(This is a guest article by Michael Coco)
We all strive on the ability to obtain information when and how we want it; and it is becoming more and more popular to receive that information through our mobile devices. Millions of people use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many other social networking sites every day. The question is, would we use them as much, or at all, if they weren’t available on our cellular devices? With the addition of 4th Generation wireless networks offering speeds that surpass traditional DSL Lines, we now have the ability to do more than we ever imagined. Although stringent mobile marketing tactics may seem like a distant thought for most, several organizations have already begun implementing them.
Much like many other professional ball clubs, the New Orleans Hornets have a pretty standard mobile marketing campaign. On a fairly regular basis they send out text messages informing their fans of the latest news and happenings around the league. However, It’s not their marketing campaign that’s drawing attention. The Hornets have recently implemented a system called Microsoft Dynamics CRM and used it to create a mobile application for their scouts. This app enables the scouts to store information on the players they’re watching in real time and load it into a database for instant evaluation. The database is then used to rank players based on a standard set of criteria allowing the front office to easily sort through potential draft picks before every round. I think we will see this type of technology catching on fast once the Hornets prove its effectiveness in the 2010 NBA Draft.
If you want a real life working example, the best one that comes to mind is Real Madrid. This European soccer powerhouse is well known for its play on the field, but what they are accomplishing with their revolutionary mobile marketing campaign surpasses even that. The team has been working with mobile technology for the past few years. The recent campaigns have seen so much success that Real has created a fully functional marketing division called Real Madrid Mobile. This department has launched a state of the art mobile platform called MyMadrid which offers fans access to live news feeds, game updates, ticket purchasing information and in game video feeds. They are even working to expand the possibilities of MyMadrid by offering Live TV feeds, Player Info. and merchandise links.
While there is a lot of focus overseas, there are also many teams here in the US that utilize mobile technology to keep fans connected. The Phoenix Coyotes, for example, recently implemented a mobile marketing campaign using Thwapr. This company allows them to send and receive mobile video via text message. Using this technology they are able to interact with fans on a more personal level and bring them closer to the action than ever before. The National Football League is doing something similar by taking advantage of their new deal with Verizon Wireless. The League has allowed Verizon to give its customers the ultimate football experience on their mobile devices. Once the season kicks off they will have full access to live feeds of all Sunday and Thursday Night football match-ups. Not to mention, game highlights and special NFL inside access privileges. They also promise to offer even more content once their 4G service kicks-off. Believe it or not the US Men’s Polo team even uses Mobile Media to connect with its fans. If that’s not enough to make you see that the technology is here, I don’t know what is.
Do you think mobile media is killing traditional forms of marketing? Eventually will there even be a need for live events? It may be hard to swallow for some, but I believe it is already happening. In the near future we will see more and more fans using mobile devices at games to supplement what their seeing on the field, and unless you’re on board with the newest way to market your brand, you could be left behind.
Michael Coco is an Event Coordinator at Octagon Sports Marketing who has been working in sports nearly all his life. Getting his start with a well established sports publication entitled South Louisiana Sports Scene, Michael steadily has built upon his passion and knowledge of the industry. Michael, aka Coco, specializes in marketing and event planning and has done work with various organizations including, the New Orleans Zephyrs as a marketing and community relations Associate. He currently resides in the Chicagoland area but is a Southern boy at heart and is always up for a good conversation. If you feel obliged to reach out, you can connect with him on Twitter @michaelcoco or LinkedIn