Turn Your Team Shop into an Experience...

Are you looking for new ways to drive team store sales on gameday? Are you looking for new ways to engage fans at your venue?

As sports organizations look for new ways to spur team store sales, they should consider benchmarking some radical advancements that Disney is planning to make in its 300+ stores worldwide, thanks to the help of Steve Jobs. Jobs is leading a crusade to help Disney turn its retail outlets into experiences. Disney's new retailtainment philosophy is becoming readily adopted by many major retailers across the globe in different fashions.

Sports organizations looking to spur team store sales (not only on gameday but throughout the season) should consider new ways to make consumers feel that their experience is more interactive and engaging and less as a direct point of purchase channel.

Here are some ways that Disney will be transforming the retail experience (and how they can be applied in the sports space):

I. Theatres in-store will allow children to watch film clips of their own selection

Teams can feature private television touchscreens (with headphones) that fans can choose from a variety of past team highlights and celebrations (the on-screen viewing experience could present opportunities to integrate corporate partner messaging/use of personalities). Teams could also offer PC's where fans can remix their favorite team highlights/music and have it emailed/shared through social media channels.

II. Consumers will be able to participate in karaoke contests

Teams can feature a sound-proof booth (or keep it open like Old Spice's previous NASCAR activation) where fans can put on a karaoke performance of the team's theme song (and have this recorded via audio/video and distributed via social media/team page)

III. Consumers will be able to chat live with Disney stars via satellite

During the two (2) hours prior to a home game, teams can offer fans the chance to videoconference a famous alum (former player, coach, etc.) or fellow fan across the world and ask them specific questions about their thoughts on the game plan, etc.

IV. Computer chips embedded in packaging will activate hidden features (e.g. consumers who walk by a magic mirror while holding a tiara will find Cinderella appear and say something)

With technological advancements, teams will soon be able to recreate these special mirrors in team stores where a fan walking by a mirror holding a Peyton Manning jersey will be able to see a 3D Manning appear in the mirror and thank him for choosing his jersey (or supporting the Colts). RFID technology will continue to impact the sports space in many ways in the near future...

V. Employees reward consumers shopping on their birthday with tree lighting, fireworks, and sound animation

Birthdays are a HUGE MISS in sports these days. Teams should follow Disney's model (rewarding consumers with a free park admission pass on their birthday in '08) and look for ways to provide unique offers/experiences for fans on their birthday. Sports organizations should give any person shopping in the team shop on their birthday a free printout of the scoreboard (with a messaging congratulating them) with purchase... there are so many opportunities here!

VI. Stores will utilize scents to enhance the consumer experience 

The opportunities are endless here... incorporate the scents and smells of gameday (fresh grass, grills, new equipment, etc. 

Source: The New York Times - Disney's Retail Plan Is a Theme Park in Its Stores