For Newcap Radio Stations in Alberta, Hockey is Revenue and Client-Generation King
NewCap Radio is a 79-license radio group in Canada, with a variety of formats that include country, rock, classic hits and talk. The online hockey contest has been held two consecutive years at its 30 Alberta stations.
While all 30 Alberta stations had run periodic contests, they had done so individually, attracting only local advertisers. NewCap wanted to create interest in the corporate brand and attract larger advertisers who would pay higher sponsorship fees.
The group developed the Alberta-wide NHL Online Hockey Pool, held simultaneously at all Alberta-area NewCap radio stations.
Contestants entered before each of the eight NHL games, picking their choices of the winning team. As a tie-breaker, they also predicted the score of one game. Weekly winners were awarded a $100 gift certificate to Game On Sports and a Bud Light Prize Pack. The Grand Prize was a $1000 gift certificate to noted Alberta-based skating sales and service firm Pro Skate.
Ten days before the contest, on-air promotions began at each participating station. Additionally, 100,000 loyal opted-in listeners received e-mails about the contest. Online advertising included a headline banner on all contest pages on every station site as well as a branded contest logo on each contest landing page or home page. Each contest participant was e-mailed a button ad each week.
Province-wide sponsors such as Alberta Ford and Bud Light generated $75,000 in ad revenue the first year, $95,000 the second. To thank its biggest sponsor, the contest became known as the Ford Online Hockey Pool. After its first successful contest, NewCap had no problem getting every sponsor to sign on a second time. Well over 2,000 listeners participated in each contest, generating 175,000 page views.
The Ford Online Hockey Pool has been NewCap’s top revenue generator and the one that brought in the most long-term clients for the group.
Why It Worked:
- As a collaboration of 31 stations, with more than 100 on-air promotions, NewCap was able to attract larger sponsors who paid high fees to expand their advertising beyond any individual station’s market area.
- Executives at each station were made a part of the contest plans right from the start, creating buy-in Alberta-wide.
- A right-of-first-refusal element encouraged sponsors to commit early to a second annual contest. All did.
- The contest was easy to enter, easy to play.
- NewCap offered attractive and relevant prizes each week, to keep the momentum going.
- Contestants were easily able to create groups on the contest landing pages, for their own running office pools.