Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

Airbnb Goes Hollywood With Plans to Rent X-Men Mansion, ‘Up’ Home, ‘Purple Rain’ House and More


The mansion, sitting atop a hill in Westchester County, New York, could be mistaken for any number of homes in the area, save for one little, er, big, thing.

Click here to read the story at

* TEACHER NOTE (BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT): Airbnb’s “icons” collection, featuring themed rental properties like the “UP” house from Pixar and others, can be considered an example of brand collaboration or co-branding. This strategy involves Airbnb partnering with different brands or intellectual properties to create unique, themed accommodations that appeal to fans of those particular themes or movies, thereby enhancing the appeal of the rentals and potentially drawing in a new audience. This form of marketing leverages the strength and recognition of both the Airbnb brand and the popular cultural icons.

Co-branding occurs when two or more brands jointly promote or market a single product or service. In this case, Airbnb collaborates with recognizable themes from popular culture, such as movies or music, to offer distinctive rental experiences. This association enhances Airbnb’s brand by aligning it with beloved cultural icons, potentially attracting fans of those properties and creating a memorable guest experience.

Click here for the official press release from Airbnb.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Airbnb is quoted in this story as saying “The name Airbnb is a noun and a verb used all over the world, that’s a good thing, that means everyone knows it. But the downside is kind of like Kleenex or Xerox, it’s associated with one thing, and we want to do more things.” Describe how this represents an example of branding. 
  2. What is the new “icons” collection from Airbnb?
  3. Why would Airbnb launch an icons collection?
  4. What are five examples of properties included in Airbnb’s “icons” collection?
  5. What is co-branding?
  6. How might this story illustrate an example of co-branding?
  7. How might Airbnb benefit from the introduction of its “icons” collection?
  8. How might some of the entertainment brands with whom Airbnb has partnered benefit?
  9. Airbnb has also launched new features on the brand’s app. What are they?
  10. Why is it important for Airbnb to update and add new features regularly?
  11. How might Airbnb’s new features launch benefit from the “icons” collection announcement?
  12. How much is the cost per guest at the X-Men mansion?
  13. Why isn’t it more expensive? Why is it $0 per guest at the “Up” house?
  14. How difficult will it be for Airbnb customers to secure a rental date for one of the icons “experiences?”
  15. If you were a marketing professional working for Airbnb, what is one suggestion you would recommend for the next rental as part of its icons collection? Be prepared to share your ideas in class.
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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