MLS team prompts on-site email sign-ups with iPads

Client: Los Angeles Galaxy?

Vendor: ExactTarget?

Objective: To streamline and incentivize the email acquisition process using iPads at the soccer team’s home games.?

Major league soccer team the Los Angeles Galaxy understood when best to court consumers to opt in to their email marketing program: at games when those consumers are decked out in Galaxy gear. But as ?agile as the team’s stars may be, its on-site acquisition strategy wasn’t at all. The Galaxy asked consumers to fill out printed cards when entering the stadium for home games. ?

The team’s database marketing coordinator Bryan Arguello says the method would collect a couple of hundred opt-ins per game, but processing the handwritten forms bogged down the acquisition opportunity.?

“The data integrity of it wouldn’t be optimal. You couldn’t read whether it was an eight or a six. You couldn’t read the email address,” says Arguello. ?”Because the information wasn’t digitized, it would take a week or two to transcribe the data into a spreadsheet.”?

STRATEGY: To streamline the on-site email acquisition process, the Galaxy worked with its email marketing firm ExactTarget to begin outfitting five interns with Apple iPads, and the interns would begin to traverse the stadium two-and-a-half hours before kickoff and during halftime, approaching large groups of consumers to maximize interest. ?

Arguello says the iPads carried with them a “coolness and sexiness” that would attract more consumers than a piece of paper ever could, and the shotgun targeting strategy would create a snowball effect of consumer curiosity.?

Starting in March and through the rest of the 2011 season, interns would ask consumers whether they were interested in submitting their names, email addresses and phone numbers for a chance to win a signed team jersey. After consumers submitted their information, they would receive a Galaxy bracelet or keychain for participating. The Galaxy would roll consumers into its Gold Standard email newsletter program to receive exclusive information and special offers.?

The submission also triggered an instant bounce-back email that asked consumers to fill out a survey in exchange for $5 off a future Galaxy home game. It contained 10 questions such as how many games a consumer attends in a season. Arguello says the survey is used by the team’s sales representatives to follow up via phone regarding the team’s ticket packages and that 40% of consumers completed the survey. ?

RESULTS: After the first four games of the season, the iPad acquisition campaign generated nearly $14,000 in ticket revenue for the team and averaged 341 opt-ins per game for the season. The Galaxy was so pleased with the results that ?Arguello says it purchased five more iPads to use during the last four regular season games.

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