We have no idea what sports will look like when we get back. How will our spaces change? Will the concourse still be a bustling corridor of energy & excitement? Or will it be empty and avoided with social distancing?
The reason why it matters for us in sponsorship? Many of our packages include boothing, tabling, player appearances, and other 1-to-1 assets to help brands connect with our fans.
If we don’t think about this, we have the potential of having to make up tens of thousands of dollars in value.
This week on The Inches Podcast Rich & I dive into how you can re-think your boothing assets to prepare for what our stadiums may look like when games come back.
You can listen to the whole episode HERE. But as always, I dive in more below with some of the key points.
First, you need to think about what that asset was put into your packages to accomplish
It is key here to understand that sponsors do not buy your booth or player appearances. They buy the result that comes from boothing.
As with all assets they are just a
Most of the time it is a one-on-one connection with your fans, an opportunity to introduce themselves and their brand in a large traffic area (your concourse). They want to connect with your fans in an environment that is in line with your team’s game day brand & experience.
The KPI on this? Usually, emails collected or promotions handed out. This is how we can tangibly prove ROI for the package they buy.
If we have to adjust boothing (or even eliminate it) the key part is understanding what boothing represents for your sponsor. Why did they buy it in the first place? What goal were they looking to achieve by purchasing the booth?
If we know this, we can start finding solutions.
Then, you can begin to think about how you can accomplish that with a no-touch experience
Again, we don’t know what the stadium experience will look like when we get back to games. Assumingly…we’ll be looking at no fans at first, then maybe social distancing.
First I’d like to acknowledge that…we don’t know. No one knows how fans will react to games & stadiums opening back up.
Although it is tough to understand how fans will interact with our stadium…I have really enjoyed surveys like these to at least give us a glimpse into where we may have to adjust.
Does this mean if you add a bottle of hand sanitizer to a booth that you will be fine? No. We need to think about systems outside of these to really put people at ease.
What it does mean though is if you highlight the most prominent items on this list (Hand sanitizer & communicating the venue is sanitized) you have a better shot at putting your sponsor and fans at ease.
Alternatively, you really need to think about how that experience looks. With social distancing, you will have a totally different experience there to re-create.
From top to bottom I would map this out. From the time someone walks into your stadium to what it looks like when they see the booth, the interaction, and the KPI (email collection, prize redemption, etc.).
Now, what if a sponsor wants to back out of boothing totally? This is why we first understand why they bought booth space in the first place.
If the answer is “Getting in front of your fans authentically” then you can find a digital alternative. The first that comes to mind is a Zoom happy hour the next morning after the game hosted by the sponsor representative.
How can you replace player appearances? Go live on Instagram with the players and have the sponsor branding there. Tell fans that they can enter for a signed stick at a certain link.
To adjust, we’ll need to think about how this changes it all and how we can re-create their needs to make sure it is fulfilled.
Coupons will have to be re-thought entirely (and made entirely digital)
I think the days of paper coupons are over. And to be honest…good riddance.
Before the shutdown, they were costly to print, house, and clean up when fans would litter the floor with them.
In the current environment…they are an almost immediate no-go. We can’t expect our fans to take them from staff and we definitely won’t want to sanitize each one.
But…our sponsors will still want the benefits of what they bring, which is the ability to drive fans to their stores and make a purchase.
At SQWAD we see this coming and are have our Scratch & Win platform as a solution for it. As Rich brings up we implemented one this past season with Jimmy John’s for the Portland Winterhawks and saw a great surge in redemptions for their offers.
You’ll most likely need to do this with all of the coupon offers you have in your stadiums.
If you have any coupons in your packages you have to look at replacing them with digital ones ASAP.
Overall, we need to look rethink our physical assets and how fans interact with them.
Looking into the next few months we absolutely have to tear down what we knew in the past and re-think all of our physical assets.
We cannot just assume that these assets will be relevant in the new stadium experience. A top to bottom re-design will be necessary to put our fan’s and sponsor’s minds at ease moving forward.
Take a week and think through how you can simulate or replace the need that our sponsors look to fill with a booth on your concourse.