rEvolution’s communications lead Dan Lobring, VP of Marketing Communications, made it into the news this past week, offering expert insight on matters ranging from 2018 marketing trends to effective email campaign tips. Check out what he has to say and read the full articles at the links below:
The New Year is quickly approaching, raising questions about what brands should be considering when planning for next year. Dan recommends authenticity and customization as “two quick things to keep an eye on as we head into 2018 as it relates to content marketing and influencer marketing.” More specifically, brands should “look for an increase in transparency regarding endorsement/paid influencer deals, with a focus on more of a natural tie between the influencer and whatever they are endorsing” and should “invest more in specific, per-platform strategies (i.e., using specific influencers based on the strongest engagement channels) and content that targets fans where they live in, on new emerging platforms.”- 2018 Predictions & Trends to Watch in Online Advertising – Creative Mindscape
Email subject lines are one of the most important and most difficult factors of a successful email campaign. When tackling, Dan suggests taking a step back and first “thinking about how connected you (or the brand) already are to the recipient. If you’re coming into the inbox cold, there’s value in grabbing the reader’s attention with something that will make them think…If the recipient is already engaged and a fan, then email marketing serves as a communications extension and lends itself to more freedom in how you communicate.”- Top 25 Email Subject Line Tips & Examples From The Pros – Fit Small Business
Spending four productive Pre Super Bowl days logging lots of Fitbit steps from the Mall of America to Nicolette Mall and all spots in between produced some great experiences, meetings and observations.
Here ya go…
The Value of Radio Row: A few years ago the death of radio, or the spoken word, as a viable piece of storytelling to a wide audience was all the rage. However today, with the integration of social media, hyper-targeting and the growth of mobile devices, audio storytelling has never been bigger. Although the space at Mall of America was cramped and the overall numbers were down from last year, probably about 170 accredited outlets, with many others wandering in the public area un the food court at the Mall of America, the experience as still more than worthwhile for all. Why were numbers down a bit, even with two top 10 media markets in the game?
One reason was Entercom’s purchase of CBS Radio this past year, which consolidated a lot of personnel and cut budgets, giving what was CBS Radio less travel this year, although certain flagships like WFAN in New York were still front and center. The other was probably location. Even though the weather was bright and most of the time you are indoors anyway, not being able to create some local sponsor outdoors activates like golf earlier in the week decreased some chances to sell. And in other cases stations didn’t see the expense of going to Minnesota as something worthwhile. That being said, there were still a good amount of affiliates from places like Burlington, Vt. and Albany, NY front and center, although our friends from Anchorage did not make the trip this year. The space was also really tight, tighter even than the Sheraton Ballroom was in New York a few years ago, so any outlet needing additional space to spread out and accommodate a larger video setup, or even most signage, was having trouble.
Who was there? Outlets again ranged from the traditional rights holders to internet startups to team-specific sites (the Redskins, Bills and Jaguars all had their digital teams there gathering content from alumni and others).
While it can be difficult to navigate later in the week, Radio Row for the right markets, the right talent, and the right genre remains a huge opportunity for brands, especially early in the week. Booking current and former players to hawk products is low hanging fruit, but the ultra-creative can also score big, especially in the Monday-Wednesday window when stations are looking for both live and taped content to fill hours of talk. Also if you have talent that can be authentic and talk the game as well as the product, it can reap big benefits. From Dr. Oz to 13 year old rising pop star Jojo Siwa, there were celebrities far and wide, and almost every football player who was interested in getting involved could find a home mixed with gambling experts and various masters of brands from every walk of life.
In addition to radio there is also the great opportunity of social engagement, which continues to be the growing engagement opportunity. Draft Kings Live and Uninterrupted joined any host of podcast and video platforms during the week, all looking for increased brand presence.
Sirius XM Radio again had its own setup, albeit not as larger as in years past, and the Tune In streaming service took their own tricked up spot off of Radio Row. Will we see more of a presence when the game heads south and west in future years, including Atlanta next year? And will we see new, emerging outlets grabbing spots where traditional talk was in the past? Something to watch or listen for for sure.
