Make brand a central destination for teens attending the event
The Penn Relays bring more than 22,000 athletes to Philadelphia each year to compete in the nation’s premiere high school and college track event – with over 100,000 spectators cheering them on.
To engage the thousands of teens at the event, brand provided race updates, exclusive interviews, free shwag, and much more. Inside the stadium, the brand gave out free t-shirts and cowbells to help the crowd go wild. And in the brand’s tent, you could find free laces, tune-ups for your running spikes, live feeds from the track, a sports desk with athlete interviews, and a beauty shop for hair braiding.
With all this and more, the brand gave event attendees numerous new ways to have fun and enjoy the relays. The challenge was letting people know about it. The Penn Relays average one race every five minutes, providing plenty to do and even more to see. To become a focal point for teens attending the event, the brand teamed up with Mobile Commons to get the word out.
An interactive suite of text message alerts and invitations
If there’s one thing that can grab a teen’s attention no matter what else is going on, it’s text messaging. That’s especially true when the texts provide useful information and access to free stuff young people want. Using Mobile Commons, the brand deployed a multi-part strategy that got teens interested in the race activities before the meet even started. The brand publicized their mobile short code throughout the web and at numerous live events across the country. The call to action went out in a variety of ways:
- Facebook fan pages
- Banner ads websites before and during the relays
- A prominently placed chalkboard at the events
- Foldout Z-cards handed out at the relays
- High school visits made by the brand’s on-the-ground team in the months leading up to the relays
By engaging their target audience well in advance of the actual event, the brand ensured that come race day, they’d immediately be able to get the word out about all their activities. The messages gave users updates about upcoming events, special offers available only to the mobile list, and new ways to engage with the event. Broadcast at select intervals throughout the day, the texts provided something for everyone, from the casual spectator to the most hard-core relay-o-phile.
- Alerts for time-sensitive events, such as when star athletes were interviewed by the brand
- Special offer announcements such as “Come to the info booth now, the first twenty people get a VIP wrist band”
- Flash meet-up alerts about when to come to the brand’s location for cheering and free t-shirts or cowbells
- Texts asking users to show the message to receive free laces
- Signs asked users to text back a phrase to appear on a screen at the relays
The Penn Relays are for teens who love a race – and they proved it by literally running to the brand’s tent! When the brand sent out a blast promising the first twenty visitors a free VIP wristband, there was an instant overflow to the booth, which created a sense of excitement about the brand that continued over the course of the relays.
“What better way is there to keep in touch with high schoolers throughout Penn Relays weekend than via text message!” a brand representative told us. “Working with Mobile Commons to build a text message campaign provided a very valuable way to get kids excited about the activities…. I think kids used more energy running to our tent when a text came through than in their races!”
By texting their messages to the screen or being invited to cheer for their favorite team, teens came to feel that the brand was helping their voices be heard. It’s that kind of brand loyalty that inspires you to get the company logo buzzed into your haircut! The steady stream of traffic to the booth, coupled with the carefully timed text messages, ensured that the brand was on the minds of spectators and athletes from the first starting gun to the last lap. Best of all, the company built a list of devoted race fans they can reach out to in the future. “Working with Mobile Commons was a great experience!” our contact told us. “Their staff worked with us to make sure we were utilizing their system in the most effective way possible for our brand and they were always available immediately for questions.”