LG Electronics was nothing but net this week as it used a sponsorship of the NCAA’s Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four to promote both the LG brand portfolio and the nascent Ultra High-Definition TV technology it has seeded with a handful of strategic A/V regional and specialty dealers across the country.
LG, which is a key NCAA sponsor this year, used the five-day playoff celebration in and around Atlanta’s Georgia Dome to showcase its $18,000 84-inch 84LM9600 Ultra HD LED edge-lit LCD TV to invited press, retailers and general spectators, and to demonstrate for the first time what a major U.S. sporting event looks like when produced in native 4K Ultra HD resolution.
LG partnered with CBS and Turner to produce the semifinal and final rounds in native “4K” Ultra HD for product demonstrations, which soon will be heading to an LG Ultra HD screen in a retail showroom near you.
During the championship game, LG showed closed-circuit demos of native 4K action from a semi-final game, while showing live up-converted 4K action using LG’s Resolution Upscaler Plus circuitry on the 1080i telecast of the championship contest between Michigan and Louisville in a Georgia Dome suite.
Kyle Kiang, LG Electronics marketing director, said the production system as presented was not quite ready for live 4K broadcasting, but called it “a great first step” in bringing sports to 4K.
As a key Final Four event sponsor, LG also used the occasion to showcase other product technologies in a “Bracket Town” festival in the nearby Georgia World Congress building, throughout the weekend-long tournament.
LG invited spectators to play laundry toss, using key new front-loading washers (Titan WM800) and dryers, and to show off an extended vent-hood over-the-range microwave (LMHM2017), a steam dishwasher (LDF8072), a 31 cubic foot door-in-door refrigerator, and to sample cookies baked in new LG ranges.
The highlight of the booth were the 4K video clips on the aforementioned 84-inch TV screen, among other things.
Jay Vandenbree, LG Electronics home entertainment group senior VP, said the company’s NCAA sponsorship has proven to be a powerfully effective promotional vehicle for the brand and products.
NCAA fans are “so passionate and loyal,” Vandenbree said, that they have been shown 3.5 times more likely to buy an LG product based on the association of the brand with the NCAA.
In addition to the 84LM9600, LG has announced plans to add 55- and 65-inch Ultra HD models in the second half of the year, but Vandenbree said pricing on those models will be announced later.