However the beauty of success on Radio Row remains in literally walking the floor with the right talent and bustling face to face relationships that should extend way beyond the Super Bowl. Picking markets big and small, filling in a drop-by for some national audio shows, taping a podcast or two and filling time with some fan interaction and photo sharing can be a huge hit for a brand, a broadcast show and for talent looking to gain a foothold.
It won’t work every time; there is a great deal of selling even early on in the week, you can’t push too much or overtly hawk a product that is a huge disconnect, and you need a face or a voice that is both authentic and recognizable in just a few seconds, and you have to make sure all the social pieces are in place and the follow-up after the show has to be solid; but for the right talent and the right amount of time, radio row is as big a hit today as it has ever been.
The College Kids: Some of my best moments every year are when I see my “children,” or those we were once when we were starting out, find their way into the Radio Row mix. My alma mater, Fordham University’s WFUV Radio, has been a mainstay for several years. Last year the Asman and Budick show from Ithaca College worked their way to Houston, and the guys returned this year working a show for WGBB radio on Long island, the first time that station ended up at Super Bowl. This year’s new additions/ the trio of sophomores from St. Bonaventure University in tiny Olean, New York. They have a weekly sports radio talk show, applied, presented a case and there they were, every day with names big and bold.
It shocks me that more college stations don’t take the plunge. Where is Syracuse or Northwestern or for that matter the University of Minnesota? These kids are all living breathing proof that the value of being professional, chasing an idea and then showing up pays off. Emory, Georgia Tech, Georgia, are you listening? You better find yourself to radio Row next year. Just ask Ithaca, Fordham and St. Bonaventure if it was worth it.
More from Off Radio Row and Beyond…
Twitter And The Blue Box: Just off Radio Row twitter had its own activation, a quick stop, albeit a bit out of the way for anyone with a jones for social. Their setup was all fun, shareable shots that they will intersperse during the game itself, and was a great way for anyone visiting Radio Row to pump up their social and not have the same old going on time and again. Was it perfect for hawking Avocados or some other property? Not in the traditional way, so those looking for “impressions” probably shied away. But the impression you can make for something new and different, and the connection to and through Twitter Sports, was invaluable, time efficient and more than welcomed for all that went by.
The Not Done Network: The Patriots 24/7 platform was up and running Monday, a full interactive pop up space across the mall hallway from the Patriots hotel and next to the media center. The fully branded, fully sponsored standalone stream had news, guests, memorabilia, and interactive set of games and lots of places for people to linger and watch all the goings on. It was a pretty impressive look-see into content control and speaking to a core audience, all set up and ready to roll when the final gun went off after the AFC Championship game. Is this something that any elite franchise could have? It takes a little risk, a good amount of commitment and one great understanding of your audience and what content they can drive. Could we see Yankees Vision? Maybe. How about the Warriors and a traveling finals platform? Tough to do with more than one location. But Alabama or Clemson going into a College Championship game? Or what about Warriors in and around NBA All-star Game, as controlled an extravaganza with enough of your own player interest as possible.
The prototype for the future is very intriguing and it has to be tied to big moments and big events to generate the engagement needed. Ted Leonsis and the folks at Monumental Sports would and should surely take notice of the capture the Patriots had of everything away from the game this week. It shows real value in content that never usually makes it to air, and the Pats had lots of brands along for the ride.
If It Ain’t Catered It Ain’t Journalism: The Media Center can be a grind for thousands of talent and producers that frankly rarely see the light of day, filling hours of time with content. Many welcome the break from being on-air or recording with a quick snap or a conversation off air about other goings-on in the world. A meal for many on Radio Row is usually floors or blocks away at any given time. However this year, the Super Bowl Host Committee dropped Radio Row into a food court of all places. That’s the good news; the bad news is none of the fast food places around Radio Row sought to drop off snacks or coupons for those toiling away. Some mascot passby’s yes, but a little drink here or there probably gets them some fun mentions on air, and lots of good will, and we aren’t talking small chains either. Chick Fil A, think about feeding the guys on Radio Row next year, or at least do a little couponing!
In other years Papa Johns, Snickers, even the Sonoma County Wine Growers seized the opportunity to find some good will tasting with media on Radio Row. Maybe it was the cramped space this year, but doing some drop-offs with talent and producers is a great way in, especially after days of seeing the same faces.
