Engaging customers is never a slam dunk, but a Portland-based company has come up with a way to engage sports fans while they are watching a game. It may offer a lesson for other brands, even if they don't have captive customers seated in a stadium.
Pick6 established proof of concept last season with the Portland Winterhawks for its engagement tool that gives fans in a stadium a fantasy sports experience, along with a more personal touchpoint for the team and advertisers.
The technology is undergoing a second maiden voyage this season with the WNBA's Seattle Storm, says Nick Lawson, who turned an observation at sporting events into an innovative start-up.
The Portland Business Journal featured Lawson, his co-founder Lee Jorgensen and their company, Pick6 Sports Solutions LLC. Before launching the start-up, Lawson did sports marketing for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. He sharpened the business plan for Pick6 in a paper he turned in as a student in Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management.
The Player Pick engagement tool allows fans in a stadium or arena to select a player whom they believe will score a goal or basket during the game. Lawson said it is similar to one-week fantasy sports experience.
The advantage for sports teams is to give them control over at least one aspect of the burgeoning fantasy sports market, which Lawson says has grown into a $3.6 billion industry. Pick6 would have access to fans through the teams it partners with, lowering its customer acquisition costs. It would take a cut out of sponsorships and coupon sales associated with the Player Pick tool.
It will be fascinating to see how Pick6 uses the data gathered through its app. Determining what players are most popular and what games garner the most engagement could be very useful for sports teams.
Additionally, it’s easy to imagine prizes beyond just cash. Special meet-and-greet sessions with chosen players, tickets and special events could all be used as incentives to keep fans of the app engaged and excited.
The underlying concept of engagement within an experience should send lots of brands to their bean bag chairs to figure how they could achieve interaction while their product is being used or consumed.
Cereal brands and Cracker Jack engaged youthful customers with toys in their packages. Nowadays engagement must be interactive. You wear a watch that provides workout analytics and allows you to pay for stuff. However, the instinct is the same – how to personalize a product or experience.
An app, like the Pick6 Player Pick tool, can be an affordable technology tool that enriches your customers' experience and deepens their brand loyalty. Plus, it will add some gusto.