Archive for category Sport
The Washington Redskins last year took to Foursquare giving fans a chance to check and unlock a Redskins badge by checking in once at their home ground or three times at any featured Redskins bars in the Washington DC area.
Apart from acquiring the badge, users were also in line to win a tantilising prize package including box-seat tickets, pre-game field passes and a chance to party with the GEICO Caveman (a popular TV commercial character).
This is such a simple idea that could be easily taken up by Australian sporting organisations which have their own entertainment venues, which include many suburban clubs as well as AFL and NRL franchises. It gets bums on seats at games and encourages patronage at entertainment venues, which generate plenty of revenue. It can also be used to get fans to visit the club’s sponsors for more chances to check in.
And while not all sporting organisations can offer NFL box seats or the GEICO Caveman, they can still create a lot of interest by providing great prizes that cost them little in dollar terms but can mean so much to fans.
Worshipping your sporting team is not something you grow out of. Even as an adult there’s a period each season when you get into that zone where you want to lap up every piece of information related to your team during that incessant period between matches.
Social media is fast helping to fill that void, but it’s incredible how many sporting organisations are denying themselves constant coverage by sticking with the stock standard website with fixtures, player profiles, news and member info.
One team that’s doing it right is NBA giant Boston Celtics. With sell-out crowds a given, the Celtics realised it could use social media to reach out to those fans who couldn’t make it to it’s constantly sold out games. It also recognised a lot of these fans were tweeting about the games or commenting on the website as they watched on television.
The club turned its website into a virtual TD Banknorth Garden where fans can congregate on game days and spend the intermediate time lapping behind the scenes stuff, the team’s history, stats and of course merchandise and ticketing information. It goes to show what a team can do if it has more flexibility and ownership of their websites and aren’t restricted to a cookie cutter approach by their leagues.
The Celtic’s Facebook page has more than 3.2 million fans and features weekly articles, interviews, ticket opportunities and its popular 3-Point Play, an interactive stats prediction game that fans can play against each other. Over on YouTube the team has a rather more modest following of around 4400 but that’s probably because the videos, including post-game wraps, interviews and 3-Point Play updates can be seen on the Facebook page. The Celtics have almost 130,000 Twitter followers who receive live game updates, team news, heads up on ticket sales.
All in all there’s plenty for even the biggest Celtic fans to sink their teeth into and feel like they’re part of the team.
I’m not the world’s biggest basketball fan, but I am a huge admirer of everything Nike does in the multimedia sphere. I spend hours on YouTube watching various Nike ads wishing that one day such production values can be brought to cricket and the AFL.
I share the same awe of what Nike does online, not least with it’s Nike Basketball website – I mean who else sells clothes with the help of Kobe Bryant and Bruce Willis?
The site currently revolves around it’s new Black Mamba campaign featuring Robert Rodriguez-directed cinematic trailers featuring Bryant and Willis – I’m not really sure what the point of them are, but they look fantastic.
Then there’s news articles, videos and of course the merchandise, but what I really like about Nike Basketball is the permanent features such training videos showing how to do the signature moves of star players. It would be great to see this kind of content on league and team websites to engage young fans and encourage them emulate their favourite starts while getting a sense of being up close and personal with them.
Another handy feature is the player profiles of all NBA players that you can search by team, position, college and even birthplace.
The clever thing about this site, and Nike for that matter, is what is primarily an eCommerce site is packed with entertainment and information, ensuring that it’s bookmarked by basketball fans around the world.
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