Stadium Software Sends Sports Marketing Into Digital Age

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"Get your ice-cold beer here! Hot dogs! Ice-cold soda with a special CD-ROM drink lid here!"

Though the first two are familiar cries of vendors at stadiums and arenas nationwide, the last is a call that would make its way across sporting venues over the next year if Stadium Software has its way.

Stadium Software, a division of ScreenShop launched Jan. 1, is a software development and marketing firm. It is in the early stages of a six-step direct mail campaign to introduce itself and create market awareness while marketing its three main products: StadiumCD drink lids, StadiumCD credentials and tickets, and StadiumSavers, a screen saver that includes a fan's photo along with statistics, photos and other team information.

Stadium Software president David Meadows said the division resulted from the company's success in the past few years with its sports-oriented marketing.

"When you put a strong message from a good sponsor together with a highly motivated crowd, you are going to have success," he said.

To introduce the brand, Stadium Software began its direct mail effort Dec. 15 by sending a holiday greeting postcard to nearly 1,200 people. All six of the postcards will have handwritten messages on the back either from a sales representative or Meadows himself and include their direct line as a contact point.

Regardless of whether they respond, the targets will get all six mail pieces. The targets come from two databases -- 640 representatives from potential corporate sponsors and another 600 people from the sports industry.

Corporate targets are sports marketing directors, marketing directors, directors of events and sponsorships and vice presidents of marketing and promotions within Fortune 1000 companies. Marketing directors and ticket marketing directors from the four major sports leagues as well as NASCAR will be contacted.

The 640 corporate targets represent about 400 companies, Meadows said.

The second mailing, which touts the CD-ROM drink lids, went Jan. 1, and another for its StadiumSaver product was to complete its drop Jan. 20. Subsequent mailings will drop two weeks after the previous one is sent.

The front of the postcard for the Jan. 1 mailer reads: "Drink it. Play it. Win! StadiumCD Drink Lids." A short paragraph describing the benefits of marketing a product with the lids is included and asks recipients to call for samples.

The back includes a handwritten message to the recipient by name that states: "I thought you might be interested in our new product line." That's followed by a signature and a phone number.

"I've learned that postcards are the first things people read when they get their mail because there is no need to open them," Meadows said. "And we used a handwritten message to give it a more personalized touch."

The campaign has three goals, he said. First is to introduce the division. The second is to have sales reps make calls and get people to the Web site to learn more about the company and view samples. Lastly, the company hopes to make enough of an impact that people request samples be mailed to them.

Small-market teams and venues will be pursued as aggressively as large-market teams, Meadows said.

"These products can help drive traffic and increase attendance at these events," he said. "So we want to be involved with them as much as we do the major-market teams."

The campaign, done in-house, will cost about $15,000 for all six mailers.


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