Over the past year sports has been hands down one of our biggest markets. Its easy to understand. Clients have great traffic and sports teams and organizations have some of the most fanatical fans. These two factors drive some of the best campaigns.
We have run successful campaigns for the Oakland Raiders, Ihoops.com, Eteamz.com, and Sports Illustrated Kids. The Raiders best fan photo contest was a great success with 1.2 million votes and 1600 submissions in 8 weeks.
As we look at the new year and how the sports market can benefit from our services, I believe one of the biggest overlooked opportunity is for pro athletes to leverage contests to communicate with their fans.
This morning I was watching Chad Johnson now Ocho Cinco live stream talking to his fans and I thought it was awesome. Reggie Bush I also think has a great site and I know has a social media consultant helping him communicate with his fans more effectively. Social Media is allowing athletes to communicate with their fans on their own time so they don’t feel overwhelmed when they are focused on playing.
I think the next step that some of the more proactive athletes could take would be running interactive contests with their fans. Athletes are like brands and they have loving fans. Why not embrace this?
Here are some ideas we have and we are open to any other ideas from agents or sports consultants:
- Fan Poster or Apparel Design Contest : Fans would love to design a cool shirt or poster for an athlete and the athlete benefits by getting some rocking fan inspired art.
- Fan Voted Photo Contest for a new sports card: A player could upload a bunch of action photos and let fans decide which picture will be on their next sports card. The athlete or card company could run this.
- Fan Logo Design Contest: Reggie Bush has a cool logo with his initials. How cool would it be to have tons of fans designing logos for Reggie and have one win. I love Roger Federer’s logo. It would be awesome if a fan had designed it.
- Fan Art Contest: We have been running contests with SIKids.com for the last year and some of the art from these kids is amazing. It would be awesome to pick an athlete each month and let fans submit their best drawing. Kids would love it and it is such great PR for an athlete.
The cool thing is prizes don’t have to be big cash prizes like brands use. Prizes could be a personal note and some personalized signed gear. Those are the things fans live for and will mount on their wall and pass to their kids.
Here are some examples of amazing art we have received in the last year work with Sports Illustrated Kids. Athletes with great fan relationships are the ones that are remembered forever.