Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Managing Expectations

December 29, 2015

One of the most important aspects of any tradeshow is managing expectations. There’s a reason that destinations and sports event planners see a tradeshow as a helpful marketing tool. Instead of trying to maintain relationships at arm’s length, you have a chance to actually meet the people you do business with and connect with your peers.

Attending your first sports tradeshow, however, can be a bit overwhelming and certainly confusing at times.  Conducting a little research before heading to the NASC Sports Event Symposium will go a long way.

When the online appointment portal opens, the first registered attendee from your organization will be able to view the list of registered organizations with whom you have an opportunity to meet. Doing a little research to find out if your destination or your sports event is a good match will save you a lot of time.  At the tradeshow, the 10-minute appointment will be over before you know it. Having as much information about who you are meeting with will provide you more time to establish key relationships. The more you know before you go will provide you with more confidence during your scheduled appointments.

Now let’s talk giveaways. From my experience, during your appointments, less is more when it comes to swag – especially when most of what you are giving away will end up as trash. Trying to juggle giveaways, take notes, and exchange business cards is a lot to manage. Business cards are typically all you need.  Following up after the show is the best way to continue the dialogue. If you say you will follow up with specific items, make sure you do.

You may come back with a couple of leads and you may come back with only business cards. The most important takeaway from attending the Symposium is the relationships you are beginning to cultivate.

Remember that the goal of any tradeshow marketing experience goes way beyond just making sales and closing deals. Building your brand, promoting your destination, sport, or services, networking with peers and potential new clients, and sizing up competitors in your industry are all part of the tradeshow experience. All of these takeaways should be accurately reflected as tangible goals in your tradeshow marketing efforts.

Cheryl McCullough
NASC Mentoring Committee

 

 

Mascot Mania: Making Community Connections

October 6, 2014

A mascot can be more than a tiger roaming the sidelines of a game, it can serve as an ambassador for year-round fan engagement.

Consider this: A couple of weeks ago, Texas A&M’s live mascot, Reveille, a female rough collie, was saved from impending injury when an A&M cadet stepped between her and an SMU receiver and blocked the receiver from crashing into the dog. That got a lot of airplay and, for the cadet, got him a free pair of senior boots worth more than $1,000, paid for by the commandant of the Corps for his heroism. (you can read a play by play breakdown of the best block of the game here: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/9/22/6827349/reveille-texas-am-mascot-ryan-kreider)

So, the mascot earned Texas A&M great publicity and connected the school with the community and sports fans everywhere.

Think about adding a mascot to do the same for your organization?

For example, Kentucky Speedway for years had  ‘Horsepower,’ its community mascot. (pictured) Horsepower would be part of many community events that might not have had a thing to do with auto racing, such as mascot broomball every winter. Horsepower also has led library reading programs, participated in flag football at halftime of NFL games and been part of mascot foot races at Cincinnati Reds games.

Even though Kentucky Speedway is a venue with a handful of events throughout the year, its mascot ‘Horsepower’ helped keep Kentucky Speedway in front of the community, and consumers, throughout the year by having a presence at events.

Libraries have mascot reading dogs. Recycle services have mascot recycle bins (really). The idea is less about developing an expensive mascot, and more about keeping your organization, sports commission or venue in front of the community 24/7, 365.

Remember, it’s your community that supports your group with sponsorships, volunteers and ticket sales. Having a mascot is a fun and simple way to engage the community on a year-round basis.

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More than 200 sports tourism professionals in attendance at NASC Market Segment Meetings and CSEE Fall Module Held in Conjunction with USOC Olympic Sportslink

October 2, 2014

More than 200 NASC members gathered in Chicago, IL for the NASC semi-annual meeting from September 22-23, 2014. Hosted in conjunction with the USOC’s Olympic SportsLink conference, programming for the semi-annual meeting included: CSEE Fall 2014 Module, NASC Market Segment Meetings, and NASC Board of Directors meeting.

Daniel Diermeier, Ph. D., from the University of Chicago, presented the four-hour CSEE module on Crisis Management to 126 NASC members.  It focused on the key issues in a crisis situation and managing the flow of information.  After a 90 minute keynote presentation, attendees participated in a team activity that thrust them into a real-life crisis issue that grew beyond personal safety to include emotional issues and competing points of view. The session ended with a mock media conference and debriefing.  At the conclusion of the module, nine participants earned their CSEE credential.

Fall 2014 CSEE Graduates

Laura Garratt, CSEE, San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau
John Giantonio, CSEE, Casper Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Pete Harvey, CSEE,  Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission
Nick Hope, CSEE,  Al J. Schneider Company
Gen Howard, CSEE, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Alison Huber, CSEE, Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau
Lisa Pacheco, CSEE, Sports Williamsburg
Matt Robinette, CSEE, Richmond Region Tourism
Marva Wells, CSEE, High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau

The most recent class of certified sports event executives joins an elite group of only 140 sports tourism industry professionals across the country who share the CSEE credential. The next module will be held Monday, April 27th in Milwaukee, WI in conjunction with the 23rd annual NASC Sports Event Symposium.

The NASC Market Segment Meetings, created in 2006 to offer destinations with similar market size and organizational structure a platform to share ideas, was led by professional facilitator Adrian Segar. Over two days, 178 NASC members participated in discussions on the hottest topics  including local organizing committees, hotels, sports services, marketing/sponsorships, the bid process and bid fees, industry trends, facilities & facility management, economic impact, and creating your own events.

