Take Me Out To the Ball Game (But Don’t Forget Your Mobile Device)

Mobile Marketing

With America’s pastime, Major League Baseball, kicking off its 2012 season this week, you may want to take note of the results of a recent study released by Motricity: “79% of sports fans use mobile.”

Fans attending baseball games this summer will see the beautiful green grass on the field, hear the crack of the bat, smell the fresh popcorn, and taste the delicious hot dogs. The most important sense to consider is touch: That is the interaction by fans on their touchscreen smartphone with the professional sports franchises.

So many sports fans are using mobile, therefore, it’s important for teams to have a mobile marketing strategy in place to engage their loyal fan base, promote upcoming events, and sell merchandise. As an online marketing specialist with prior experience working in the sports industry, I’m pleased to share some great tips to help you develop a mobile marketing strategy.

Mobile Website

According to Neilsen, “66% of Americans ages 24-35 own a smartphone.” A mobile website should be a must-have in your mobile marketing strategy. A mobile website will allow your fans to easily access your game schedule, purchase tickets & merchandise, read team news, and lookup player statistics.

SMS Marketing

Sports teams, like any business, are always striving to build their list of subscribers, whether it’s for email newsletters or direct mail campaigns. Why not take advantage of the SMS marketing, since it has the highest open rate compared to any other permission-based marketing method. For example, you can build your list of subscribers by having a text-to-win contest or by simply inviting fans to sign-up for text alerts with the incentive being occasional discounts on tickets or merchandise.

QR Codes

These two-dimensional matrix barcodes are commonly used in mobile marketing strategies. Sports teams can use QR codes in their printed game programs to deliver even more content to fans.  For example, a team includes a QR code, which leads to a video interview or highlight video, in an article about one of its star players.

Social Media

There’s no question that social media is mobile. Most people on Twitter send tweets directly from their smartphone and checking-in on Foursquare would not be possible without a GPS-enabled mobile device. For example, your team can engage fans at the game by running a Tweet Your Seat promotion. Then the promotional crew can bring a prize to the winning seat. Also, your team can incentivize check-ins on Foursquare by offering a special prize for the “Mayor.”

There’s an app for that!

Smartphone apps are great for increasing the engagement of your fan base, because you can offer interactive elements such as games, sortable stats, video highlights, audio highlights, and team news. App developers can also take advantage of the mobile device’s native features and implement APIs to connect to social media.

Now that you have some ideas for your mobile marketing strategy, why don’t you sit back, relax, and enjoy some peanuts and Cracker Jack, because it’s time to “Play Ball!”

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