Are you looking for ways that your organization can penetrate new marketplaces? Are you looking for ways to drive awareness and support for your brand across the globe?
Sports organizations looking to drive their fanbase in markets across the United States should consider creating a platform that rewards their ultimate fans of major cities/states across the nation.
For example, an organization like the Tampa Bay Rays could create an online promotion entitled, "The 50 Top Rays Fans of America" where fans are asked to submit short videos stating why they should be nominated as their state/city's representative. Teams with a more global focus (e.g. Lakers, Rockets, etc.) could create a similar promotion around the Top 50 fans around the world. Team can either reward these "select fans" with exclusive gear, special entitlements (monthly calls, guest visits, etc.), or special offers from supporting corporate partners.
Which sports properties are currently running similar campaigns?
Barclays is currently offering a "Barclays Fan of India" promotion as they search for the most passionate and fanatical Barclays Premier League supporter across India. Indian residents are asked to submit an entry form on http://barclaysfanofindia.com that tells why they are the biggest Premier League fan in India in less than 100 words. Fans can complement their submissions with videos and photos to enhance their chance of winning.
The first prize winner will receive a trip for two (2) to see a Barclays Premier League team of their choice during the 2009-10 season. The winners will receive airfare, three (3) nights of hotel accommodations, tickets and transfers as part of their experience. Ten runners-up winners will receive a free authentic Barclays Premiership jersey. Here is a quick video of the promotional campaign:
II. Boston Red Sox
In 2008, the Boston Red Sox ran a contest to name 45 Governors of Red Sox Nation (e.g. state representatives). The team received 1,500+ applications from supporters representing all 50 states (741 from non New England states). Each of the appointed governors will help connect members of Red Sox Nation within their home state to their favorite team and provide the President and Vice President of Red Sox Nation with continuous feedback. The Governors program will serve as the foundation for the official census of Red Sox Nation... and they also hold some popular watch parties around the nation.
To apply for the chance to be a Red Sox Governor, fans had to submit answers to two (2) short answer essay questions and solicit support from friends. Fans were judged on their enthusiasm for the Boston Red Sox coupled with knowledge of the team's history, creativity, understanding of the social climate of the state they represented, and the number of endorsements they received on their fan page.
Those selected as Bosten Red Sox Governors were given an unlimited Fenway Tour pass for themselves and one guest, two (2) tickets to a 2009 Boston Red Sox game, a Certificate of Governorship signed by Red Sox Team President Larry Luchino, the opportunity to partake in periodic conference calls with other Governors, a Red Sox Nation t-shirt, a 2009 RSN Fan Pack Citizenship, a subscription to MLBTV.com for the 2009 season, personalized business cards, and a photograph of their name on the Fenway Park scoreboard.