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5 Winning Sports Marketing Campaigns

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As long as there are season openers, there will be diehard fans to buy tickets.

There will also be “fair weather fans” who won’t renew unless the draft works out to their liking or your team showed a strong performance last season.

For those fans, the right incentives and marketing campaigns can make all the difference. If you’re looking for creative ways to revive enthusiasm in your team and bring back fans who may have strayed, check out these five winning sports marketing campaigns.

1. Toronto FC: 2015 Season Ticket Package

This Major League soccer team decided to treat its season ticket holders to a deluxe experience: Shipping tickets in a custom box with a paracord bracelet. The box included the slogan “The threads may fray, but they’ll never break,” and the bracelet clasp is a logo T with the engraving “All for One.”

This special element gives season ticket holders a special item they can use to set themselves apart as super-fans of the soccer club, both on game day and around town.

The package won a 2015 Clio Gold award for design.

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 (Photo courtesy of Clio Sports)

2. Oakland Athletics: Green Collar Baseball

The Oakland A’s baseball team has long had a reputation for working hard with what they’ve got. This work ethic and ability to make the best team without bringing in the most expensive players was captured in the book (and movie adaptation) Moneyball.

When they debuted the Green Collar Baseball marketing campaign, they wanted to capitalize on that image, evoking a working class blue-collar ideal in the world of professional baseball. And it worked — fans jumped on board, and the team has continued that brand through the current season.

The Green Collar Baseball strategy has won awards across multiple years from the National Sports Forum.

3. Toronto Raptors: WeTheNorth

Although the Toronto Raptors had been around since 1995, many Canadians didn’t identify with them as a brand. To help unite and motivate an estimated 35 million fans, the Toronto Raptors started a viral campaign that included a 60-second commercial.

The ad included no actors, just athletes. It focused on the pride of being Canadian and living in Toronto. And it was released when the Raptors were having one of their best seasons in years. It got great traction on social media because Drake and Justin Bieber shared it with their followers within the first two days. The campaign resulted in a 300 percent increase in the Raptors’ social media following and a total of 157 million impressions through Facebook and Twitter, according to the team responsible for launching it. Overall, the campaign delivered 546 million impressions, including 350 million of from PR and media mentions.

The team flew a WeTheNorth flag at the stadium and sold WeTheNorth T-shirts to spread the word outside of social media. Because of the success of the initial run, the team continued the campaign into subsequent seasons.

The WeTheNorth TV spot won a 2014 Bronze Clio award for video.

4. Chicago Blackhawks: #WhatsYourGoal

A relatively simple idea — gathering personal goals from team members and fans — has led to great social media results.

The team asked each of their players, from their stars all the way to their brand-new recruits, to share their goals. They worked with fans to collect their goals, too. One of the goals, in which a group of senior citizens got the chance to play hockey was widely applauded by Blackhawks fans and sports writers.

The campaign won 2015 and 2016 Golden Matrix Awards for best promotional video from the Information Display Entertainment Association.

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 (Photo courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks website)

5. Canadian Football League: #IsItJuneYet

In 2015, the CFL wanted to build interest in their season opener. They treated the new season like a new product launch and created a hashtag to publicize it. The league got athletes to participate in social media, posting Vines and videos as well as tweets using the #IsItJuneYet hashtag. Results show a reach of more than 800,000 and more than 1.4 million impressions. Not bad for a league with only nine teams.

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Putting it All Together

When it comes to launching a standout sports marketing campaign, the right collateral makes all the difference.

DATA Communications Management has the technology and expertise to streamline and manage every aspect of your sports marketing campaigns, from data management and personalization to event ticket printing and delivery. In addition to printing tickets for NASCAR, the NFL, CFL, NHL, NBA and more, we use best-in-class technology and processes to manage premium loyalty programs for season ticket holders.

To see samples of our work and get inspiration for next season, request a free season ticket preview package today.

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