It’s time to face the fact that the National Football League (NFL) is America’s new “favorite pastime”. I could fill a page with statistics supporting numbers on viewership and growth in the sport over the last few years, however a quick Google search on “NFL 2012 Viewing Statistics” will easily back up this point to anyone, who may disagree with the statement above.
As eCommerce merchants you should really be thinking of ways to use the amazing popularity of the NFL to your advantage regardless of what kind of products you’re selling. Having game day or team support events at your retail location is an awesome way to get people into your store, but below are a few examples to consider when trying to integrate the NFL into your online store’s marketing campaign.
An easy way to grab the attention of a football fan is to talk football. Cater your email marketing campaigns around the NFL and you may hit a sweet spot with fans and increase your open and conversion rates.
- If you’re a winery you may think you’re out of luck with a bunch of beer drinking football fans but with 75% of Americans tuning into football on a regular basis, they can’t all be beefcakes. Consider an email about wine parings with Buffalo Wings and Nachos or something simple like a coupon code using your favorite team name (ex. “49ers”)
- If your customer base just happens to fall in the 25% of people who don’t enjoy football use that to your advantage. Give them a reason to shop your online store while everyone else is glued to their TVs.
- Consider sending targeted emails to fans in specific locations. I know that if I received an email after a crushing Seahawks loss with a subject line of “Sorry for the loss…Here’s 25% Off ,” I’m going to open that email.
A good way to draw attention to your social profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, is to discuss the NFL. People will be watching football all day and there’s not doubt they’ll be interacting with their social networks during commercials or to brag about an amazing play. Here are a few examples for using social networks:
- If you’re a local San Diego company or brand, make mentioning the Chargers a normal occurrence by asking who your followers think is going to win the upcoming game or by sharing remorse after a loss. This is a good way to build local brand loyalty.
- Jump on Twitter and Tweet @ professional athletes or retweet and respond to their comments. Receiving a Twitter response from Drew Brees would be great for a local company in New Orleans and while it seems unlikely this would happen, the best part about Twitter is that it’s possible. At the very least you’re using what’s sure to be a popular keyword in your post.
- Create promotions centered on wins, losses, point totals, etc. These are great ways to get people interacting with your social profile. You can give Free Shipping to all Facebook followers who have a profile pic with their favorite NFL team, offer a percentage off that matches point totals (ex. 20 points = 20% Off, 40 Points = 40% Off, etc.) or ask your Pinterest followers to create a Pinboard with your product and something with their favorite team. The best board gets free product.
If you’re a football fan like I am then you’re preparing for the NFL to take over a good portion of your world until about mid-February. There are Sunday, Monday and Thursday night games and Fantasy Football, which is going to get me excited about guys I don’t even know. There is also sure to be a Monday, where I’m moving a bit slower then normal because I decided to attend an NFL game in person and enjoyed a couple of those $9.00 beers. Football is the best time of year for a lot of sports fans and as eCommerce merchants, there’s an endless amount of ways you can leverage this to increase your online sales and enjoy a bit of football at the same time.