How can we provide the Drive's brand with a refresh, build excitement within the community through the "Together We Win" theme, and "Drive" fans, old and new, to the ballpark?
- Are we targeting the right audience?
- How do we build excitement for the upcoming season?
- How do we stay relevant throughout the season, with a keen focus on tickets sales and boosting attendance?
Through a research study that was conducted using consumer sentiment research and internal discussions, we identified three distinct audience groups: Families, Young Professionals, and Sports/Entertainment fans. While scale was pertinent for generating buzz, honing our focus through mediums where we have the ability to do so, mainly digital, would be key to driving action.
We were excited about our new campaign with the eye-catching, feel-good “Together We Win” artwork and uniting message. We needed to make sure our excitement was felt by the entire community. Scale would be essential and achieving scale quickly would be necessary. We knew our Outdoor and Radio partners would be key to a successful launch.
The Drive’s previous agency had a “one-size fits all” approach to the 2018 season. This did not align with the Drive’s vision of each and every game being a singular event, each deserving of its own unique strategic support. We knew that constant creative updates to meet each promotional night’s theme would be a large undertaking, but we were prepared.
Campaign Strategy & Execution
Audience identification is useless without a strategic plan to reach and engage. Working with our programmatic digital partners, iHeart and LOCALiQ, we crafted a multi-faceted campaign including a focus on Families, Young Professionals, and Sports/Entertainment Fans. In addition to audience targeting we engaged our current fan-base through site retargeting, of activity and leisure seekers through paid search & daily email newsletters, live entertainment frequenters were reached through geofencing, where we served ads via mobile based on the entertainment venues they visited. Outside of the digital space, we made sure to have special skews within our mass reach and traditional media vehicles including Upstate Parent magazine (Families), Upstate Business Journal (Young Professionals), and Fox Sports Radio (Sports Fans).
We knew the build-up to Opening Day was key to a successful year so we needed to cast a wide net and deluge the community with our impactful new campaign message. While digital is a great vehicle for hyper-targeted engagement, it lacks in driving awareness, at least during a short-term period of time. Radio, a traditional and sometimes forgotten medium, was to serve as a key cog to our launch. Leveraging the Drive’spartnership with iHeart radio, we negotiated a plan to flood the market with our message across the top radio stations in the upstate. While radio provides frequency and scale it obviously lacks in visualization. Out-of-Home advertising is the only medium where you can reach a desired audience no matter what media they consume. A robust plan was devised, covering the entire Greenville area, and generating buzz through our new eye-catching “Together We Win” artwork.
As the season progressed, we had to be nimble shifting from one special promotional night to the next. Constant creative changes were the norm, but the plan we had built supported it through the ability to constantly swap creatives on our programmatic digital campaigns and digital out-of-home boards. While reaching and engaging with your target helps build a brand, ultimately we need them to convert. We need them to buy tickets and go to the stadium. We placed an emphasis on immediacy, with special gameday messaging through several media types – including “overline” executions on the top of the Greenville News cover page, listings in GVL Today, :05 second radio reminders, and gameday messaging on our outdoor boards.
Campaign & Season Results
The campaign garnered over 63 million impressions. Our mass reach media vehicles, Outdoor and Radio, accounted for 73% of the overall delivery. Our more targeted efforts, digital display, search & email, represented 25% of the campaign. Newspaper Print, which provided trusted local community messaging, reflected 2% of the audience reached.
Most importantly, the Drive saw a big difference at the ballpark.
We saw increases in important metrics including:
- Individual Ticket Sales (non-season tickets, group sales): +9.5%
- Total Tickets Sold: +.3%
- Total Turnstile (fans secure ticket AND attend game): +6.5%
- Online Ticket sales: +37% vs. 2018, +110% vs. 2017
Our preseason buzz generated tangible results:
- Through the first 10 home games, 28,870 fans passed through the turnstiles at Fluor field, a 23% increase over 2018
To see the campaign, check out our portfolio here.