It’s been fascinating to watch the varying levels of effectiveness by which teams across sports take advantage of this opportunity, especially when they win a championship. From the moment you hoist the trophy over your head, there’s no more valuable time when the local and national markets have their eyes on you – your team, your accomplishments, your future.
The immediate halo of opportunity, if you do nothing to extend it, can fade quickly. If you field a competitive team year after year, that halo can extend, but it’s never as intense as when you win the whole thing.
The opportunities in the short-term are fairly easy. Accelerate ticket sales, increase conversion of corporate sponsorships, strike while the iron is hot. But the real opportunity, and challenge for most organizations, is to use the immediate championship halo to build long-term relationships with fans, businesses and the broader market for the slow times.
This starts immediately, of course, as you capture interest, registration, subscriptions, new social media followers, etc. in the days & weeks following the championship. Dig into your old databases of season ticket holders, corporate sponsors, and get them back engaged with the team. Use the immediate halo to create as many two-way relationships with fans as possible.
What you’re working towards is building loyalty with the team independent of the play on the field. You want to make the relationship and value exchange between team and customer about the game, the stadium, the experience, the family atmosphere, even the players.
Your goal is to become the hometown team. Loyalty beyond results. And in a world where intimate relationships at a 1:1 level with millions of fans is possible through a variety of online, social, mobile and word-of-mouth channels, this opportunity clearly exists for every team in every sport.
But no team has a better advantage or opportunity to capitalize on this than a team that’s just won it all.