out support on Twitter. Continue to be amazed by all the great work you and BitPay are doing for the ecosystem. Keep it up!”
Sakich continued to answer questions, by also giving his personal opinion on the future of bitcoin as a currency. “The number of people using bitcoin keeps growing, the number of merchants keep growing and the amount of investment in the technology's infrastructure keeps growing. Those are metrics that mean the use is growing and that it is being taken more seriously.”
Sakich keeps his own bitcoin as savings and has no concern over the price as it is getting easier to use. “Seeing how hard it was to acquire and use bitcoin 3 years ago vs. how it is now really shows the growth.”