Sports Business Journal & Zoomph Microsites

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Information about Sports Business Journal & Zoomph Microsites

Published on September 29, 2015

Author: Zoomph


1. 16 ❘ September 28-October 4, 2015 ❘ Street Smith’s SportsBusinessJournal M osteveryplatformwithindigital media,fromWebpagesandemail tosocialmediaandmobilealerts, haslongbeenminedformarketingpurpos- es,manytothepointof userfatigue.Butthe element on any smartphone or computer that many users rely on and use the most on any given day — the calendar function — has stayed largely untouched. Until now. A fast-growing collection of teams, leagues,associations,collegeprogramsand retailershaveembracednewsolutionsthat allowthemtoconveytheirmessagewithin a fan’s calendar. Reminders of upcoming games, alerts for ticket on-sale dates and last-minute seat availabilities, and even individualized birthday and anniversary messagesarenowcommunicatedthrough the calendar platform. ECal, an Australia-based company that hasdescribedthecalendarasthe“lastun- tapped marketing frontier,” has in a mat- ter of months partnered with dozens of pro and major college entities, including the New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, Boston Celtics, Major League Soccer and Duke University. In each in- stance,theteamsandpropertiesuseeCal’s cloud-basedsoftwaretotalktofansthrough their calendars. Fanscanoptintoavarietyof additional calendarlistingsbeyondcoregamesched- ules,suchasteam-relatedTVprogramming listings, and season-ticket holder and cor- porate events, and set reminders against them. The teams and properties in turn keep the fan data generated through the system, allowing for mining within key revenue lines. “Thishasreallybecomeawholenewcat- egory,awholenewcommunicationschan- nel,”saidPatrickBarrett,eCalfounderand chief executive. “Marketers are finding it harder than ever to capture the time and attention of consumers, and we’re right there in the middle of people organizing their time.” The software works on a two-direction format—elementssuchasatimeschedule can be synced directly into a user’s calen- dar.Buteventslistedonthecalendar,such as ticket on-sale dates, also can serve as a jumping-off pointinwhichafanlinkstoa Web page or mobile app to purchase seats, and interacts with other team or league content. ECalisalsoactiveinotherareasof com- merce,includingretail,finance,education, andeventandconferencebusiness.Butthe company says it is sports that has quickly become a leading category. “Sports has definitely been pacing the market in terms of really proving the con- ceptof calendarmarketing,”Barrettsaid. eCalGetting on the calendar Using tech to connect Evolving technologies are changing the game in fan engagement T hekeyquestionsarounddigitalmarketing,inmanyways, have stayed the same since the dawn of the mainstream consumer Internet more than two decades ago. Howcanateamorleagueusedigitalplatformstoconnectbetter withfans,andcreatenewones?Howcansponsorsbreakthrough thecluttertocreatemaximumimpact?Howcantheseplatforms be used better to create new forms of fan engagement, particu- larly on non-game days? How can a sports marketer better and more quickly identify the right consumer and spend less time on the wrong ones? Fueled in part by a historic run of venture capital entering the sportsindustryandadvancesincomputingandmobiletechnolo- gies,manyof thoseage-oldquestionsarenowgettingmeaningful answers. Thissectionwillexploreavarietyof emergingtechnologiesin digitalmarketingandfandevelopment,includingvisualsearches that comb through photos on social media at massive scale, new ways of measuring online reach and engagement, and sending highly targeted, geo-located mobile alerts. While many are still in an embryonic state, early results have showndeepenedfanconnections,newticketsales,andheightened sponsor activation. “Ithinkwe’realltryingtogetawayfromold,mechanicalmar- keting,”saidAliManouchehri,chief executiveof Virginia-based Zoomph, a developer of high-end online microsites and social mediaanalyticstools.“We’regettingmuchclosertobeingableto embed that fan passion and affinity into every digital channel.” By eric fisher Staff Writer Alerted about postgame event Posted to Instagram Sentcustomized content getty images In-DepthIn-Depth Digital Marketing