Meanwhile The Innovative Winner Downtown Was… The Super Bowl Experience (new name this year since the official NFL Experience is now permanently set up in Times Square) had lots of the traditional interactive kid’s things, with a few VR experiences mixed in. The most creative? Wilson, who allowed you for a price to custom design your own football of various sizes with a grain, a logo and a phrase and laces of your choice and then watch as it was stitched together. Not cheap, but then again t-shirts you could buy online at NFL.com were going for $40. So why not get a unique collectable?
It still is a bit surprising with all the talk of tech that Augmented Reality is still not yet in the mix. As the IPhone 10 and the new Galaxy, both with AR built in, become more mainstream you will see AR take its spot, as the bulky VR headsets move on elsewhere. Chasing Drew Brees around Super Bowl experience on your phone? It’s coming, ala Pokémon Go from years past. Just wait.
With all the goings-on, one thing is for sure. The window of creativity and exposure around big events like Super Bowl continues to expand globally with no sign of stopping. Finding that niche to convey the message, and it has to be an authentic and connected message, is a challenge, but the opportunity to find that place has never been great, as evidenced by all the buzz and success big and small this past week in Minneapolis. Now they just have to play the game.
The NBA Store is borrowing from Amazon’s self-service locker kiosk idea and now letting people who purchased goods from the online NBA store to pick up their purchases at the league’s flagship brick-and-mortar store in midtown Manhattan.
Apex Order Pick-Up Technologies, which makes these kiosks for a number of clients in the foodservice and retail industries, announced this week a pick-up program with licensed sports merchandise company Fanatics, which manages the online and physical NBA store.
The deal enables online shoppers to pick up select items, such as team and league hats, T-shirts and sweatshirts, in person at the Fifth Avenue NBA Store in New York City. If Fanatics finds that people are using them, it says it plans to expand the lockers to other sites later in 2018.
“Fanatics is a new breed of retailer, designing a comprehensive, tech-infused strategy to meet the sports fan’s insatiable, on-demand expectations,” Apex CEO Kent Savage said in a statement.
Once a customer’s order is ready for pickup, a notification comes via SMS or email with instructions on where and how to collect the purchase. At the kiosk, a barcode unlocks a secure locker compartment that contains the purchase, a process Apex says takes a few seconds.
Self-service kiosks have been an increasing presence across the brick-and-mortar retail scene. For example, Amazon’s lockers at dozens of U.S. locations let people pick up and make returns on online purchases in person, while Redbox lets people rent and return movies as though they’re ordering chips at a vending machine, though the latter has suffered tremendously at the hands of streaming companies.
With Fanatics’ kiosks, the idea that people are purchasing actual physical goods — rather than services — give these kiosks a potential advantage in the competitive online shopping space by letting customers order online and pick up goods the same day at their convenience.
In that sense, the kiosks offer a compromise between online and brick-and-mortar shopping by cutting out delivery wait times and helping customers avoid in-store lines.
The IOC is gearing up for its biggest event for the next two years: the Winter Games is almost officially underway in PyeongChang, and will be in full flow this weekend.
This will be one of the biggest moments for the organisation, though, not just because it’s an Olympic Games – which is always huge – but because the Olympic Channel will be broadcasting live on its own digital streams and apps in some territories in Southern Asia, across the Indian subcontinent.
It marks a big step for the organisation, and possibly for plenty of other right holders, too, in the future.
The Olympic Games doesn’t need any introduction, but the Winter Games usually generate less interest in some places – namely those who don’t experience much snow and ice in the winter time. The Summer Games don’t really have that problem. India is one of those countries.
But what we’ve seen over the last few years is that smaller sports which don’t already have a big following in a certain country can gain a way into a new audience by live-streaming their own product and not relying on broadcasters instead.
The move from the Olympic Channel to stream their own content – with an additional broadcast on Indian mobile operator Reliance-Jio – will allow the games to potentially reach a wider audience in India than it has done before.
In a press release, Timo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, said: “This is an important step for the Olympic Channel as it broadcasts live Olympic Games coverage for the first time ever on the digital platform. Through the Olympic Channel and the additional broadcast on Reliance-Jio’s and the relevant ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union) members’ platforms, we are able to offer comprehensive coverage across the region and ensure fans will be able to follow all the action from PyeongChang 2018.”
