Sound Off’s “Silent Skating” Helps South Street Seaport Stand Out This Winter

As the marketing manager for Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, Tom Kovacic is always casting an eye about for unique events that will showcase the neighborhood and, ultimately, the property where visitors will shop and dine.

Creative experiential marketing is a year-‘round challenge for marketers of mixed-use retail properties; Tom found that a dose of silence brought needed attention and buzz when the Seaport unveiled Silent Skating in December: ice skaters could don a pair of Sound Off’s LED headphones and glide across the ice listening to one of three channels of music.

“There are lots of skate rinks in the city and they all feature skating schools or music,” said Tom. “We wanted to come up with something different and cool. We had success teaming up with Sound Off for our #SilentSeaport silent discos last summer, so the question was: Would people want to come skate around to their own sound? Turns out they do.”

The sight of ice skaters with their brightly lit headphones drew curiosity and resulted in growing participation week after week. Seaport visitors saw it, asked questions, and wanted to get involved. The property had an attention-getter, which is a minor feat in NYC.

“New Yorkers want to be the first to do something cool, and we offered them that,” added Tom. “It’s eye-catching; and those who put on the skates and headphones get a feeling of control over their media and experience, which I think people like.”

The Seaport offers Silent Skating through January 2015. Jan. 11, 18 and 25 both give you the chance to skate to sets from DJs Kharisma, Panic and Headtrip, respectively, all veterans from the Sound Off stable who know how to keep people moving on and off the ice. Details here.