2. Street Smith’s SportsBusinessJournal ❘ September 28-October 4, 2015 ❘ 19 In-DepthIn-DepthDigital Marketing I n an era of widely distributed digital content, dedicated team and player microsites still have not only a place with fans, but a vibrant one. Seeking to break through the clutter and noise of traditional digital sports media and their own primary websites, a fast-growing collection of pro teams have aligned with firms such as Virginia-based Zoomphtocreatecustomizedonlineexpe- riences for special events and team com- memorations. Recentexamplesof Zoomph’smicrosite workhaveincludedaninteractivedestina- tion highlighting the Miami Dolphins’ 50 years in the NFL, another in which fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr. can share their fa- vorite memories of the NASCAR driver, andanewlycreatedWashingtonRedskins Gamedaythatessentiallyactsasavirtual, continually updating game program com- plete with statistics, injury updates, game analysis,socialmediaintegrationandpress conference video. The microsite development work builds upon Zoomph’s existing work in real-time social media analytics. “There is a real interest in longer-form storytelling online,” said Ali Manoucheh- ri, Zoomph chief executive. “Teams, of course, want to engage with their fans. So what we’re trying to do is use data to help create intelligent, curated content and open up a whole new form of story- telling.” Inmanyinstances,themicrositesfeature a single presenting sponsor, allowing for a level of marketing ownership and pre- sentation for sponsors often not available elsewhere online. “What we like to call it is right-brain technology, gaining a better understand- ing of how emotions are going to work and specifically where fan passions lie,” Manouchehri said. W hile most of the digital media industry is pushing toward mobile as much as possible, California-based DeskSite is veering the other way toward larger screens. The company, backed by entertainment and sports industry heavyweightssuchasagentLeighSteinberganddirectorsPeter FarrellyandJoePytka,offerswhatitcalls “DVR For the Internet.” Subscribers to team-basedDeskSitechannelshaveexclu- sivecontentdownloadedautomaticallyto theircomputerdesktops,tabletsandcon- nected TVs, allowing for high-definition andbuffer-freeviewingevenwhenoffline. DeskSitediffersfrommostotherdigital video providers in several key ways. The company caps its ad- vertising load, as a percentage of content viewed, to 10 percent, far below most any other medium. But it still typically charges higher-than-normaladvertisingratesbecauseitcantargetspe- cifically to geographies, age groups and genders. Ads are also triggered only after watching a certain amount of content, as opposed to before every new video clip or every new session of watching. The service is free to consumers and totally ad supported. In less than four years, DeskSite has aligned with more than two dozen NFL, NHL and MLS teams, generally operating on revenue-sharing agreements. “We are delivering a TV experience to TV advertisers, but on theInternet,”saidRichardGillam,DeskSitechief executive.Gil- lamisaformerU.S.Marineandcompetitive figure skater who was a key early figure in theriseof daytradingontheU.S.stockmar- ket. “Being right on the desktop, we occupy beachfront property. But we think there’s a bigopportunitytoprovideafarricher,more personalizedexperiencetothefansandgive teamsadistincttouchpointforthemtodeliver more of their core product.” Users are asked to supply their age and gender when first signing up and then reconfirm that data after an initial period of content consumption. “Having those two pieces of data, age and gender, allows us to shape an entirely different advertising experience,” Gillam said. “Most online ads are noise and mindless clicks, but we can offer a far greater degree of precision in front of a really engaged audience.” DeskSitePersonalized content Zoomph Specialized microsites Turnkey Sports Poll The following are results of the Turn- key Sports Poll taken in August. The survey covered more than 2,000 senior- level sports industry executives span- ning professional and college sports. nIfyouweretoinvestinonesocialmedia platform today, which would you pick? SnapChat 9% LinkedIn 8% Google+ 5% Pinterest 2% Vine 1% Reddit 0% Other 2% Not sure/no response 9% n What most impacts your decision on whether or not to open a marketing email? Sender 63% Subject line 21% Day/time received 1% Other 1% Nothing – I always open marketing emails 1% Nothing – I never open marketing emails 12% Not sure/no response 1% Source: Turnkey Sports Entertainment in conjunction with SportsBusiness Journal. Turnkey Intelligence specializes in research, measurement and lead generation for brands and properties. Visit 19% 16% 15% 14%

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