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Sports Teams Use Text Message Marketing to Engage Fans

Posted by Justin McIntire on Apr 18, 2018

How Sports Teams Use SMS Marketing


The NBA and NHL playoffs just started, the baseball season is a month fresh, the NFL draft is approaching, and Final Four NCAA just ended… that’s a lot to keep up with!


In the age of social media, one thing sports teams are always looking for is a better way to communicate with their fans. That’s why it’s exciting that more and more sports teams are turning to texting as the best way to communicate with and market to their fans.


Text message marketing allows sports teams and venues to speak directly to their fans in a way that no other medium can. It's immediate and has a much stronger impact than any other advertising medium.


Using SMS marketing software like Trumpia, sports teams can boost their engagement and revenue with their fans in powerful and interesting ways. Here’s how:


Text Message Marketing For Sports Teams

SMS alerts are quick and versatile. Announcing a new lineup change to your VIP list via text will make them feel valued, and sports teams can even carry out one on one conversations with these fans. In fact, NBA teams like the Phoenix Suns, The Golden State Warriors, and the Los Angeles Lakers have all used SMS alerts to engage their fans. For example, the Cleveland Cavaliers generated $200,000 with a mass-market mobile alerts program featuring downloadable content, contests and mobile text alerts.


Using text marketing, sports teams can also save on advertising costs. SMS advertisements like mobile keywords are quick and easy to add to your existing advertising media, and they cost a fraction of the price of paper or radio ads. But that doesn’t mean they’re lacking in impact. Imagine 98% of your fans see your marketing. That’s what text marketing could give you.


Plus, there’s no better way to engage super fans than texting them score updates or links to the big plays that will be all over social media. By engaging your fans in new and interesting ways you will drive up their interest and their desire to buy more tickets and merchandise. You can also fill up seats in various ways with mobile marketing. The Pittsburgh Penguins started a mobile campaign that the team says has resulted in a fivefold increase in sign-ups for its mobile fan club. That response prompted the team to offer more mobile options for the next seasons to increase fan engagement.


SMS Marketing for Sports Charity Engagement

One of the most important things a sports team can do is give back. SMS is a great way to market for nonprofits and charities. For example, Special Spectators is a nonprofit organization that uses Trumpia’s text messaging platform to provide more than 10,000 seriously ill children and their family members the experience of a lifetime at college sporting events around the country.


At most of their game day experiences, Special Spectators coordinates an on-field acknowledgement of the kids during a timeout in the game. The children stand in the middle of the field, as thousands of fans welcome the Special Spectators to the game.


Special Spectators uses Trumpia’s SMS software to advertise specific mobile keywords, such as “GoBears”, “GoOwls”, and “GoBucks”, for different sporting events on the scoreboard or jumbotron. Whenever a fan texts in that keyword, an automatic response is sent back to them, asking for fans to provide their heartwarming message to the Special Spectators at that game.


Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball Team created an amazing game day experience, which included a tour of their practice center, a meet and greet with the head coach, cheerleaders, and the opportunity to meet their mascot Hokiebird.


At the University of Oklahoma, children tried on diamond-studded championship rings in the head coach's office and sat at the anchor desk in the Sooners' broadcast center. Following that, families had a blast at a tailgate that was attended by cheerleaders, the mascot, and even the marching band!


SMS for Voting and Fan Engagement

SMS communication isn't just a one way street. In fact, the NBA All-Star game used SMS to allow fans to vote for the MVP of the game, getting hundreds of thousands of fans to text in.


For example, the Staples Center could run a fun poll at your event like:

“Who is the greatest LA Laker of all Time?

  1. Kobe Bryant
  2. Shaquille O’Neal
  3. Magic Johnson

You have 5 minutes to cast your vote!”


Plus, with a solution like Trumpia, you can do things like have text-to-screen where fans can text in for silly polls or comment on the big plays.


Text Marketing for Sports Venues

The saying in sports often goes “there is no offseason”, but for venues, this isn’t necessarily true. Unfortunately, any time a venue isn't filled with fans is costing the venue money.


Is your hockey stadium hosting a basketball event? You can message fans who have shown interest and in turn get a higher turnout during your off-season events. The same goes for cultural or social events, as SMS marketing is a great way to plan and send fans relevant events that they may be interested in.


The power of SMS can also be used to send out special promotional ticket or concession deals. Offering your season ticket holders a deal on other packages or upcoming sporting events will mean they are more likely to stay loyal to your venue for future sporting or cultural events.


Text Message Marketing for Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports have never been more popular. That’s why to stay ahead of the curve and attract new fans, fantasy sites need to offer the best ways to interact with their platforms. If sites use systems like Trumpia, they can offer fans exciting ways to interact with their leagues and teams.


What’s the most annoying thing in fantasy? Lost last minute injury designations that cost our teams points and games. Fantasy analysts can use texting to send their followers up-to-the-second updates, like when a star player won't be starting, giving them the edge they need to win.


Why texting over social media? Because 90% of them get seen within 3 minutes of delivery, making it most immediate form of communication. It’s also great for giving draft tips or giving their takes on breaking news so they can engage with their fans no matter where they are.


Also, fantasy sites can send scoring updates directly to the fans phone, so when they are out and about they can still see nail-biting live updates when they have a close fantasy matchup. Fans will appreciate being able to follow their teams successes and failures in real time, and providing an exceptional fantasy experience will make them a customer for life.


SMS Message Marketing For College Athletics

College sports teams rely on engagement with their students and donors alike. Luckily SMS is the best way to reach out to alumni and drive them to make donations year round. If you have a system that can carry out targeted communication like Trumpia, you can segment your alumni based on what programs they support or how often they give.


Colleges also can benefit from SMS marketing by displaying opt-in keywords based on their various programs. When fans text them in they are added to a certain database that allows you to send things like promotions or free ticket offers to make sure your stadiums are filled year-round.


Texting has other uses too. The University of Oklahoma’s baseball team even used texting to announce a postponed game and communicate with fans to help them exchange their tickets for the newly scheduled game.


Are you looking to add SMS marketing into your fan communication strategy? 


Download our Mobile Marketing Success Kit for FREE!

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Topics: SMS Marketing

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