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| February 10, 2014

5 Things to Consider About Promoting Around Sporting Events

Brands and retailers might shy away from running promotions around licensed events such as the Olympics or World Cup. While these events’ owners do protect their licensing rights vigorously, a company’s promotion can still take advantage of an event as long as it doesn’t infringe on any licensed material. Want to run such a promotion? Here are five important things to consider:

  1. Business owners must not let their own likes and loyalties drive their sponsorship decisions. Many 22-year-old, female customers may not share a business owner’s love of motor sports. Check the demographics and make sure the sporting event fits the target customer. Not sure how? Ask your local media rep.
  2. Skill-based, on-field promotions are the first thing most people think of when tying into a sporting event. Other ideas work too. Thinking creatively can build an engaging promotion that is fun for the consumer while driving traffic. An example: have fans take a selfie at the game with the scoreboard in the background, and text the photo for the chance to instantly win the Grand Prize and other guaranteed prizes. All entrants will receive a store coupon via return text good immediately after the game. That drives traffic and sales. Mobile promotions are convenient for the consumer and can create the behavior you want to encourage.
  3. Contest sponsors sometimes aren’t sure what words they can legally use. This is trickiest with college sports. For example, describing the University of Texas as simply “Texas” is fine. Using “The Texas Longhorns”, “University of Texas” or “UT” is not. For the pro football season, it’s pretty easy: City names are ok, player names are ok, and game results and stats are public record. Using video and photos you don’t have the broadcast rights to is never ok. Unsure? Spend $1000-$1500 in advance for a legal opinion on licensing rights to avoid paying tens of thousands later.
  4. Every promotion needs clear, concise rules that flow from the design. Rules include how the promotion works, the promotion dates, who is eligible, how to win, the prizes and their retail values, odds of winning, and how to claim the prize.
  5. Sports fans live on social media. Make sure to use it alongside traditional media to advertise your promotion. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others spread the word about your sports promotion at little or no cost. If you are a team sponsor, ask the team to post it on their website and send an email blast to their fan groups. Fan groups are a great source of no-cost viral marketing.

Promotions are a great way to spotlight your product or business. Sporting events allow you to join in consumers’ interest and enthusiasm. Make sure to cover all your bases so your promotion will be a home run!

Julie Davis is the Research & Development/Sr. Accounts Manager for SCA Promotions of Dallas, Texas. With 30 years of experience in advertising and promotions, she is a promotions consultant and speaker working with clients on local, regional and national programs. SCA Promotions is one of the world’s largest prize promotion companies, creating and underwriting results driven B2C and B2B promotions.


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