The Western Bulldogs Give Fans a Vote of Confidence

The Western Bulldogs of the Australian Football League (AFL) recently turned to their online fanbase to decide which jersey (referred to as a guernsey) design their team will wear during the 2011-12 season. The Bulldogs created a fan-centric promotion on their team website that provided fans with an opportunity to vote for their favorite style jersey based on four options available.

The promotion also served as a terrific way for the team to collect consumer data. Nearly 3,000 fans submitted online entry forms with their votes, providing the team with an instant database to reach out to to drive merchandise sales in the future. The team created the simple survey using Survey Monkey and posted the promotion over a 2-3 week time period.

Check out the simple, yet effective merchandise promotion below and consider new ways that you can truly put fans in charge!

A special thanks to Nick Truelson for his insights and contributions to this column!

Clippers Fans "Get Their Red On" in 2010

The Los Angeles Clippers celebrated their new brand new red jerseys and the start of the 2010-11 NBA season by featuring a "Get Your Red On" promotion that truly benefited fans. The promotion allowed fans who purchased a red jersey or red shirt on to receive a free lower bowl ticket to the team's game against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers offered the deal on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a limited number of tickets being made available. However, it served as a great way to drive merchandise sales, drive interest and awareness around the team's new jerseys, and build some early season excitement around the club, especially with the return of start PF Blake Griffin.

While some clubs may not have a comparable amount of lower bowl inventory available to run a similar promotion, upper bowl tickets would still present a compelling offer for fans.