Why running a football contest could be your key to a successful year
Our How to Sell a Football Contest webinar covers everything you need to know about selling a pro, college or high school football contest. Over the past few years, we have seen properties bring in six figure revenue from their football contest alone, which makes this a contest you can’t afford not to run. Based off these successful models and other contesting best practices, we put together the 10 top takeaways that will help you run a successful football contest.
Watch the recording, flip through the slide deck, or continue on to read our top takeaways from the presentation.
- Don’t limit yourself to pro football. Don’t have a pro football team in your market? That’s fine. We have seen properties generate tons of revenue around college and high school football contests. The key to success around college or high school football is to reach out to sponsors who play a big part in the community. Banks, insurance agents, car dealerships and local restaurants are all great options to scoring a touchdown with your contest.
- Sign on multiple sponsors. Some sponsorship approaches work better than others for different contests. Since football has such a large appeal, this is a great contests to focus on attracting multiple sponsors instead of an exclusive sponsorship. This allows you to keep the cost per sponsorship lower while driving up overall revenue substantially. The Wichita Eagle has done a great job using the multiple sponsors approach to generate incredible revenue from their football contest.
- Think beyond the usual sponsors. When thinking about possible sponsors to target, focus on who wants to reach this target audience. Sports bars, sporting good stores, car dealerships and local breweries are all great option. But, you should also reach out to other possible sponsors like jewelry stores. While that might not be the first sponsor that comes to mind for your football contest, men are usually the ones that make big jewelry purchases like engagement rings and wedding bands.
- Offer an integrated promotional package. Take a page out of The Wichita Eagle’s book and offer your sponsors on-air spots, online exposure and print ads. This is your opportunity to sell more than just a contest sponsorship and create a compelling package for your sponsors. Include email and text blasts, mentions on social media, and sell your mobile app ad space.
- Make your advertisers VIP pickers. As local media companies, you can add tremendous value to your sponsors by positioning them as “VIP Pickers.” VIP Pickers get their picks published each week in a highly visible area of the contest page and an equally important space in print or on-air, along with a photo and credential with their business information. This tactic brings your sponsors to life by connecting them with your audience on personal level as readers will want to compare their picks with the VIPs. This one of the main reasons football contests can attract multiple patrons. Many properties also position their sports columnists or on-air personalities as VIP Pickers to enhance the credibility of their VIP sponsors. Outlets that want to go the extra mile can feature one VIP Picker outlining the logic behind their picks to add another layer of value and depth to the overall package.
- Enable your contest to run on multiple platforms. Take advantage of the options available and put your contest on Facebook, mobile, and tablet. Contestants love having the option of playing where they hang out all day. What really sweetens up running on multiple platforms is the possibility of having separate advertisers for your mobile, tablet, or Facebook contest.
- Offer weekly prizes. Including appealing prizes will get your players excited to come back and make picks each week of your contest. People love winning, so offer more chances to win by allowing advertisers to donate prizes. If your sponsors don’t want to put up a prize, give away promotional items from your company. Great prize ideas include tickets to a nearby college or pro game, trip to a playoff game or the Big Game, a tailgate kit, and much more.
- Bundle contests together for added value. Sell all of your sports contests as in integrated package. This will save you from having to return to the same advertisers again and again over the course of the year, and they will see the value of continued promotion over the course of the year.
- Consider adding custom contests. With so much excitement around football, there are endless possibilities to run custom contests that your audience will love. Some great custom contest ideas include: fan fanatic, trivia, ultimate tailgate, recipe, school spirit and athlete of the week.