Experiential Marketing Example: Women Actually Know Sports! Houston Take Note.

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This blog post marks my second entry on sports. Hopefully my wonderful boss does not start to question the depth of my interest after reading this; however, this one was too good to pass up. Back in September, I was browsing the Internet headlines and came across a failed “ladies night” promotion that heated up Twitter. Before I share, I have to tell you that I love to see companies target messages to specific segments (LGBT, Latino, etc.) because it’s the smart thing to do. I spent many years working on the women’s segment in my past marketing life, which is why this topic caught my eye a couple of months ago, but I digress.

This month’s example seemed like an innocent invitation from the MLB’s worst team, the Houston Astros, but backfired quickly into a social media nightmare. From @astros’ Twitter account:

9/27 is Ladies Night by @StateFarm! Ladies can learn about baseball, enjoy music, food, drinks & more! For info & tix Astros.com/ladies

At first glance I thought that Twitter was not the right platform to go about announcing this promotion. You’ve got to be really creative when you only have 140 characters. Then I got a bit deeper and I immediately caught the red flag. I was not alone in my discovery, as so very appropriately stated in a RT from another @astros follower, who also happens to be a woman:

@astros implying women don’t know about baseball?

Whoops. The Twitter flood gates opened after that, and rightfully so. As a woman, why would I want to participate in a ladies night if the Astros don’t consider women a part of what they’ve built there? The experience I now have with the Astros is: Women don’t understand baseball. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I’ll bet the universe that a few women walked through the gates to watch a baseball team that lost more than 110 games.

Because I don’t like a lot of negative in my positive world, I want to encourage all my readers that not all sports teams are that out of touch. For example, New England tight end Rob Gronkowski hosted a Football 101 Women’s Clinic backed by Citi during his bye week. The hook was a “focus on football basics with a social twist.” All the ladies in attendance started with a cocktail then moved on to football fundamentals and finally a skills competition. Notice the lack of, “Hi ladies, who are football ignorant, let us experts teach you the way.”

A second example comes from the Denver Broncos. Recently, the Broncos held their annual Crush Night Out which touts “a night for the ladies with a splash of football.” If your heart desires ladies, you can hang out with Bronco alumni, rub elbows with Miles the loveable mascot and enjoy food and your beverage of choice.

The Broncos, like the New England Patriots, did a wonderful job in creating positive brand experiences with the women’s segment. Both examples did not imply that women know nothing about football. Both examples also involved current and past players and created a fun, social, and educational experience. Involving fans and creating memorable experiences for all your customers goes a long way in building brand equity, which in my opinion is a lost art these days. Plus your reputation won’t take a beating from a poorly executed ladies night from a 51-111 baseball team.

How to use this Information
Creating a memorable experience for your customers is easy – with the right strategy. Call Webolutions – your Denver Internet marketing company – today at 303-300-2640 to learn more about experiential marketing and how it can work with your Internet marketing plan. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are creating amazing experiences for your employees and your customers, please share how you are doing this in the comments area below.

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