Resources & Blog


SMS Marketing For Sports Teams

Resources & Blog

SMS Marketing For Sports Teams

How can sports teams use SMS marketing?

With over four hundred different internationally recognised variations, it's safe to say that sport has a huge influence on our lives. Its inclusiveness and ability to unite us through either participating or spectating is what makes it special. It dominates the betting industry, online fantasy games and goes simultaneous with tailgating and meeting up with friends. With large scale events like the FIFA World Cup and Super Bowl Sunday, even the most casual of fans are likely to get involved in some way or another. And, with the global sports market reaching a value of nearly $488.5 billion in 2018, the numbers back it up.

When it comes to marketing, sport is an interesting industry because professional teams have a die-hard fan base that is extremely loyal and is heavily influenced by geographical location. Therefore, once a fan has selected the team that they are going to support, it is usually very unlikely that they will the change teams in the future. That being said, high-quality marketing should not be overlooked because it can help to convert casual fans that only watch a few games per season into yearly season ticket holders. Simultaneously, great content by a local team could be the difference between attracting new fans or losing them to global brands like Manchester United or the New England Patriots.

Professional sports teams are generally very effective when it comes to marketing their teams, especially on social media. Some great examples would be Bristol City's goal GIFs or the Sacramento Kings Twitter page. However, one marketing channel that is overlooked by many professional sports teams is SMS marketing. By using text messages to communicate with fans, sports teams can get their updates placed directly into customer inboxes. Furthermore, with open rates of 98%, professional teams can feel confident that their messages will be seen by almost all of their fan base. Additionally, in 2018 the number of UK households with a mobile phone in 2018 was 95%, but only 73% of the population owned a smartphone. This means that there is a significant number of people that are accessible via SMS but not via other online channels, providing teams with a great opportunity to target supporters that often lose out on hearing about team updates. Here are some of the different ways that SMS marketing can be used by sports teams:

Ticket Sales

SMS marketing can be used by sports teams to provide updates on ticket sales to fans. Since single-game tickets do not usually come on sale until a few weeks before each game, teams can send out a text campaign informing fans of when tickets will become available. By using SMS, teams are guaranteed a high open rate which gives all fans an equal chance to prepare for games that are in high demand. Additionally, contact lists can be organised and divided into unique groups. This means that season ticket holders could be excluded from receiving updates on single-game tickets. Or, teams could also send ticket updates to their most loyal fans first.

Sports teams can also take advantage of SMS marketing by including either a short link or attaching a document to texts. By including a short link, fans would only need to click on a link inside a text to be taken to a page on the team website. The landing page that is chosen could be one that allows fans to log in and purchase tickets. Alternatively, documents can be attached to text messages. This would allow fans to access mobile tickets directly from the text message that is sent.

Season Ticket Renewal

Another benefit of SMS marketing is that it can be used to send out renewal information to season ticket holders at the end of the season. The text campaign could include pricing information and key dates, whilst also providing instructions on how fans can commit to the upcoming year or opt-out (which could be done by allowing fans to reply with a yes or no). Reminders can also be sent to fans who have not yet committed and are at risk of having to pay a higher price or losing their seat. Finally, fans who attend games frequently but do not have a season ticket could be lured into getting one if they receive an attractive discount via SMS marketing.

Promotions

The most effective way to use SMS marketing in any industry is by including promotional offers in your message. One way in that sports teams can send out offers via SMS is by providing discounts on merchandise. These discounts can be sent out as part of a campaign that includes a short link which takes fans directly to the team store. The sale could be related to new kit offers, clearance sales from previous seasons or an event sales during Black Friday or Christmas. Teams can also run promotional offers on games that have the lowest demand by offering incentives such as "friends for a fiver" or "kids for a quid". Alongside this, corporate opportunities such as sponsorship and executive boxes can be promoted via SMS marketing at a reduced rate if there are spaces available.

Announcements

Sports teams can use SMS marketing to make important announcements. This ensures that fans of the team are the first people to hear about breaking news related to the club, which would be a well-received by those who do not use social media. Additionally, it means that fans would hear breaking news directly from the club as opposed to a media outlet. One way in which teams could use SMS to make announcements is by informing fans when a player is signed or sold. Teams could also provide fans with score updates, which could go down particularly well when the team is playing an away game. Alongside this, clubs could use SMS to announce cup draw opponents, preseason fixtures and changes to upcoming games that may have been amended.

Event Promotion

Finally, SMS marketing can be used to promote events and activities that are taking place either at the club stadium or another facility. Some examples of the events that taking place at stadiums that could be promoted include music concerts, charity events, conferences or play on the pitch days. Alongside this, the commercial team can text customers about event hire for weddings, parties and business meetings. This is likely to lead to an increase in event attendance whilst also exposing some fans to the type of events that the club hosts outside of sport.

Cutomer Account manager
by Liam Quinn | Marketing Executive

Hi, I'm Liam, Marketing Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international marketing and love branding, social media and seeing how companies communicate with their customers.

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