Why did it capture my attention? One big reason is that I have personally seen more creative marketing and promotions from these minor league teams that, for many years, have been screaming at promoters to attend their games on non-race nights and take notes.
Oh I know, some of you (promoters, race teams and fans) are already screaming that a racetrack and ballpark are nothing close to being like each other. I would argue that both are providing a sports entertainment event. Both are trying to take a sport and provide an entertaining evening for fans that will create a need for them to come back to the next event, even bring more people with them.
Some promoters see social media as more of an evil than a valuable marketing tool. Promoters tend to look at social media as a vehicle for negative comments to be shared, thus hurting their business.
Some have even shut down their tracks because of this reason.
Let’s be honest, no matter where you go today, you will see people on their smartphones. Many times they are using a form of social media.
This is the time where promoters could take advantage of that usage.
How? Let’s learn by example. Back in February, 2016 ballparkdigest.com put out a story about how some minor league teams are getting creative with their social media nights.
The full article can be found here. http://ballparkdigest.com/2016/05/02/promotions-watch-social-media-nights/
Here are a few examples that promoters could easily do at their track/events.
The Durham Bulls has one of the best trends where they celebrate the best Instagram posts of the season with “The Instagrammys.” An annual event where fans that have the best Instagram post using the hashtag #DurhamBulls are rewarded prizes as part of the promotion.
The Buffalo Bison use several fan polls on their social networks. One example is the voters can select the walk-up music for opposing batters and will offer prizes to users.
Just think if your track does an inversion for races. Instead of rolling the dice on the track, you take an instant Twitter or Facebook poll and let the fans decide.
Some tracks have already started using Facebook on their race nights. They post the event on Facebook and when fans check-in that they are at the event, they are automatically put in a drawing for pace car rides, waving the green flag for a race, etc.
Maybe during the week leading up to the race event, do polls and let fans decide how many laps a division feature should be or what special event they would like to see down the road.
Social media is not an expensive form of marketing; it is today’s technological version of word of mouth. Friends are sharing with their friends who then share to their list of friends and more.
Encourage your fans to share with their friends along with making sure that the people in attendance are pushing the “Like” button on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Make regular daily posts and don’t do it at the same time every day, because your fans look at their social media at different times of the day and night.
Also, have fun and interact in a positive manner on there. If you see a fan post something from your track event, like and share it. It lets them know you saw it and appreciate their posting.
Heck, it’s pretty cool when I tweeted something to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. the other night and he liked it. It only takes a few seconds to do and it means volumes to the person who posted it.
If you don’t have the time yourself to look at social media, have someone who is into it help you and give them the access to make it work for you. Ask them to show you weekly analytics and constantly communicate with each other on what fans are saying.
Interaction in all areas of social media is key to the success.