Having looked at how MLB used social media to promote their brand , Nigel Taylor focuses on the innovative ways that university team, Baylor Athletics have engaged with their fans.
North America has led the way when it comes to sports marketing through big budget innovative campaigns, ranging from sports brands using high profile players to aggressive marketing departments at the various franchises all across sports.
It is a natural progression that these marketing departments would embrace social media and that is exactly what they have done to great effect. However, one Facebook page that caught my eye didn't belong to a team from the big leagues but rather a university team, Baylor Athletics.
They use their Facebook page to good effect with plenty of multi-media content, covering all sporting codes at the university and enabling sports fans at the college to keep up to date with what is happening. However the one activity that I was impressed with was their photo tagging competition and how successfully it fulfilled the criteria for a successful social media campaign (Each criterion will be ticked off as it's covered).
Offering fans the chance to win one of five season tickets to see the team, Baylor Athletics posted five photos on the wall which resulted in 250 fans tagging themselves (the max number is 50 tags per photo under FB rules) and informed fans that they were going to post a video revealing the five winners. This worked brilliantly on many levels, as when a person tags themselves it shows up in their news feeds and photo albums. (Viral aspect – Check). It also works as it encourages fans to do something they already do (Incentivising Fans – Check).
Knowing that the winners were going to be announced through a video, but unsure as to how, would surely have peaked fans' interest adding to the excitement of the competition. (Rewarding fans and creating value for fans – Check).
All the names of the people who tagged themselves were then individually printed off and laid out in the centre of an indoor pitch by two of the footballers. Quarter Back, Robert Griffin III then threw five balls from a balcony overlooking the pitch and the names that the each ball landed on was read out by the players. Each name that was read out received a season pass.
The entire â€˜draw' was filmed and posted on the Facebook wall. This was an inventive way of running a competition rather than through an app and help extend the competition beyond Facebook and into the real world.
QR treasure hunt
Not settling with just the one competition, Baylor also conducted a treasure hunt using QR codes by placing stickers at ten locations around Waco. These stickers provided code letters and a clue to the next location and the only way to access these was to scan the QR code. In a clever move, in order not to alienate those who didn't have a smart phone, a unique email address was listed on each sticker as well.
To get things underway, the location of the first stop was announced on The Baylor Bears site, Baylor Athletics Facebook page and the Baylor Twitter account. An Apple iPad2 was awarded as the overall prize while runner-up winners received autographed jerseys. Tickets to a Baylor Football game with daily prizes also awarded to those who played; announcing on their Facebook page.
To encourage fan participation, several locations provided discounts for participants but the only way for them to find out was to take part.
Once again Baylor provided fans with a fun and engaging competition that incentivised people to take part and brought a social media activity into the offline world. There were no big budgets for the above activities, just clever ideas that were well executed, that encouraged fan engagement and ultimately helped promote Baylor Athletics.
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