LEVERAGING SOCIAL MEDIA TO TURN FANS INTO LOYAL APP ADOPTERS
TRENDS THAT INFORMED OUR STRATEGY
60% of millennial sports fans check scores and sports news on social media, so our content activation strategies include ways to leverage our social platforms into loyal app adoption.
- Leveraging video – our social networks show highlights, interviews etc. We note for more in depth coverage and behind the scenes stories and tell fans to go to our app for more.
- Understanding the geo proximity of customers – has us varying our content. For those in 1 hour out or more we will not promote game day ticket sales, but rather suggested watch party locations. For those within a closer radius to the arena, we are focusing our strategy around ticketing packages and experiences.
- User generated content – enables us to foster the community and encourage those within it to share their positive experiences (game day easy ticketing, food ordering etc) and promote discussions on team happenings (game performance, possible trades, etc). On our social networks we promote how the use of the app leads to benefits that can only be gained through usage of our app, thus converting viewers into app adopters.
The Seattle Sockeyes first season will be 2021-2022. In order to celebrate the grand opening of the new stadium and the start of our first season, we are going to be running a fan engagement campaign. The campaign will engage potential fans (our app target market) in the Seattle area by building a community around the team and drive app downloads. This type of approach will start to build fan loyalty of the new team. A Forbes NHL Team ranking continues to show a positive correlation between fan engagement and team value.
We want potential fans to feel invested and part of the team and the new area. Our campaign will focus around the concept that people can enter to have their names added to a forever fan wall within the new stadium. To enter their name, they will have to download the Sockeye’s application, fill out their fan profile, and enter their name in the contest up until a certain date. From there, we will choose 1,000 lucky fans to have their name imprinted on the Key Arena Stadium. These 1,000 fans will be invited to the big reveal of the wall which will be one month before the stadium opens. The chosen 1,000 will be the first fans inside the new stadium. One fan of the 1,000 will have a jersey with their name hung in the stadium for the first year. The Vegas Golden Knights did a similar campaign in their first year when they put the names of the season ticket holders on the ice but the names were then covered and they weren’t visible to everyone. We want our fans (and opponents to come to our arena) to see that we appreciate our fans, honor their support and recognize that they are the backbone of our team.
We are choosing to use different channels in order to reach the different audiences within our target market. For example, Facebook is going to be used to target the older millennials, while Instagram is going to be used to reach the younger millennial. In addition to reaching the target audiences, using a social media campaign will allow us to ultimately increase downloads of the official sockeye mobile app by connecting with our audience, building a sense of community, and enhancing the in-stadium experience. According to Baker (2019), “Social media advertising reaches audiences in a low-cost, impactful, and effective way.” We will use the app, along with email marketing for a multichannel experience to strengthen the messaging on social media.
Facebook: Facebook is for the active social media user on the higher end of our target market age. We will post videos, photos, and blog articles that will encourage and promote the contest to fans following the sockeyes page.
Instagram: Instagram is where we will reach the younger side of our target market. We will promote the exclusivity and experience of having your name on the wall. We will also have the opportunity to be able to show ourselves as a fun and exciting place to spend your time.
Twitter: Twitter is where we will interact with current fans of the Seattle Sockeyes. We will encourage them to solidify their fandom by being an official part of the stadium.
Email: We will primarily use email as a way to connect with people once they have entered their email. We will use email in a non-commercial way and build a relationship with our fans and keep them updated on the campaign and when the season will state. We want to focus our emails around content that our fans will find useful and as a way to drive traffic to our mobile app.
Seattle Sockeyes Official App: The Sockeyes App will be where fans can access current events, share experiences, promote a sense of community and be proud of their team. Fans will be directed from social to the app where they have an opportunity to enter a content to have their names displayed on the wall in the arena. Once they submit their information, we will give them an onboarding experience of how to interact with the app. This app is where we will develop brand loyalty around the team as well as encourage fans to use the app on a daily basis.