I’ve nibbled a bit around it before but I really think that utilizing text messaging as a sponsorship asset will be the killer move of 2020.
We’ve used this tactic in ticketing and it has proven to be a valuable asset….but there is an interesting shift happening with brand messaging now via text.
I never thought I would be fine with brands texting me. I had a view that this was an off-limits communication platform and if a brand texted me I would be immediately off-put.
In short…I have no problem with it. In fact, I prefer it for some sources of information from brands. It is informative, easy to use, and grabs my attention.
We can have the same effect for our sponsors and utilize this platform to grab the attention of our fans and connect them with sponsors.
Text is almost the new email list building. If we can build this list of captivated listeners we can leverage them into creating authentic connections with our sponsors.
How is it better than email? It has a higher open and engagement rate.
Almost think of it as an evolution of an email list, but much more powerful than that (I’ll get into why below).
Ok, so here’s how you can pull it off…..
First, you need a pull to your texting list
Let me re-iterate here quickly…THIS CANNOT BE A “GIVE ME YOUR NUMBER AND I’LL SEND YOU SPAM COUPONS” TYPE DEAL.
You need to create content, or a pull, to provide a reason for fans to sign up for your texting program.
You need to bring them value.
There are a few ways you can do this to really sync up with your sponsors and find a fit:
- A campaign with your restaurant partners where fans text in to subscribe to pre-game food deals and best places to watch away games
- A campaign where you text to opt-in to receive a pre-game message from your players before each game
- A campaign for training tips from your strength & conditioning coach each week
- A campaign where you send a post-game analysis of a play in the game after each game
The above are just a few examples. Content that is exclusive to the texting list is a powerful tool to get the opt-in. You want to make sure you are providing them with content they can’t get anywhere else.
In order to pull in fans, you need to give them content that is worth the time & opt-in. Get creative here.
Second, sync your sponsor up to the content & CTA
As you think of the ‘pull’ content, get creative with how you can sync up the sponsor. This is how you really maximize the asset.
Your goal, as always in sponsorship, is to help build a connection between sponsor and fan. Coupons and transactions off the bat don’t do this. It takes multiple touchpoints where the fan gets value beyond just a quick deal.
The value in text is the personalization you can create in that relationship. As opposed to a massive social media send out you can get the message directly to them and create an environment where it feels like a 1-to-1 connection.
In the restaurant pre-game meal content above, obviously syncing it up with the best meals from your restaurant partner is great content. It promotes the food, atmosphere, and ties the dining experience with a routine of eating pre-game at those locations.
From there you can add a CTA. A discount on food, drinks and other items as the text comes to the fan is a huge driver to push action.
Or let’s look at the fitness tips from the strength and conditioning coach. Each workout can be linked with an offer to sign up for a local gym or free personal training courses.
The first goal is to give free content. Give it away with little expectation for a return. This sets up the CTA of free lessons perfectly.
Why? Because the user trusts the sponsor now from the free content. They are linked to value with the fan.
All of this has been done through an easy and engaging weekly text. Something that is maybe the most personalized setting in all of the channels you have to reach fans with.
As you add sync your sponsor into your content, be sure you are adding value with the content you build for the fans AND offering a CTA as you build up a connection between fan and sponsor.
The real power in this process, the phone number
So the fan is now engaged with your sponsor’s content each week via text. It’s a great connection that you can tap into each week for your sponsor. We’ve done our job, right?
Well, it doesn’t stop there. We can still create more avenues for connection.
With the mobile phone number, we can create an audience on the different social media channels for re-targeting with ads.
After you’ve connected the fan with great content via text we can simultaneously connect them with the partner with amazing targeted co-branded ads.
Whether it is sponsorship messaging or more content, we can continue to build a connection outside our stadium through our different social media channels.
The next year, text message content can be your most powerful asset
As you can see, if you can build this system and audience through text you can build a powerful asset that really connects your sponsors to your fans.
The first level is the text content, the second the CTA, the third is social media re-targeting.
You can create a system that is the most personal connection any team can build in sponsorship between brand and fan.
The teams that build this asset into their packages will drive huge value to their sponsors, and value translates to revenue.
As you look for new assets to offer sponsors, look at text as a key asset to do so.