Free (gasp!) tickets. How many of you are with teams or entertainment venues that want the house packed so they give out free tickets in little piles, year after year, then wonder why no one wants to buy? How many of you drop off chunks of tickets hoping someone will use them? What message does this send about your brand?
While out driving in the dreaded snow today, I saw a dad and his little boy shoveling. Both had on Cleveland Indians attire. There they were, promoting a summer sports brand in the middle of a snowfall, not even realizing they were doing branding work! I go to a store, and there was a family in Cavs t shirts. Walking on the sidewalk of the shops, there was a husband and wife in Browns attire. Yes, I’m in CLE. This is also Atlanta, Ga. Dallas, TX. Harrison, NJ. Bloomington, IL. This is YOUR city.
Take a drive or a walk and look at all the people promoting your brand. People who may be season ticket holders, but more often than not are lucky if they can afford or attend one game a year. Yet they promote your brand because they love your sport. They are the people who are your walking billboards each and every day.
So how can we manage this free branding and make it engaging? Why not start a CAUGHT IN THE ACT promotion that will build your brand year round? A promotion that will keep it top of mind? A promotion that will engage fans on social media? A promotion that will reward fans and enable us to use our ‘free’ smartly?
How to do this?
· This should be an all staff effort. All staff should be empowered to catch people in the act. See people wearing/promoting your brand in their day to day activities. Everyone should be encouraged to come back at least weekly, if not daily, with a picture.
· Pics should be posted on social media daily. Celebrate those who are promoting your brand. Get the community involved to start watching your social media to see who today’s people are who were ‘caught’…is it someone they know? Meanwhile, they will tell their family, friends, co-workers all to engage with your social media to check out their picture and vote for them. This is good PR for you and a great way to continue to introduce more people to your brand, social media, and product.
· Everyone who gets ‘caught’ should be given tickets to a game (generally 4). Whether you give them a voucher or actual tickets, reward them on the spot. Get their permission to post the pic on social media. Make sure they are visited at the game and acknowledged for being part of the ‘team.’
· Urge fans, friends and family to vote on your social media site for the pic of the month. Break it down to a vote for pic of the week and then the final 4 get 24 hours of voting for pic of the month. Pic of the month gets a group outing of 10 or 20, so they can bring friends and family to your product as well as a sponsor goodie bag.
· End up with a pic of the year. The winner gets onfield experience, recognition, 50 tickets for friends and family, and a sponsor goodie bag.
Your ticket should have integrity. If you hand them out in stacks and hope people show up, you have lost the integrity, sales will continue to be a challenge, and it may take years to rebuild the brand. Why not give the ticket integrity while branding your product? Why not engage the community in wanting to be the next person ‘caught’? Why not get a positive conversation buzz going on around your town about your team? Why not use the tickets to introduce more people to your brand and engage them with your social media sites? The person you ‘catch’ today just may end up being your season ticket holder of tomorrow.
written by Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating
Helping YOUR team move forward in sales and filling seats: Kathy@soldoutseating.com