SBD/October 7, 2011/Events and Attractions

IMG Sports Marketing Symposium: Social Media Can Help Brands Create A Community

Panel looks at best way to utilize social media to connect with consumers
The discussion during Thursday's panel titled "Brand Building: Fostering Community by Creating Sustainable Conversations through Social Media and Sports" largely centered on how to best utilize social media to create a community and what brands are most effectively integrating the platform. Facebook Strategic Partner Development Manager Nick Grudin underscored the value of conversation-propelled touch points: “For every time a user shares the fact they’ve purchased a ticket to an event on, it generates an incremental $5.30 in revenue for them. So an advertisement from a friend is a lot more compelling than a banner advertisement.” Foursquare Business Development & Media Partnerships Dir J. Crowley said, “We’ve seen a trend of users who are checking-in to stadiums. We want to know not only where you are but what you’re doing. ... We’re capturing all that data which then makes it easier for these teams or sponsors to do marketing plays like specials.” Twitter Business Development Dir Omid Ashtari said, “It’s about social currency. It’s about connecting that in-stadium experience to that person at home to give them that feeling of, ‘Crap, I’m missing out, I better get to the stadium.’” FanFeedr CEO & Founder Ty Ahmad-Taylor added, “If you don’t get involved in social channels, you’re going to pay because those conversations are going to happen anyway."

SUCCESSFUL IN THE SOCIAL SPACE: While Ashtari said “all teams want to attack the social space” and that “they see the value with daily dialogue with fans,” some have been particularly adept. “At the beginning of last season, the Chargers had a situation where they couldn’t sell all of their home seats and were going to be blacked out (on TV) and the Chargers and the Patriots, who were visiting, sent out a Tweet saying, ‘We need to sell a thousand more tickets or else we’re going to get blacked out,’ and they sold the tickets within an hour.” Crowley: “U.S. Soccer, for a friendly they played against Argentina over the summer ran a swarm special. If 500 people check-in here, you unlock 20% off the new red Nike jersey. I remember kicking around a soccer ball in the parking lot and all of a sudden our phones buzzed along with 500 other people to say, ‘Congratulations, you’ve all worked together to unlock this special, now enjoy 20% off.’” Grudin: “Folks that are willing to move fast and take risks, those are the folks that are going to see the biggest benefits.”
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