SMS Campaigns Are Boosting Mobile Engagement for Sports Teams

Laptop and mobile product screenshots

With 98% of text messages being opened within 15 minutes of receipt and the opt-in SMS user market increasing at about 100% each year, it’s no wonder that sports organizations are beginning to implement sports text marketing for their teams and fan bases. SMS marketing for sports has proven to enhance communication with fans, helping to sustain interest throughout the season as well as during the offseason. There are a variety of ways sports teams can entice fans to become more involved through SMS messaging, such as providing the latest schedules, scores, team information, player stats, ticket promotions, contests, and giveaways.

Using SMS marketing for sports allows teams to engage with fans through a more personal venue and to collect data about current and potential fans. Unlike social media and mobile apps, SMS allows fans to connect through their mobile phones without pulling much attention from the games. Sports organizations view SMS marketing as a “push” to consumers while other mobile marketing efforts tend to be a “pull” from fans. And the best part is that SMS is already built into phones and thus does not require any additional downloads or devices.

Sports Text Marketing Success Stories

March Madness Text Message

As early as 2011, professional basketball teams like the Phoenix Suns and the Chicago Bulls began using sports text marketing to increase their fan bases and keep current fans engaged. With SMS marketing, these teams keep fans updated on the latest scores, stats, and other information via text messages. That same year, major league soccer team Chicago Fire also began using SMS to connect more directly with fans as well to better engage potential fans. The soccer team is now utilizing a variety of text marketing tools, including games and polls in the arena, announcements, special offers, and text-to-win promotions. They analyze their results and use them to better understand what fans are looking for and what levels of engagement they feel comfortable with.

The feedback these teams have received so far has been tremendous, as fans seem to enjoy the personalized engagement with their favorite sports organizations. Communicating in such an intimate way has proven to make fans feel more connected to their teams as well as to get a new, more tech-savvy crowd to become more interested in games.

Ways to use SMS Marketing for Sports

The following ideas are just a few ways organizations are using SMS marketing for Sports.

Ticket Promotions

Teams frequently run ticket promotions to increase ticket sales as well as to draw new fans into the stadium. For example, the Bulls might run an opt-in text message in their stadium programs or on their TV commercials: “Text BULLS to 858585 for a chance to win tickets to the playoffs!” When customers text in, they become automatically opted-in, which allows the organization to repeat market these fans. The more ticket promotions and contests they run, the faster and larger their opted-in text list grows. This increases ticket sales and helps team management understand what types of promotions work and what levels of engagement fans are willing to commit to.

Bulls Text Message

Scores & Stats

Teams are often using sports text marketing to send out up-to-the-minute scores and statistics to their growing lists of opted-in fans. By giving customers such a simple way to keep up with their favorite teams, sports organizations have an easier time of both sustaining their fans and upselling consumers on current or future promotions. Scores and stats are two of the leading points of interest for fans, and it’s important for teams to deliver the information that their audience members want. This helps organizations to become more trusted and personal brands in the eyes of consumers.

Chicago Bulls Text Message

Schedules & Team Information

By using SMS marketing, sports teams find it easier to keep fans informed with the latest schedules and team announcements, which directly influences attendance at games and interest in the teams. Since SMS Marketing is the most effective form of modern communication with consumers, sports organizations can be rather certain that fans are always up to date with the latest schedule changes or team announcements, and thus able to plan appropriately for watching or attending games. This has an obvious impact on maintaining a healthy audience and revenue base for sports teams.

Houston Dash Text Message

The Bottom Line

LA Dodgers Text Message

SMS marketing for Sports teams is a more effective and cost-efficient promotional system than almost any other method. Communicating with an entire fan base at once, in a personal and direct manner, affords sports organizations the ability to sustain their fans, attract future enthusiasts, and ultimately increase revenue through ticket sales, merchandising, and general public enthusiasm.