Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sports Marketing and Podcasting

With all the hardcore sports fans around the world, you would think that sports teams or organizations that create athletic gear would be podcasting. As I have said numerous times in the past, companies need to find new and interesting ways to break through the advertising clutter. It doesn’t seem like it would be too expensive to create them. You need software that you can download online and a camera to attach to your computer.

What is Podcasting? According to Wikipedia: “Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or music videos, over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. The term podcast, like 'radio', can mean both the content and the method of delivery…Usually a podcast features one type of 'show', with new episodes released either sporadically or at planned intervals such as daily or weekly. In addition, there are podcast networks that feature multiple shows on the same feed.”

I read an interesting article last month from Promo Magazine titled, “What Podcasting Can Do,” that got me thinking about how sports team should use this technology to create awareness and drive more interest and traffic to their teams.
Below is an example of a successful use of podcasting from the story: “Robert Claypool, product director for Johnson & Johnson's Acuvue vision care unit, said that when his company went looking for a way to strengthen its brand appeal and cultural connection to teens last fall, initiating a podcast series was ‘a clear winner.’ The company worked with an agency to create five weekly podcasts with Heather and Janelle, two Long Island high school girls who hosted the podcasts and talked about teen social items, including interviewing cute guys and fielding poll questions on the previous week's content. Claypool said J&J laid out some guidelines for the content of the podcasts but was careful to keep a low-key presence in the editorial content, often confined to a ‘shout out’ to Acuvue from the hosts for providing the airtime.”

How should teams or sports-related companies use podcasting to their advantage?

* Have a couple of funny hardcore fans do a weekly show about the team. Maybe they interview players; maybe they interview fans at the stadium or sports bar talking about the team. They could even offer an analysis of the games. The team can offered guidelines, but should allow some criticism if the team is performing poorly.

Note: While podcasting falls under the PR/Marketing realm, teams need to understand that fans will see right through if these podcasts are fluff pieces.

* What if a Reebok, New Balance or EMS had people podcast about their athletic adventures? You could get some extreme athletes or people who love the mountains and camping discuss stories or issues affecting their sport. They might talk about products from the company one week, they might not. It would still drive traffic to the company’s site in the long run.

The bottom line is this – from an outside perspective it seems that sports organizations do not want to use new technology and are scared to “think outside of the box.” If I were a small-market team in any sport, I would demand that my sales and marketing team used some of these technologies to generate interest and exposure and drive additional traffic to the stadiums.


At 11:37 AM, Blogger Patterson said...

You should become a marketing consultant for ballclubs. Build a site promoting yourself, have your own podcast, and link to this blog, for starters. Then shop yourself to teams in the area looking for innovative marketing concepts to fill seats.

I'll email my buddy with the C's, send him to your blog, it's pretty impressive.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Milne said...

Pat, thanks for the comment. One of the reasons I created this blog was to present my sports knowledge and hope someone at a club would read it. I don't know how valuable a podcast would be versus the blog at this point, but let me think about it. Thanks for the support.

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