As we enter the dog days of this COVID-19 quarantine, and consumers exhaust their Netflix watch lists, there is an opportunity for brands–and yes, properties and teams, you are brands too–to create new forms of engagement with their loyal fan bases.
Creating Creative Connections
While stadiums may be empty across the globe, fans are still fans. And now, more than ever, they want (or is it need?) connections with their beloved brands.
There is a growing movement of brands that are recognizing this need / opportunity and pivoting to deliver.
Fortunately, the recipe for success in creating engagement platforms right now is based on just two ingredients:
- Leverage your assets
- Take a consumer-centric approach
Let’s take a closer look at each…
Leverage your assets
If you live on the property side of this equation (i.e., broadcasters, teams, leagues, entertainers, etc.) you are sitting on a massive content library. How can you repurpose that content right now to keep your consumers engaged?
As a perfect repurposing example, Fox recently re-ran (on FS1 and Facebook) Game 7 of the legendary 2016 World Series. It goes without saying that baseball fans happily logged on to re-live this historic moment in sports (well, definitely in Chicago, though maybe not so much in Cleveland).
Other assets to factor in include your athletes, your mascots, your IP, etc. More examples:
- The UFC recently ran a series of home workouts on social media featuring some of their most popular fighters
- Numerous teams, including the Chicago Bears with their mascot, Staley, and featuring their Monsters of the Midway graphic novel series, have released team-themed printable coloring book pages
- On the traditional consumer brand side, Chipotle and Verizon have presented online “concerts”; Ford and Anheuser-Busch were some of the first brands to run an anthemic “we’re in this together” TV spots; Molson Coors’ Miller Lite launched a “virtual tip jar” to provide financial support for bartenders and servers; and Crocs announced their “Free Pair for Healthcare” program offering free shoes to health care workers on the front lines.
- And just this weekend, we saw the first NBA 2K Players Tournament, followed by NBA and WNBA players competing in H-O-R-S-E, all for charity
Take a consumer-centric approach
For the most part, these efforts need to focus on creating value and connections – not on selling.
While brands need to continue to generate transactions, the path to true consumer engagement is, and always has been, about putting the consumer first and asking the question “how can I add value to this experience?”
Eventually, stadiums will re-open and leagues and teams will resume play. Event tours will resume. Stores will re-open and consumers will again fill the aisles.
When we look back at this time, what will your brand have done to maintain your connection with your fans / consumers?
In uncertain times, there’s one thing that remains certain: we are #OneTeam.
Let’s come together in support of the heroes on the front line of the health crisis.
— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) March 25, 2020