One of the really great things about working at Intel is the fact that I get to work on some amazing programs. As a GIGANTIC sports fan and an ardent user of great technology, I have been spoiled this year. Not only are we announcing and launching a new family of Intel Core processors, we are doing so around major events in the first half of the year. First, there was the Super Bowl. Next was last Sunday’s first ever foray in the Academy Awards. Starting this Sunday, we are unveiling a major relationship with CBS and their coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tourney – aka, March Madness. Don’t let me tell the tale, rather read what Stuart Elliott’s (New York Times Advertising columnist) take in today’s Media Decoder blog. We’re very happy with this coverage – Mr. Elliott did a nice job capturing the essence of a very complicated integrated media effort. I’ll be watching the whole tourney – from Selection Sunday, to the Play-In game, the National Championship game on April 5th in Indianapolis.
According to the ‘Bits’ blog on the New York Times digital site, referencing a report from the University of California, San Diego – Americans have a ‘diet’ of 34GB a day… WOW! That’s a LOT of content. The biggest gainer, by medium is the gaming platform:
“Gaming saw the biggest leap in the number of bytes we consume and the amount of time devoted to this platform.”
Not surprising, print consumption continues to decline, with a caveat:
“Print media has declined consistently, but if you add up the amount of time people spend surfing the Web, they are actually reading more than ever.”
For a graphical breakdown of how Americans consume this content, see the graph below.
When you think about Fantasy Football, do you think about it as a complete marketing opportunity? More likely than not you don’t, however, you should. There was a great article in MediaPost yesterday that described the benefits of focusing a marketing program around this annual Fall phenomenon. Would it work for marketers not selling a non athletic product? Yes, specifically for this point:
“For advertisers, these are highly dedicated, highly committed players with very, very attentive engagement,” says Paul Charchian, president at Fantasy Sports Trade Association. (quote courtesy of USA Today). Paul touches on another key point in his second statement: “It’s extremely cost-effective entertainment, and it remains an important part of the social networking for men“.
I spend a lot of time on my CBS Sports Fantasy Football page – currently, Edge Gel has the advertising monopoly there. Coincidence? Not if you bear in mind the quote from Paul above. This is a very specific audience that spends a significant time on their respective football sites – targeting them with ads that are relevant and useful to them are bound to make a positive impression for the companies placing those ads. That’s why you will see truck manufacturers, major electronics chains, and other purveyors of goods mostly bought by men advertising on every major fantasy site offering in market – if they are smart. As the MediaPost article above references, marketing around a passion point like Fantasy Football offers more than more than meets the eye at first:
1. Integrated Marketing Platform, coupling an offline event (the game) that is still ‘appointment’ TV – less likely to be recorded and watched at a later time – with online tools to track player stats, your team, and your league standings.
2. Social Networking opportunity – whether it’s gaining an edge on your opposing owners, or smack talking during Sundays many of the sites offer one to one or one to many tools for easy communication.
3. Loyalty- this is an addictive past-time. As such, active owners of fantasy teams are not limiting their perusal of their favorite sports sites to just Sundays. They are hitting them every day of the week, often multiple times a day – offering the brand that is advertising a tremendous number of impressions to their campaign.
The NFL has embraced the extension of their brand into Fantasy Football – in doing so they have found additional avenues to engage with their target audience through a completely integrated marketing campaign – online, offline, broadcast, social media, and in some cases – print. How many other marketing campaigns can claim that level of integration? And we haven’t even touched on the positive response from the audience they serve… Well done, NFL.
Razorfish released their 2009 Digital Outlook Report yesterday. Interesting read that covers a new role for agencies, what’s emerging, consumer conversations, the evolution of research and measurement, and 3 things every executive should know in 2009. I thought the “Trends in Social Influence Marketing” and “Bringing Media Mix Models Into the Digital Era” were very insightful.
Traditional marketing as we know it is changing. Heck, it’s changed a LOT over the last few years with the rise in user-generated brand advocacy and criticism. Companies need to start thinking about social media in this way- and some already are, like Scotts:
Adotas profiles them in their February 20th article:
“The Scotts site leverages social media to elevate the consumer experience. Scotts enables consumers to participate in blogs, forums, and photo galleries that are designed to inspire and assist gardening enthusiasts….. Within days of rolling out the social media features, thousands of visitors registered to create blogs, connect with other lawn care enthusiasts, and share their stories and pictures. To date, the Scotts site has hosted more than 246,000 social interactions between consumers.”
Allowing people to connect on your site around their passion points to elevate your brand affinity…smart.