Only Barcelona and Atlético can match Eibar’s results over the last three months as another unlikely run at Europe continues
Iván Ramis took off his shirt and put his hat on, a flat red porkpie perched on his head as he stood in the corner of Butarque where a couple of dozen Eibar fans down from the Ego valley were going wild in wigs: some red, some blue and some Scottish, ginger locks tumbling from tam o’ shanters. As he had flung his top high into the air before running towards them shouting, they had thrown the hat on the pitch; so he wore it, along with a smile that even the referee trotting over with a yellow card couldn’t wipe from his face. “I don’t know why he took his shirt off but what am I going to say?” his manager José Luis Mendílibar shrugged .
How about something in German, French or Italian? “Entschuldigung, wo ist das Fußballstadion?” might be handy. Or: “Bonjour, bonjour, nous sommes les garçons Eibar!” Better still: “Ciao, siamo l’Eibar, magari non avete sentito parlare de noi ma siamo fotutamente bravi.” Either way, it may be time to get practising and Mendilíbar knew why Ramis had taken off his shirt, alright: the same reason he was struggling to be heard, sitting there under the stand. Eibar’s fans had gone, a four-hour drive home ahead of them, but beyond the wall, down the corridor to the right, their players were shouting and chanting. It was Saturday night and they’d beaten Leganés 1-0 – but it wasn’t only that; it was how it happened and what it meant.
The clock showed 93.03 when the corner was curled in from the right. Mostly, it had been tedious but as time went on Eibar closed in, creating chances. Yet while there had been 18 shots there had been no way through. At Butarque, they thought it was over; back in Barcelona, where commentators sit in a little booth with an even littler telly, they thought so, too. They were summing up. “Eibar have been clearly the better side but you have to take a bazooka out to beat Leganés because they’re a team that …” started one. “Look out!” the other said. And then he said: “Gol!” About 30 times. Ramis headed past Pichu Cuéllar and off he went. Shirt off, hat on.
“It was late but they deserved it; it was not strange, it was a consequence of the game,” Asier Garitano said, reeling off a long list of elements, from loose balls to long balls and second balls to high balls, passes to crosses and tackles, and adding: “Eibar won it” at the end of each. “It was the 94th minute, which hurts more but we came across a team better than us,” he said.
When the ball hit the net, it carried Eibar into sixth place. Stay like this and they will be in Europe next season. Slip down a place, as they did with Sevilla’s victory over Girona the following morning, and they almost certainly will be, too, what with Barcelona and Sevilla facing each other in the Copa del Rey final. Even if they don’t – and like last season when they found themselves in a similar position and eventually finished 10th, they might not – what they’re doing is remarkable, despite being all too rarely remarked upon.
Leganés’ manager Garitano is a shareholder and former player at Eibar. Asked about them on Saturday night, he replied: “I’ve said it before, it’s barbaric.” Others have said it, too, but not often enough; they are few and somehow it gets forgotten, so it is worth saying again:
Eibar are playing only their third [fourth now] season in primera and, while it’s true they were relegated at the end of their first only to be reinstated because of Elche’s economic problems, that was exactly what everyone expected, little more than logic. They’d initially been blocked from going up in the first place basically because they were too small. It’s only three and a half years since they were in Spain’s regionalised, 80-team, theoretically amateur Second Division B, and they came up from the Second Division A despite having the league’s smallest budget. And the only reason Eibar increased the stadium from the already expanded 5,173 it held on that opening day was that the league made them, and the town has a population of 27,378. To put that in perspective, every person there could travel to the Santiago Bernabéu and there would still be room for 53,666 Madrid fans. It’s not like there’s a hinterland either: Bilbao and San Sebastián are within an hour. They’re still the smallest club around.
That paragraph was written here last year but it still stands. At €45.3m, less than a third of the cost of Ousmane Dembélé, only debutants Girona, who beat Madrid and have been extremely impressive, have a smaller budget – and they, of course, have Manchester City behind them. Barcelona’s squad cost €711m more to assemble than theirs; Madrid’s cost €485m more; Sevilla, who they sit one point behind, and who they hammered 5-1 a week ago, have a squad who cost 10 times as much. This winter, they signed Fabián Orellana from Valencia, where he was no longer wanted. “It’s strange seeing him here,” Mendilíbar said. “I still don’t know how we conned him into coming; he’s a player for one of those clubs that’s supposed to be up there.”
