I have always wondered how NFL teams stay connected with their fans during the post-season. Five months is a long time to not communicate with your team’s fan base. Rather than disappearing for a long period of time, teams should use the off-season to try new promotions and ideas.
Keep the Conversation Going with Text
In 2012, several teams began using text message marketing and launching mobile websites. The Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers both began text marketing programs to drive fan engagement. More recently, the Tampa Bay Bucaneers announced plans for a text-to-win and text-to-vote program. These teams and several others are engaging their fans throughout the season with game-day information, team updates, sweepstakes campaigns and more using mobile marketing tools including text messaging and mobile websites. But what will happen after February 3rd?
My suggestion for NFL teams is to keep the conversation going. For the teams already engaging fans using text messaging, you can develop an SMS calendar with special promotions on merchandise and post-season events. Use the spring and summer for recruiting new fans to join your mobile club too. For the teams not yet using sms marketing, this is your chance to build up a mobile database and then kick off next season strong. Try running a text sweepstakes to win signed merchandise or a special meet and greet event. Collect names from fans who want to get seat upgrades and other VIP treatment.
While some teams may take the summer off, your team can stay connected with your loyal fans with just one text message campaign per month. Your mobile marketing can be that simple, but still highly effective.
In 2013 you will see a huge rise in the number of university sports teams using mobile marketing to effectively boost their sponsorship revenue. Over the past year many pro level teams in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL have seen huge increases in their fan engagement via a successful mobile strategy. This type of fan engagement leads to both increased fan loyalty and increased ad revenue for the team.
Mobile Websites are a Must-Have
It’s a no-brainer that a mobile website is necessary for any business, brand or university; and that’s where their mobile strategy ends. However, it’s a clear win/win scenario with text message marketing and collegiate sports teams need to take advantage of the perks it provides. The possibilities are endless to drive fan loyalty with sms marketing. By opting into a mobile database, a fan gets team news, injury reports, rewards and even last minute offers to win related prizes while the athletic department gains vital demographic information about their fan base. These offers are typically special deals sent straight to the fan’s mobile device for products and services related to their favorite team. This added perk gives the fan the opportunity to take advantage of a special offer which in return will generate revenue for his favorite team.
With more and more sports fans going mobile, 2013 will be the year that you see effective mobile strategy gain a larger presence at the collegiate level. According to a recent study by Mobile Marketer, 79% of sports fans are using their mobile devices to keep up with their favorite teams. At the university level you get that sports fan demographic but you also include the college student demographic. This winning combo swings more mobile friendly because there is nearly a 100% mobile usage rating for college students. When you combine this mobile awareness with an effective mobile strategy you will see big revenue returns and high fan engagement numbers.
Reaching College Students
College students constantly utilize their mobile devices due to the convenience it provides them while on the go. A mobile device gives them the ability to have constant access to every aspect of their lives via text messaging, mobile websites and even e-mail. By utilizing a text marketing strategy, universities are able to provide students with last minute class reminders and campus events more easily.
Text Marketing to Students
College Students make up the largest demographic of smartphone users today because they grew up in era where they felt the need to be constantly connected. Studies have shown that the most popular use of mobile devices among college students are text messaging, with 93% doing this on a regular basis, followed behind with reading emails.
More and more colleges are noticing the need for a mobile strategy to reach current and prospect students. Text marketing integration has become a vital method to connect with students, as universities are beginning to rely on text message software for their emergency alerts system. Text marketing is not limited to just emergency alerts as they are able to push campus wide reminders for special events and game times of specific sports. The ability for universities to implement mobile strategies is important as it is the fastest and most effective way to reach this specific demographic.
The Super Bowl wasn’t just a major sporting event for gridiron fans of all ages; it was also an opportunity formobile marketers to use a number of methods to reach out to consumers. I knew that a large number sports fans were expected to be using their mobile devices during the game, which meant that I wasn’t surprised to find that Chevy decided to run a special Super Bowl promotion through iPhone and android apps. Participants would answer trivia questions for a chance to win one of 20 vehicles. Other companies, including Pepsi, Coke, and Subway, use similar strategies for advertising campaigns.
Go Daddy used a QR code during its Super Bowl commercial. I can understand how using multiple strategies would appeal to TV viewers, especially if they are able to stop the program and go back to it later on. They would have the opportunity to scan the QR code after watching the commercial, which means that the company has more than one opportunity to reach out to potential buyers.
I found the results of a survey conducted by Mobile Consumption to be quite interesting as well. Approximately 40 percent of responders said that they used mobile devices in response to ads on television. Almost half of respondents stated that they were planning to spend at least 30 minutes using mobile devices while the game was on.
Now that mobile marketing has successfully been used during a Super Bowl game, this trend will likely continue in future years.