How College Football Bowls Use Audience Data to Understand their Fans and Fill their Stadiums

College Football Bowls2019-04-12T16:19:27-05:00

Project Description

No matter the time of the year, every College Football fan has their eyes on one thing: bowl season. Although it comes around only once per year, the planning and marketing of these games is a year-round task.

Bowls need to spend the offseason proactively growing their database, activating valuable local fans and evolving their marketing strategy. To do so, bowls have enlisted the help of MVPindex’s Audience platform to discover rich insights about their fanbase to leverage for targeted marketing campaigns.

Valero Alamo Bowl

Best Practice: Engage fans with a “Pick the Teams” activation in the heart of college football season. Then, launch a targeted campaign
with the data.

Valero Alamo Bowl launched an activation to engage fans in October, asking them to pick who they thought would face off in the 2018 Valero Alamo Bowl.
By having fans authenticate with their social handles, the Bowl acquired demographic and brand affinity data for 484 net new fans (79% of respondents) that were added to their database.

In addition, they asked fans for their favorite college football team and if they
were interested in tickets—two segments they could use for direct outreach or targeting criteria in ad campaigns.

When the teams were announced on December 6th, they launched a targeted Facebook ad campaign using this data. This campaign resulted in 730 clicks through to their website, 66 conversions and a 25.7X ROAS.

We’re collecting actionable fan data in real-time through sponsors’ activations that help us generate leads and sell tickets.

RICK HILL, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS, ALAMO BOWL

Music City Bowl

Best Practice: Launch a co-branded activation with a sponsor to give away a sought-after prize pack and simultaneously collect fan data and generate new leads.

Music City Bowl launched a sweepstakes activation that gave away the “Ultimate Music City Bowl Experience” and was sponsored by Cooper Steel. This package included hotel accommodations, commemorative Bowl tickets, access to Bowl tailgates and events, parking passes and more.

They promoted this activation organically through their social channels, email and on their website. With an eye on team selections, they added a paid component in mid-November with a Facebook campaign targeting fans they lacked in their database who could be selected. Overall, they had 3,206 people complete the activation—91% who were net-new to their database.

In addition to the standard questions (name, email, zip code, etc) on the activation, they also asked what kinds of Music City Bowl ticket packages the fans were interested in. 97% selected either individual, group or premium tickets, providing the Bowl with segments for direct, personalized outreach closer to the event.

Audience insights from net-new contacts

12.8X ROAS

Selection Day Ticket Sales Campaign

MVPindex’s Audience platform helped improve our online ticket sales and exposure to our target audience. The product gives us access to data we would not be able to procure on our own and expanded our database significantly within the first three months of use.

LAUREN SHATTO, DIGITAL MARKETING COORDINATOR, MUSIC CITY BOWL

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

Best Practice: Leverage local and national partners in joint efforts to reach college football fans.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl took advantage of an opportunity to further engage football fans in the offseason. Knowing that the 2019 movie, “Run the Race,” was being produced by Tim Tebow, the team collaborated with the movie’s promoters after the Bowl to engage their fanbase and find new fans.

Luckily, the movie was looking to bolster its presence in the Jacksonville area, so the partnership began. Together, they set up a co-branded activation promoting “Run the Race” that gave away a signed football by Tim Tebow. Approximately 1,484 people entered the sweepstakes and 79% were net-new to the database.

In the activation, fans were asked if they had heard of the movie and if they were interested in being contacted about future Jacksonville sporting events. 681 people said that they would like to be contacted about future sporting events, providing the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl with warm leads for upcoming events.

Audience insights from net-new contacts

MVPindex has allowed us to better serve our membership levels and ticket buyers as we gain useful insights into their behaviors and buying patterns. MVPindex’s Audience platform is intuitive, easy to use, and reporting has allowed us to better target ticket buyers, sell sponsorship and grow our database.

RICK CATLETT, PRESIDENT & CEO, TAXSLAYER GATOR BOWL

Bringing it Together

Bowls need to leverage audience data to effectively target and reach elusive fans. By having a proactive and comprehensive year-round data acquisition strategy, bowls can launch digital marketing campaigns that sell tickets and drive revenue for their organization.

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