Challenge

kings logo

Engage game-day fans in an ongoing relationship

The Sacramento Kings are an NBA team who pack their arena with over 13,000 fans per game. Over the course of a season, that’s over half a million seats filled. And for the three hours they’re at the game, those visitors are deeply engaged with the Kings franchise. But how to extend the enthusiasm once fans go home?

Although they’re a highly successful franchise with a loyal fan base, the Kings face strong competition for their fans’ discretionary entertainment dollars. They wanted more progressive, and more direct, ways to interact with their customers. That’s why the Kings decided to partner with Mobile Commons to find better ways to turn cheering fans into cheerleading supporters.

Solution

Use game time as connection time

The Kings have the perfect venue to get the word out to their ideal audience – and it’s fitted with a built-in broadcast system and big screens. The people who attend their games are definitely sports fans, likely Kings fans, and there’s a good chance they live in or near to Sacramento.

Therefore, at events and games throughout the year, the Kings decided to broadcast their mobile call to action in the arena. They tell sports fans to text in to be the first to hear scores and breaking news about the game. At some events, they ask attendees to text in to report if something is wrong with their seat. They also give access to special offers and contests – for example, asking their fans to text in for an exclusive invitation to a player appearance. For every new fan who texts in, they gain a mobile number. Mobile Commons keeps track of which numbers have responded to which calls to action, so the Kings can quickly and easily sort their list based on the information they’ve collected.

The Kings are using the assets they have – an arena of dedicated fans, access to player appearances, and the inside scoop on breaking Kings news – to compile a list of engaged fans eager to hear from them on a regular basis. They then use that list not only to keep their fans engaged with scores and breaking news, but also to send out ticket offers and merchandise deals.

Results

A measurable impact on ticket sales

The Kings have successfully used their growing list to keep their fan base strong and their attendance high. Here’s just one example of how the process has worked for them. At one game, the Kings asked fans to text in to their mobile list to get 15% off tickets to the next week’s game. They sent an auto-reply to those fans who texted in, which the user could show to dedicated agents at the arena to receive the ticket discount. Not only did the promotion build their mobile list, it had a direct impact on ticket sales.

In addition to just targeting Kings fans, the Arco Arena has a separate mobile list that targets those interested in going to large-scale events. Just as there’s a good chance that a fan at a Kings game will be interested in going to another Kings game, it’s also a good bet that an attendee at a large event in Sacramento will be interested in attending similar events in the future. So the arena has a separate short code for those want to get advance notice of, say, when Britney Spears is next coming to the Arena. They found that a text message blast to the arena list generated $10-12 in incremental sales for every name on that list. That means for a 1,000-person list, a text blast would generate $10,000 – $12,000 in additional revenue. Additionally, when they offered the same promotion over Facebook and Twitter, they found that their mobile list had a significantly greater increase to sales than did social media.

The Kings and the Arco Arena continue to build their list and inspire their fans to greater participation. Their case is a great example of how mobile can turn an asset you already have into a powerful connection strategy.