Sports teams are in a unique position when it comes to online marketing. Many teams are part of long-established traditions and have been around for decades, and the local populace in particular is committed to following the team’s progress and cheering the players on. However, the more support your team has, the better its chance of sponsorship (if applicable) and the more it will trend online. A giveaway is a simple and rewarding way to increase search engine optimization for your team’s website and social media profiles.
Choose a Simple Prize
It’s tempting to offer something huge, like $1000 cash or a year’s worth of free tickets, but you don’t have to go so grand when it comes to an online giveaway. Unbounce reports that giveaways increase conversion rates by 700 percent. Don’t put your entire budget for the giveaway into one large sweepstakes with a big prize. You may catch the attention of more people for the single giveaway, but you’ll get more traffic total if you add up all of the people who participate in small giveaways you do at least once a month. Examples of a small giveaway prize a sports team could offer include:
- Tickets for one game
- Memorabilia (jackets, hats, pennants, etc.)
- $50 or $100 cash
- An opportunity to have a meet and greet with the team
- An autographed team photo or piece of sports equipment
- Sports equipment
- A free scoreboard ad
Don’t underestimate the effect of offering something to everyone who acts on your call to action. For example, you might offer a 10% off tickets code to anyone who signs up the for the team’s mailing list and skip the giveaway aspect entirely. People who don’t bother with sweepstakes because they assume they won’t win will be more tempted by a guaranteed reward; you can also offer this type of guaranteed reward to your sweepstakes entrants for even more entries.
Redirect and Cross-Promote
Social Media Today suggests setting actionable goals. You won’t know how successful your sweepstakes is simply by the number of entrants; you also want to know how many of those entrants then looked at the team’s website, signed up for the team’s mailing list or shopped at the online team store. So, for example, set a goal of getting 1000 more mailing list subscribers. Then promote the giveaway across the Internet – on the team website, the team’s Twitter, Facebook and other social media profiles – and redirect Internet users to the mailing list signup page. Then watch the number of signups during the sweepstakes period. If you don’t meet your goal, reexamine what you offer as a prize.
As with every online marketing strategy, know the difference between spamming your followers and informing them. Use a moderate amount of hashtags, for example, but don’t overload your social media posts with them on Twitter or Facebook. (It’s generally more acceptable and effective to include lots of hashtags on Instagram, but after the post, not in the content of the post.) Send out reminders throughout the day, but not every few minutes. Advertise on blogs and websites that cater to your target demographic, particularly local businesses. You might even partner with a local business or several for the giveaway.
Run a giveaway regularly and enjoy a frequent boost in social media followers and online traffic. The smaller and more localized your team, the less likely you are to have to worry about the legalities of a simple online sweepstakes, but if you can run the giveaway by a lawyer to make sure everything is done above board. At the very least, discuss it with the team’s accountant so the taxes are properly filed at the end of the year to account for the giveaways.