SCC FFL Sports Marketing Challenge: 2022 CHAMPS!
The results of the eighth season of SCC’s fantasy football sports marketing competition are in and we have a champion. Before announcing this year’s winner, we would like to express how thrilled we were with the effort from all of our participating schools, and we hope you all enjoyed the competition. We had more new schools join this year’s competition than ever before, and based on how well they performed, the future of the competition looks incredibly bright!
That said, a big congratulations to Matt Kabza’s class at Grant High School in Oregon for winning our 8th annual fantasy football sports marketing competition! The Hawaii Fire front office took sole possession of first place after the third challenge and never looked back, securing the championship trophy for the second year in a row.
The Dayton Jokers front office, comprised of students from Miami Valley Career Technical Center (coached by Zach Gueth) finished in a close second with a really strong finish. Blacksburg High School students, representing the Virginia Beach Tridents front office (coached by Jessica Catley), took third place after gaining the highest score possible in the sixth sports marketing challenge. Jessica Frazier’s class at Helena High School (Oklahoma Outlaws) also had a great season, finishing in fourth place, while Nicole Healey and her students at Woodbridge Senior High School in Virginia (San Antonio Spiders) rounded out the top five.
To celebrate the championship, Grant High School will receive another championship trophy to proudly display in class. Both the Hawaii Fire front office and Dayton Jokers at MVCTC in Ohio will be rewarded with a classroom pizza party. Congrats to both schools on a job very well done.
We also have a few individual school shout-outs for the response to the digital marketing challenge below…
CHALLENGE #6 (DIGITAL MARKETING) HIGHLIGHTS:
Grant High School, Oregon (Hawaii Fire)
Once again, the Hawaii Fire front office submitted an incredibly detailed and well-organized plan in response to a sports marketing challenge. Like the five previous challenges, this group demonstrated a very high level understanding of key sports business concepts, adding a healthy dose of creativity to the application and exection of those ideas as they have consistently done throughout this competition.
In the business of sports, content is key with digital and social media marketing, and the Fire front office did a fantastic job addressing that at every turn. Content from all the team’s digital platforms, including the website, app, and social media, all provided fans with the behind-the-scenes access that they crave, which is incredibly important to the franchise as they begin to build fan support in the team’s inaugural season. Great idea to kick the season’s marketing campaign off with a hype video…we definitely seeing that video as something that will energize the fans and encourage them to support the team.
The team’s website was really well designed, and did a nice job incorporating elements from the previous challenges (https://jhanson7136.wixsite.com/hawaii-fire).
We loved the augmented reality features planned by the Fire front office. Straight from the front office report, here is how the franchise intends to tie augmented reality into the team’s first-year marketing: “To utilize augmented reality to best provide for our out of state fans, we will provide an augmented reality stadium tour to show our customers the stadium as well as nearby hotels and other Hawaii Fire related projects around the area. Our website that sells our products will provide 3D models to give customers the ability to spin products. This will give an understanding of the clothing design and fit. Our app would also include a system to use augmented reality to highlight sections of the stadium, play interactive games, and display live gameplay on the field by highlighting the first down marker allowing for a better understanding of the game by a viewer.”
We really liked the email marketing strategy. It is a smart idea to make sure your email correspondence has a purpose, like the “welcome to the Fire” email greeting when fans first sign up, and things like birthday email messages add a nice touch, letting the fans know that the organization cares.
We also thought the partnership with Twitch was a great idea, providing opportunitites for fans and players to interact to help develop a special and unique, more personal, connection between the organization and its fans. Very cool to include an actual press conference announcing the partnership as well…that type of extra effort is what helped the Fire front office capture a second consecutive championship.
However, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Fire season, was just how organized each and every response to sports marketing challenges have been. Keeping everything on schedule and on track is key to managing not only a digital and social media marketing campaign, but also the organization as a whole. The weekly social media post schedule and digital marketing calendar they submitted with the final challenge are very representative of how the Fire front office approached the whole season, and it proved to be a winning strategy.
