How the Minors Can Be Like the Majors

Sports is leading the way. The industry that many see as the last bastion for reliable attention and, therefore, the pull of brand dollars, is out ahead in many ways when it comes to customer engagement and innovation. And while Forbes reminds us all annually of the billion dollar behemoths at the top of the food chain, there are thousands of smaller sports teams that command fervent fan followings of their own. And minor league marketers need not feel the FOMO as they watch their major pro brethren take advantage of new tech and savvy. The minors can mimic the majors. How? A lot of ways, but here are three that marketers can put into motion today:

Streaming Video

Many leagues work with a streaming video provider. Others rely on league-wide digital networks to monetize and stream their video content. Many have begun to jump on the Periscope train (the live streaming video app aligned with Twitter), but even this option is built on rented real estate and offers very limited reach. So what’s the solution? Bringing a live stream onto your property, whether embedded on your website or experienced natively within your mobile app. By utilizing a free YouTube stream, which is easily embeddable on a web page or app, teams of any size can act like the major pro teams. Simply set up your stream to YouTube and embed the YouTube video player in your website. Even better, with mobile media engagement continuing to dominate and grow, put it in your mobile app, so the fan experience is optimized and you can monetize that engagement!

Check out this link to learn about YouTube streaming.

Data-Based Marketing

There are some organizations out there utilizing immense computing power to ingest and analyze billions of consumer data points and entries. The onset of beacons and mobile engagement has led to an ever-growing bank of data on all consumer activity. But even a relative mom and pop shop can engage in some data-based marketing, starting at the most basic level. Either use what you know about groups of fans or proactively learn about them. Have a kids club? You likely have a database of fans to receive family-focused messaging and offers. Did a handful of fans sign up to enter to win a prize pack in a sweepstakes promoted in the team shop? They’re great candidates for merchandise deals or loaded tickets! Start small and start smart. It doesn’t take a full-time analyst and expensive software to get a little more efficient with marketing by using fan data.

Sponsor Activations

For so long, it has been easy to operate within the status quo, going season-to-season selling the same stadium signage and dasher-board space and to rally local businesses around the community’s sports team for sponsorship. But everyone is evolving, from the fans flocking to digital, social, and mobile channels to mom and pops-turned franchisee owners wanting to capitalize on the latest advertising assets and getting the most bang for their buck while measuring their ROI. The sophistication need not be scary, however, because the minors can give sponsors the activations they seek just like their major pro counterparts can.

It simply comes down to defining measurable objectives – and then planning, executing, and measuring appropriately. Want to help a restaurant drive more sales instead just hope the static sign does so? Issue a digital coupon after a team win that fans can show on their mobile device and track redemptions, which have led to increase sales. A local business looking for brand awareness? Track impressions of ads and content, so you can show the eyeballs being delivered, as promised, that are helping to fulfill their objectives. This can be done effectively whether one’s attendance is 1,000 or 100,000.

So, yes, your title may read Director of Marketing, while also including unwritten roles of website administrator, emergency usher and PA announcer, but that doesn’t stop you and your team from playing like the pros. Not every successful businessman is a Warren Buffet-like billionaire, but there are thousands of thriving businesses all over the country, including plenty in sports and entertainment. So stop feeling bad about budget, restless about resources, and satisfied with simple and status quo.

As the great Vince Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” There’s nothing stopping you from being excellent today.

Want to learn how Hopscotch helps our teams and events achieve excellence? Request a personalized demo!

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