148. Digital SMS Assignment
Select at least 2 teams from different leagues, at least one team must be in-season (NFL, MLB, MLS, NHL,
NBA, MLS or EPL). Go to each team’s website and opt-in to receiving its e-mail newsletters and digital
updates. Also, Like the teams on Facebook and follow their main team account on Twitter. Optional,
register for text messages. Track and contrast how the teams communicate varying types of messaging
and the frequency with which they do so. Are their sales and marketing priorities evident, and if so what are
they? Are their sponsors integrated and if so, who are they and how? Are the digital assets integrated with
one another (i.e. are they reinforcing the similar messaging) and do they tie back to team’s website? Is
there a clear call-to-action and engagement? Is one team doing a better job than the other? Was it easy to
opt-in and how long did it take to begin receiving team e-mails? Contrast the messaging during the 3-4
weeks that you are following them. Due start of Class February 25 – Word (2-3 pages) with up to 3 ppt.
slide exhibits (screen shots).
Here is an example from another student:
I choose three NBA teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and New York Knicks, which are all in-season teams. For Houston Rockets, I signed up for Rockets Insider; New York Knicks does not have e-Newsletter; For LA Lakers, I signed up for Lakers Insider. I also followed their Facebook and Twitter.
For all three teams, it is very simple to find the place to subscribe e-Newsletter, follow Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Taking LA Lakers as an example. It has the information in the left side of the front page of the official website. Fans could find 8 ways to follow the team on the menu. After clicking the email icon, I just need to create an account by typing basic information and check the categories I want to subscribe. In addition, both Rockets and Lakers have very quick response to the subscription. New York Knicks, However, fails to deliver messages and information via email subscription because they do not even have this option.
In terms of welcoming their fans, LA Lakers sent out welcome email with links of six ways to follow the Lakers via social media, which are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Text alerts, as well as mobile apps. For Houston Rockets, it’s easy to opt-in to receiving its e-mail newsletters too. In addition, from my point of view, its welcome email is better than Laker’s. The email not only delivers the message of what followers will get in the email in the future, but also places colorful social media icons in the lower right corner. Besides, players’ photos with red background (their symbol color) included in the email delivers how dynamic the team is. However, LA Lakers sent email with text only. For New York Knicks, although they follow fans back on Twitter and Facebook, they do not have an official welcoming email. In this part, I think Houston Rockets is doing better than LA Lakers and New York Knicks.
In terms of the types of email each team sends out, LA Lakers sends out monthly newsletter, including unique articles about Lakers (February is about their guard Kendall Marshall), Lakers community news, and promotions, such as tickets information and special sponsored events (February is Camp Lakers presented by Denny’s). On their Facebook, they have a huge fan base with more than 18 million “likes”. They are very active on updating game and players’ status, as well as news reports and related information. However, I found they repeat a lot of things in different platforms, which leads to inefficiency of marketing communication. Most fans would like to follow and subscribe for all the platforms, so the marketing team should think about differentiating each platform to increase the engagement with fans. Moreover, although they have 3.66 million followers on twitter, I think they tweet too much, most times 10-20 tweets per day.
Houston Rockets sends out newsletter more frequently than LA Lakers, nearly one per day. It includes game notes, which provide game preview, broadcast information, and social media updates, special offers from corporate partners, and promotions of events in Toyota center. In addition, Rockets sent me a happy birthday email, which I think is a sweet interaction with their fans. On their Facebook and Twitter, they have 1,518,473 “Likes” and 361 thousand followers respectively. Facebook focuses more one the game notes, players’ updates, special ticket offers, and related information and news. They are very active on these platforms too. For example, comparing with 3-4 average posts per day of Lakers, Rockets has as many as 8 posts per day. In terms of Twitter, they focus on the players and events, and interactions with fans.
New York Knicks has around 4 million “Likes” on their Facebook and 867 thousand followers on their Twitter. In my opinion, one of the reasons that they have more “Likes” and followers than Rockets is they provide a lot of visual information on Facebook and Twitter, which I think is a very good way to get fans involved and excited.
From the point of integration of digital assets, all three teams’ digital assets are well integrated with one another. They are keeping posting players’ information, games notes, ticket sales, and marketing promotions on different platforms and reinforcing the similar messaging to fans to get most comprehensive exposure. Moreover, each team does a great job on tying information and news back to team’s website. For instance, game preview and dates are posted on the top of the official websites, which Facebook, Twitter, and newsletter keep updating them.
On the other hand, Houston Rockets seems to have more sales and marketing priorities than the other two teams. They have high frequency on sending special offers and promotions of their products via email, Facebook, and Twitter when the season has not started. Comparatively, for example, New York Knicks promotes their team players more often than the others. LA Lakers has fewer sales emails, posts, and tweets. Yet all three teams are on the same level of promoting tickets sale and event.
Another contrast could be made through sponsor’s exposure. It is hard to find sponsor’s information on the home page of LA Lakers’ and New York Knicks’ official website, which in contrast, the sponsor information of Houston Rockets is very obvious in the lower bottom of the official website. Besides, Rockets has more sponsor exposures on Facebook and Twitter than the other two teams. Lakers and Knicks have very limited exposure on the on-site banners in the photos and videos posted on Facebook and Twitter. These two teams should provide more sponsor benefits by increasing the exposure of their names.
All three teams also have call-to-action and engagement, but Houston Rockets and New York Knicks are doing better than LA Lakers. For example, Rockets posted “You can watch a Rockets game in VIP style with eleven of your closest friends, catch the player’s pre-game shoot around from courtside and serve as the game’s honorary captain when the Rockets take on the Pistons on March 1st! Visit rockets.com/toyotasuitestakes to enter for your chance to win!” Knicks posted “Tweet a picture of your best Tim Hardaway Jr. celebration using #Tim36 for a chance to win an autographed box score from his spectacular 36-point Rising Stars performance!” This kind of information could directly get fans involved. However, Lakers only has some information such as festival blessing and “Thank you” to their fans.
Overall, Houston Rockets does the best job among these three teams.
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