University of Wyoming pumps up mobile investments for sports engagement
November 14, 2013
University of Wyoming dives into mobile marketing
The University of Wyoming is kicking its mobile marketing into gear for several sports teams, highlighting the need for colleges to move into sports-related campaigns to capitalize on fervent sports fans.
The college is part of a bigger partnership that advertising rights holder Learfield Sports has inked with Phizzle. Under the deal, 50 colleges and entertainment companies will be able to run mobile marketing campaigns for sports teams.
“With basketball, we started with tweet-to-screen, pic-to-screen and polling, which includes the texting function,” said Nick Popplewell, assistant athletics director for marketing and branding at University of Wyoming Athletics, Laramie, WY.
“Up to this point, I think we’re going to move forward with the tweeting, but right now it is pic-to-screen and the fan polling as well,” he said.
The University of Wyoming will use three types of mobile tactics for in-venue engagement.
The first is a tweet-to-screen tool that aggregates all of the tweets sent during the game to display on a leaderboard.
The second type of mobile activation is a picture-to-screen implementation where the university can ask consumers to send in pictures of themselves at games to an email address.
A social media call-to-action
Since fans are at games, presumably consumers are using their mobile devices to submit their photos.
The University of Wyoming is also leveraging in-stadium SMS polling.
For example, a recent call-to-action asked sports fans, "How much energy is being used to power the video board during today’s game?"
Sports fans could then text in their vote and view the results in real time on the leaderboard.
The campaigns will be used by the university’s football and women’s and men’s basketball teams.
The university is also running radio programs that leverage SMS to ask fans weekly trivia questions over the air.
Examples of trivia questions include: "Name the last time that Wyoming started 3-0 in conference play, and who was the leading receiver that year?"
Consumers then text in their answer to the short code 90561.
Finding a holistic fan
Professional sports teams have been active in the mobile space for quite some time, but there is also a big opportunity for college teams to leverage mobile because of the young, tech-savvy demographic that the sports teams attract.
College sports fans also tend to have more fanatical fans than professional sports fans, according to Ben Davis, CEO of Phizzle, San Francisco.
However, there are still significant challenges for these teams in aggregating the different profiles of sports fans across different digital channels into a holistic view of a sports fan.
“Some of the challenges that teams have is that they have data in silos, so if they are using one system for email marketing and another system for social media marketing and then another system for point-of-sale and so forth and so on,” Mr. Davis said.
“We have the ability to bring in all of that data into a central location and then through our algorithms converge profiles,” he said.
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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