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Home Team Marketing taps mobile to interact with teens

High school sports marketing company Home Team Marketing is using mobile to interact with sports fans, athletes and coaches during sports games.

Home Team Marketing is working with mobile technology provider Phizzle on the initiative. Over the coming months, Home Team Marketing will roll out mobile initiatives including SMS, mobile bar codes, branded applications and social media efforts.

?One of the biggest challenges of high schools is raising money, which this initiative will help with,? said Ben Davis, CEO of Phizzle, San Francisco

?This initiative follows suit with what we do in professional sports, which is to give fans information that they would not have otherwise and provide real-time interaction and stats that take place during sports games,? he said.

Engaged fans
Home Team Marketing will now be equipped with mobile marketing capabilities across 10,000 high schools in the United States.

Twenty-one state association partners will also have the option to include mobile into their overall marketing mix.

The partnership marks Home Team Marketing?s move into mobile as it realizes that more teens are using their mobile devices to communicate with each other.

Examples of how mobile will be used to complement high school?s marketing initiatives include using an SMS program during a high school football game to give fans extra bits of information.

Real-time trivia and games to keep sports fans interacting during the games are also planned to be used during games.

Additionally, mobile messages from sponsors of high school sporting events could be brought into games, giving advertisers a way to directly target teens.

The mobile marketing campaigns will begin to be rolled out in the next few weeks.

Mobile teens
The Phizzle and Home Team Marketing partnership points to the increasing number of teenagers using their mobile devices as their primary communication tool, which helps brands create tailored marketing campaigns to teens.

In particular, SMS can be an effective way for marketers to target teens because of its reach.

For example, nonprofit Do Something recently increased the number of its SMS programs after seeing that the text programs were effective in communicating with teens (see story).

?This is exciting really because major brands will have the opportunity to engage with students on their handsets, which is where marketers and brands should be,? Mr. Davis said.

?One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to get game information to parents, athletes and students instantly, and providing that information on their phones is really the only way to go,? he said. 

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York