Sports Team Marketing Case Study

Posted on by Toll

The United States Olympic Committee exists to support American athletes during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. But much like athletes of Team USA who never stop training, the USOC does its most important work in the off-season. Blue State Digital has been a proud partner of the USOC for five years, engaging its community of supporters in new and exciting ways each year.

Our strategy has been to put the fans first. We helped the USOC implement a personal approach to digital communications—one that would be as relevant during lesser-known competitions as it would during the world’s largest sporting events, like the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Since our first paid-media engagements during the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and London Olympic Games, we’ve continued to work with the USOC to hone its social media, email, and digital fundraising programs. Armed with a user-centric approach to audience engagement (and backed by the BSD Tools), the USOC has been able to connect with supporters around moments that matter to them—regardless if it’s the Opening Ceremony or the two-year mark to Rio.

From Russia, with love

During the Sochi Games, we ran digital rapid response for the USOC, including a breaking news email program that updated fans on everything happening with Team USA’s athletes in Russia—a companion for anyone watching the Games from home. Integrated with the USOC’s social strategy, the program engaged fans with the latest victories, heartaches, and inside scoop straight from Sochi slopes and skating rinks. A dedicated nimble team produced high-performing, graphic-heavy creative that drove more engagement and donations than the London 2012 program across platforms. By a lot.

World Cup fan mobilization

Coming off of a successful Sochi engagement, we partnered with the USOC to run social community management during the 2014 FIFA World Cup (and beyond) to support the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team in Brazil. Not only did one of our posts outperform all previous content on Team USA social channels, but we brought new people into their universe on email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by running successful acquisition campaigns during matches, and engaged fans by asking them to share their best #USAGoalFace.

Finding the fans

Team USA’s fans range from those with a passion for a single sport, to Olympic die- hards (we even have a few in-house), to patriots who love to wave the American flag high. Our paid and organic acquisition strategy focused on reaching fans about what interests them most, whether that’s gymnastics or a specific soccer player that they are searching for. So if you’re a swimming fan, expect to see a USOC pop in your Facebook newsfeed during U.S. Swimming Nationals. Basketball die hards, how about you decide the team MVP? That’s how you keep people engaged in the offseason.

Being a die-hard sports fan is an inherently social experience, and few teams know this better than the community-owned Green Bay Packers. With a global and active fan base, the team wanted a digital program that offered new opportunities to connect fans with each other and their team.

We partnered with the organization to develop Packers Everywhere, a digital platform that serves as the global hub for Green Bay love. To kick off the program, we helped knit together a network of 2,500 bars in all 50 states and around the world, crowning them official “Packers Everywhere” locations where fans could come together and cheer.

Packers Everywhere also offers opportunities to connect around fan rituals, from Packers-themed recipe swaps to the annual Fan Choice Awards. Just as visitors in Wisconsin are drawn to Lambeau Field on game day, the platform gives fans a place to share their pride. With a large and active audience in place, the Packers organization has also been able to demonstrate the value of its engagement efforts to sponsors and advertisers—and drive measurable returns on its digital investment.

An app to unite local fans

The Packers Everywhere app helps fans find game viewing parties and other offline events no matter where they are in the world.

A ticket to Packers fame

The Packers Ticket Takeover Contest rewarded fans for uploading their photos by printing the highest vote-getter on more than 80,000 tickets and sending the winner and a guest to the game. Out of 8,000 entries, 8-year-old Emily Sperduto of Oxford, N.J., won. Reading that Emily would be traveling to the game with her father, a fan paid to send her mother so the family could attend together—one of many moments that demonstrate the power of this passionate community.

A taste of the tailgating experience

Food is a major way that fans celebrate their team. The Packers Fans’ Recipes program gives fans a fun way to share their favorite game-day recipes.

Partnering with the Packers

Packers Everywhere has helped the team attract over 240,000 new email sign-ups—making the franchise an attractive partner for sponsorship opportunities. From Mission Foods to XBox to New Era, the platform has been home-base for promotions that drive advertising revenue as well as merchandise sales through the Packers Pro Shop online store.


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