For fans, giveaways from their hometown sports teams are a welcome perk to their loyalty, and for them can be as easy as being the first one to tweet. Little do they know how much time, labor, money, and midnight oil is used by sports marketers to make social media contests or giveaways happen before they’re even announced. So, is this strenuous and meticulous work even worth it? The answer is: it depends on your goals. And, if your goals are the following three objectives that we value in digital marketing, we say keep the contests and giveaways coming.
1. Demographic Analysis
Initially, it may seem counterproductive to give away valuable products like memorabilia or free tickets to build the brand, but the large return in store for you is worth so much more. How much more? Well, stats and stats more – you know, those pretty little numbers that let you know what we, as sports marketers, are doing wrong (and what we’re doing right). But, most importantly, those stats tell us who it is exactly that we’re talking to and who it is that we want still need to meet.
By hosting a giveaway via social media, you can find out the qualitative data that Facebook’s formal tracking charts can’t provide. Call for comments to be left in answer to a question in order to enter. In addition to collecting this goldmine of information about your audience, you will also have their contact information, assuming that you incorporate a short form for participants to fill out upon entry, so that you can continue to keep in contact with your followers to nurture the relationship.
With more in-depth knowledge about your community, giving away limited-edition team T-shirts is a small price to pay compared to the connection you’ll have with the people who keep your team, athlete, or company on the playing field.
2. Keeping Satisfied Customers Satisfied
A giveaway or contest doesn’t always have to keep new fans in mind. Sure, hosting giveaways will easily attract newbies, but what about the fans that first liked you on Facebook, religiously tweeted you, re-pinned all of your updates? They matter too, and you don’t want to start appreciating them after they’re already left the LinkedIn group. Show them your appreciation for their support now by giving them the things they love and tell you about all the time: tickets to a game, special sports swag, or signed jerseys.
This small gesture goes a long way, especially since social media’s shareability will enable veterans to show off their prizes and love for the team to others in their network who haven’t joined the community just yet, killing two birds with one stone so-to-speak.
Remember, it’s more difficult to gain a new fan, than it is to keep a current one. Don’t take their support for granted. They love you for who you are, but they’d really love to be reassured that you feel the same way too.
3. Fill the Stands
If game attendance is your concern and motivation behind a giveaway, you’ve resorted to the right tactic. Providing free tickets to a game as a prize is an activation. In giving these away, winners will be inclined to get up and go to the game, invite a friend who will also be exposed to the brand and while there, create a feeling of attachment to the brand through the memories and fun time shared in the stands – all the makings of customer loyalty.
What you don’t want to do is give away tickets too often. This could depreciate the value of them or seem a little too desperate. Surprising social media communities intermittently with big gifts like free tickets will make the gesture seem more genuine, more exciting and more competitive – like an object that everyone wants and that they have to have no matter if they’re really die-hard fans or not. Also, turning it into a series of flash offerings, which are time-sensitive calls-to-action to redeem in order to win the tickets, will create an illusion of popularity and an anticipation that will keep community members coming back and sharing the brand opportunity with additional people in their networks.
Road blocks in planning, legal approval and partnership prize collaborations are a few of the many things that can turn your headache into a migraine when launching a giveaway. But, if done for the right reasons and with the appropriate expectations, sports brands can reap overwhelming benefits. By rewarding fans and potential fans in the way that they want to be treated, you can convert them into loyal fans on and off social media.