Up where Eibar are. “Our aim at the start of the season is to spend another year in primera and we have not reached that objective yet. If we can do that, maybe we can enjoy the final 10 games,” Mendilíbar said, while Ramis added: “Let’s hope this run continues and we can dream of other things.”
Mendilíbar conceded: “At the start of the season, no one expected this. Being in sixth is extraordinary, yes.” Their play, on the other hand, isn’t. Or so he says. “It should be easy to play against us,” he said.
At the start, Eibar struggled. Pedro Leon and Adrián, their most important creative players last season have not played a minute – Adrián left for Málaga while Pedro León has been injured – and they were beaten seven times in their opening 11 games. “We had to get back up again,” Mendilíbar said. They overcame that run and it is strength and stability that most impressed Garitano, leading him to say that while there may be some parallels between Eibar, Girona, Getafe and Leganés, smaller teams all lurking near(ish) to the final European place and, in his case, reaching the Cup semi-final, Eibar remain “way ahead”. Since then Eibar have won eight, drawn three, and lost once – a frankly fortunate 1-0 victory for Atlético at Ipurúa. Only Diego Simeone’s side and Barcelona can match their results over the last three months.
“We’ve had it easy so far; I don’t know how we would have reacted to that,” Garitano said. Eibar knew how to react – and that is precisely the point. When Mendilíbar said his side were easy to play, he wasn’t talking about the resources. He was, instead, talking about the style, and the clarity he underlined is part of the key. “We’re the team that’s easiest to analyse, we don’t do anything extraordinary. We insist upon what we do well and we hardly ever change: we like to win the second ball, get it out to the wing, put the ball in, get a shot in. Any team, or any media analyst, knows what we do each week.”
What they do works. Eibar are not, for all the lazy clichés, a tough team, they’re not an especially defensive team and they’re certainly not a dirty one but they do deny opportunities and space to their opponents, forcing them back, and they do play on a pitch so small and so tight to the stands that opponents train corners without a run-up in the week before facing them. In the whole of Europe, only Manchester City have faced fewer shots and in Spain only five teams have taken more. They are direct, they press high and they deliver more crosses than anyone else – by a long way. They have put in 632; Real Madrid, second, are on 574, Barcelona on 255.
“In theory, it should be easy to play against us, no?” Mendilíbar said but, no, it’s not. If it is simple, it is effective, which is why they have lost only once in three months and are seventh, heading into Europe; it is also why Ramis was standing there on Saturday night wearing a porkpie hat. “It’s not chance,” Garitano insisted. “They’re very good.”
• And so everyone’s favourite question made a comeback. Is there league? Maybe there is league, you know. José Bordalás’s Getafe became the first team to stop Barcelona scoring a league goal for 449 days – in the first half they didn’t even let them shoot – meaning Barça have now dropped four points in two weeks and their lead over Atlético Madrid, who seem to be approaching peak Atlético Madrid, is now only seven points. “We still have to sweat this league a lot,” Valverde said.
• The European Cup returns and so did Real Madrid, which may not be purely chance. They scored five against Real Sociedad.
• It was 1-1 in the Valencia derby when Coke’s goal to make it 1-2 was disallowed after a defender tumbled in the area in front of him. Which would have been fine, only it wasn’t Coke who had pushed him, it was his own team-mate. And in the very next move Valencia went up the other end and made it 2-1, to end a six-match losing run. No wonder Levante were furious.
• Abelardo’s revolution keeps on rolling. They might not always be brilliant but, boy, are Alavés putting up a fight. Survival draws closer with every week.
• Sergio Rico saved a penalty and pretty much everything else as Sevilla scraped past Girona 1-0, and afterwards dedicated the performance to Antonio, a cancer patient who had been through a 16-hour operation on his head. “I took strength from him,” Rico said after he had made two big mistakes in a row and had some supporters on his back. “We had a SuperKeeper in front of us,” Pablo Machín said.
• Celta drew 2-2 with Espanyol, for whom Gerard Moreno was their everything, again. He’s now got almost half of their goals and played every single minute of the season so far, the only outfield player to have done so. He got an equaliser right at the end after Celta had dominated once more.