Additionally, the NASC Sports Legacy Committee announced Running Rebels Community Organization as the 2015 beneficiary of the NASC Sports Legacy Fund and kicked off the annual fundraiser with a 50/50 Split the Pot Raffle, raising nearly $500. The Sports Legacy committee’s goal is to raise $20,000 through a variety of activities to take place over the next six months with an emphasis placed on the silent auction and raffle to be held at the upcoming NASC Symposium.  Learn more about Running Rebels or how you can help leave a legacy.

At the conclusion of the Market Segment Meetings, the NASC board of directors held their monthly meeting. The agenda included reviewing the summer board action items, hearing updates from the retained earnings and hall of fame ad-hoc committees, sharing ideas and input on the marketing of the association to event rights holders and reviewing the 2014 mid-year membership survey results.  The NASC Board of Directors meets on a monthly basis via conference call and three times a year face-to-face.  If you are interested in applying for the 2015-2016 NASC Board of Directors to help lead the industry’s only not-for-profit association visit http://www.sportscommissions.org/About/Board-of-Directors/Nominations.

Current plans are to hold the 2015 NASC Market Segment Meetings in conjunction with the 2015 USOC SportsLink Conference. Dates and times for next year’s meetings will be announced in winter of 2015.

Playing the Game of Social Media Marketing

January 21, 2014

Are you getting stressed out by the pressure to be using social media? Are you confused about what is worth doing in social media and how to do it right? Then it is time for you to take a breath and join Author and Social Media Expert; Doug Motel in Playing the Game of Social Media Marketing. Doug will show you how to market your business with the top social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and more. Some of the things you will take away from this webinar are:

-What social media is and what it isn’t. 
-Why social media platforms are vital for small businesses.
-Tips & tricks for effectively using each platform for your business.
-Strategies to avoid overload when using this stuff. 
-And much, much more. 

Learn how to more effectively use social media platforms to keep your customers engaged and satisfied, giving you more time to focus on what you love to do most in your business!

Time: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Date: 2:00pm ET
Presenter: Doug Motel
Register Now!

Want more information on upcoming Best Practice and Event Webinars, check out our upcoming webinar schedule here.

Don’t Depend on Ticket Sales for a Successful Event

January 20, 2014

The first weekend of NFL playoffs saw down-to-the-wire, thrilling games in three of the four contests. It also saw something unusual – a scramble to sell out the first-round playoff games.

In Indianapolis, Cincinnati and, of all places, Green Bay, clubs scrambled, pleaded and cajoled their fan bases to buy tickets to assure sellouts and thus avoid the NFL mandated media market blackouts. To no one’s surprise, enough corporate buyers turned out at the last minute to assure the games would be shown in the home teams’ market.

If nothing else, the scramble for a sellout, and the subsequent publicity surrounding the difficulty to sell tickets, has shone a light on the now-antiquated NFL blackout rule. In fact, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has called on the Federal Communications Commission to eliminate the Sports Blackout Rule, which was instituted in 1973.

Now, many believe that rule has outlived its usefulness, mainly because the NFL now enjoys the richest television contracts in sports—in 2011 the NFL announced a nine-year extension to its TV packages with Fox, NBC and CBS, under which, according to Forbes, the networks are expected to pay about 60% more than under the old contract.

The new deal, which kicks in after the 2013 season, means the networks will pay about $3 billion a year to show games. Throw in deals with the NFL Network, DirectTV and Westwood One, among others, and NFL teams will split nearly $7 billion in media money per year starting in 2014. That’s more than $200 million per team before a ball hits the turf, no matter who’s blacked out where.

The second reason the blackout rule has seen its time come and go: Ticket sales are an archaic measure of fan support.

It has long been the belief, if a city’s fans won’t buy lots of tickets, they must not be loyal fans. In this day of social media connections, 70” flat screen televisions and RedZone updates, just the opposite is true. Fans are SO involved (especially those who play in fantasy leagues) they want to know what everyone is doing in the league, not just their own team. They’re bigger fans than ever, not just of their team, but of the sport overall.

So what does that mean for an event that you want to bring to your region? Just this: Yes, you want people to attend, and if you bring in a sport or an event that has lots of local participants, all the better to bring in attendees and volunteers. But don’t think you’re going to reach your budget goals by selling $5 tickets to a soccer tournament.

You might have one of the top golf participation areas in the nation, but hold a junior golf tournament in your city and you might find out that you can’t sell tickets. It’s not that people don’t love to watch golf, they love to PLAY golf – usually at the same times your junior tournament is being held.

Or maybe you want people to sample your event—watch youth lacrosse for the first time, for example. What better way to encourage people to stop by than to offer free admission.

During the deep freeze of January 2014, the University of Cincinnati women’s basketball program offered free admission to its game with Rutgers, with complimentary hot chocolate and coffee (courtesy of Coach Jamelle Elliott) for those who braved sub-freezing temperatures to come out. The attendance that night was almost twice what a midweek game usually averages.

The bottom line is, the bottom line. Sponsor support is the life blood of your event. Get your costs covered by sponsorship, and don’t roll the dice on ticket sales. In fact, many youth events have free admission—or tickets at family-friendly prices.

The NFL blackout rule is as dated as event organizers depending on ticket sales to pay for your event. Ticket sales are not a measure of support for the sport. The event world knows that—the NFL needs to realize that as well.

Jackie

Jackie Reau

Game Day Communications

700 West Pete Rose Way

Cincinnati, Ohio 45203

(513) 929-4263, office

(513) 708-5822, mobile

(513) 929-0245, fax

jreau@gamedaypr.com

www.gamedaypr.com

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