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July 26, 2021 2 min read

Shark Week: How the Discovery Channel Celebrated with Partnership Activations

Shark Week is back. And better than ever. 

Earlier this month, the highly-anticipated summer streaming event made an appearance for its 33rd year. With a record-breaking 45 hours of shark-centric programming scheduled between the week of July 11 and July 18, 2021, viewers from around the world tuned in to catch the event.

This year, Shark Week collaborated with a series of marketing partners in order to give fans the opportunity to celebrate in new and unique ways. These strategic campaigns not only allow Discovery to expand its reach and connect with viewers off-screen, but also helps raise awareness for the company’s ocean conservation and shark protection initiatives. 

In working with our client Glow, A3 Visual helped produce an immersive Shark Week car wash experience in the heart of Los Angeles. We’re excited to share a closer look at this branded installation. 



In the three decades since Shark Week first premiered, the 7-day streaming event has been setting records left and right. Since 2010, it has been the longest-running cable television programming event in history. Today, it is broadcast in over 72 countries and garners substantial global social media coverage each and every summer. With major spikes in Discovery channel’s viewership, partially thanks to the streaming wars that took place during the pandemic, over 27 million tuned in to watch last year’s event—nearly a 25% increase from the year prior. 

Even if offline, fans can still experience Shark Week activations all across the country. The company has established long-standing partnerships with brands like Southwest Airlines, Wilson, Nautica, American Red Cross, Ubisoft, and more. 


This project required a wide range of materials and techniques, including both vinyl and mesh banners, rigid sintra and gator board sign materials, and custom decal graphics. These elements were printed using high-pigment techniques to achieve a bright, bold look that would stand out to the traffic passing by. We also custom-fabricated a handful of activation materials, including a set of massive shark teeth and a #SharkWeek dimensional letter sign. 

Located on Los Angeles’s popular La Cienega Boulevard, this temporary 3-day installation generated hundreds of thousands of impressions both in person and across social media. 


Partnership activations can serve as an extremely effective extension of a brand. From building stronger associations with existing customers to capturing the attention of entirely new audiences, these collaborations give depth and “offline” experiences to consumers that would otherwise be impossible. 

Especially for an event like Shark Week—one that takes place entirely online—the opportunity to have a physical manifestation through partnerships gives a whole new reality to the streamed content. 

In working with like-minded brands like Wilson and Nautica, there is a cross promotional opportunity for both sides of the partnership. However, it’s important that these high-visibility partnerships be chosen carefully. Aligning a company or event with the wrong brand can also have negative consequences. But if executed correctly, brands reap significant benefits, traction, and awareness from these types of installations.

Click here to learn more about Discovery’s Shark Week conservation efforts and how you can help support shark protection programs around the world. For more information on our partnership with Glow, please visit