We talked about a recent post from my blog, and how NHL teams are increasingly interested in social media. Some teams are already active, while others have yet to incorporate social media into their marketing mix.
Mark and I discussed some interesting ideas – like how teams can use Twitter to release game day ticket availability from unclaimed reserve seating, and the importance of a CRM (Jon Spoelstra 101). We talked about the exponential marketing visibility provided by Facebook engagement – and as the Friend and Follower numbers grow, how to incorporate sponsorship activation.
When teams begin a social media campaign – there are a couple of key points they need to keep top of mind:
- ROI as traditional marketing measurement is now based on ROT (Time) – Most social media tools are free to use, but organizations need to account for the time their internal resources spend on these projects.
- Tools behind the Platforms – While its easy for anyone to start using social media for marketing, there are a number of tools and applications available to maximize use.
- Now is the Time – A tough economy brings another business case to leverage social media, but teams are recognizing that their markets are already there in social networks. Sponsorship opportunities are close to follow, so build these online communities now.
Regarding the economy – while its been a promising week on the markets, things will continue to remain unstable for the foreseeable future. The Maple Leafs are using in-game ad time to initiate a season ticket renewal campaign and offering incentives (like a meet/greet with the GM) – this is new for the Leafs, the most financially stable and strong of the 30 team NHL. If there is such activity in Toronto, a very strong market with an iron clad brand; it points at the deepening trouble in other markets.
So now is the time for teams to turn to social media:
- The short term win is stronger fan engagement
- The strategic win is increased opportunities for sponsorship activation
Over to you – if you are a fan, are you connected with your favorite team through social media? Are you a sports marketer? How does your organization currently work with online communities?