Take Me Out to the Sales Game
"Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd!" The song is a classic sports tune, but its lyrics may need rewriting for modern fans. Today there's more to be sold at the stadium than peanuts and Cracker Jack—and much of it's imprinted. Dedicated fans purchase products like logo-stamped coolers, foam fingers and noisemakers to show support for their favorite teams. The teams show equal appreciation for their fans through product giveaways and themed game nights. From the early-morning tailgate to the final score, there are numerous opportunities for promotions at athletic events.
1. Entertain the Crowd
Spectators' reasons for attending a game can be summed up in one word: entertainment. "We look for products that are going to add to our overall entertainment at our games and events," said Kris Koch, manager of McKechnie Field for the Pittsburgh Pirates/Bradenton Marauders, a Pittsburgh-based minor league baseball team. Koch noted that the promise of a giveaway product can help attract spectators. "We look for products that are going to further entice our fans to purchase tickets, but we also want to make sure they receive that giveaway item," he said.
2. Look and Learn
Sometimes the answer to your marketing problem is right in the neighboring ballpark. When asked about exploring new product ideas, Koch mentioned the benefit of checking out other sports teams. While they're competitive on the baseball diamond, other teams are helpful when it comes to sharing marketing strategies. "In our industry we communicate very closely so we can find out what products/giveaways are working in each other's ballparks," Koch noted. He added that it's common practice for marketing departments from opposing teams to share ideas and spread knowledge of what works and what doesn't. Consider doing some research in a local stadium next time you're stuck on promotion or product ideas. You could walk away with a plan for your next big promotion.