As we go through Relegation weekend in the Barclays PremierLeague (also an idea which would be interesting but not feasible for American sport), some good practices that came in from the last few days.
The Isles Keep trying: Early last year it was the Tattoo Franchise sponsorship, not the Islanders, again with a long offseason, have gone the viral route to promote their young star John Tavares for the cover of EA Sports NHL ’13 Game. The team has taken some of the great video games of the past and inserted Tavares into the covers, with the requisite twitter handle and call to action for their fans to vote. It’s smart to get out in front, smart to be creative and smart to support your young star and send the message that you are thinking about next season, even for a franchise as star-crossed and lost in the media mix as the Islanders are. Whether it works is secondary, as the team has no media footprint to promote by being out of the playoffs (while their local Rangers and Devils still play on at least for a while) and the campaign comes during one of the most crowded windows on the sports calendar, with baseball, hockey and hoops going full force and the monster of the NFL Draft coming into focus. Regardless, the campaign is fun, worthwhile and certainly a great example of being creative and making the most of what you have.
South Florida Goes All Out: The University of South Florida has its challenges trying to fill Raymond James Stadium for all their football home games, and they know one of those key steps to being relevant in the sports community year-round. So their promotion in the social space of their spring game this weekend, using every vehicle possible not just to drive awareness but to reward fans with prizes for creativity and support. This is not about just the spring game, it is about the growth of the USF brand into the fall, when real dollars are to be made. By doing all those efforts now, the Bulls can get the right support and casual fan awareness down the road. They realize it is a long, tedious haul that isn’t just about wins and losses. It is ablout being a part of the community.
Moyer One For The Ages…In Altoona: One of the great sports stories, at least for middle age men, is the Colorado Rockies’ Jamie Moyer winning a game at age 49. In recognition of the feat, the Altoona Curve has done what minor league baseball teams do best…seized the moment with a fun promotion. The Curve will offer $4.90 individual Diamond Club seats and a pair of Grandstand seats for the same price on Thursday night. Additionally, any Curve fans in attendance wearing 49ers gear of any team-from San Francisco’s NFL team to UNC Charlotte to Long Beach State-will get into the series opener with Richmond for free, as will fans wearing any jersey from one of Moyer’s eight MLB clubs over his 25-year career….anyone from America’s 49th state, Alaska, which achieved statehood just three years and ten months before Moyer’s birth, and any fan rocking stirrups emulating the lefty’s notable leg wear of choice. Fun move, easy to pull off, and again worthy of the being acknowledged for the spirit of creativity and timeliness.