Congratulations Grant High School, you have done it again. Back-to-back champions!
Blacksburg High School, Virginia (Virginia Beach Tridents)
Not only did the Tridents front office earn the highest possible score for this challenge, this might very well be the BEST and most complete website (https://sites.google.com/mcps.org/www-vabeachtridents-com/home) we have seen in the history of this competition. While we have seen many examples of live, functional websites as part of this competition in the past (and this year), what really stood out relative to other schools was the commitment to content and ease of navigation. Blacksburg students made it really easy for fans to find whatever they need, whether information about community related events, ways to follow the team on social media, purchase tickets and merchandise (some really creative on-brand team merch ideas here as well), or get information about the team, it is all right there at the fingertips of the fan. Really nice job offering a variety of ticket packages and encouraging fans to put down a deposit (with limited edition merch incentives and RedZone package access) for season tickets, that’s really next level stuff. Also, the Tridents did a fantastic job communicating all the good things the organization is doing throughout the community. All in all, BHS students really put everthing from the previous five challenges together in a way that culminated with really impressive response to the sixth and final challenge of this competition.
However, the website wasn’t the only thing that impressed us with the Tridents’ digital and social marketing plan. We really appreciated the detailed breakdown of social media strategy, describing how each platform will help to reach a different market segment, including different promos and messaging to cater to each demographic was great. It was also interesting to see the inclusion of BeReal as a social platform, making the Tridents front office one of just two teams in the competition to use the emerging social channel as a tool for reaching and engaging fans.
We also loved the Roblox initiative, providing the organization with a platform for reaching young fans and building loyalty to the team at a young age. Here is how the Tridents front office described the strategy in their report: “We will create merchandise on the Roblox game in order to reach Generation Alpha (those born between 2010-2024) Roblox has 202 million MAU (Monthly Active Users). 25% of Roblox’s user base are under the age of 9 and 29% are between the ages 9-12. (MAU Data) This would be the best platform to target younger fans and bring team spirit to them digitally. In order to promote our team, we will have a unique Trident jersey for players to purchase in-game and wear. They will be able to represent their team in popular football games on Roblox, such as Football Legends.”
Blacksburg students also introduced a great app with really cool features, a great idea for a team-branded podcast, some great ideas for entering the Metaverse using GoPro 360 cameras, email marketing, and more. Really, really well done Blacksburg High School!
Elizabethtown High School, Pennsylvania (Portland Pioneers)
In the sixth challenge, the Pioneers’ front office offered some great ideas and a very well executed digital and social media marketing strategy. With a little more consistency throughout the competition, we think Elizabethtown HS could be a real challenger for a championship next year!
What really stood out in this challenge was the Pioneers’ commitment to leveraging the team’s digital assets to provide value for sponsors. For example, the team’s app integrates the logo of its primary sponsor (Columbia Sportswear) along with non-invasive ads for secondary sponsors like Old Spice and Snapple in a way that adds value to the fan’s user experience while navigating the app. When the fans win and the sponsors win, the franchise wins! Nice job.
We also liked the VR feature on the team’s website that allows fans to see a view from each seat before buying tickets. It is important for any team, especially an expansion franchise, to prioritize the ticket sales function if they hope to succeed in the long-term and that is clearly the approach the Pioneers are taking.
One of our favorite features from this competition was the inclusion of a “fan button” on the app and website. Gamification is a fantastic way to boost fan engagement, and the Pioneers front office is on to something with all the great ideas shared in the team’s report. According to the team’s report, clicking the “fan button” opens up opportunities for lots of fan engagement, including: “Talk to Chuck, this allows you to ask the Pioneers mascot Chuck the Beaver questions. The next thing will be the Pioneers History which will show the history of the Portland Pioneers as well as the Oregon trail and at the end of it there’s a small trivia game to play and a perfect score will get you a free Pioneers magnet. The third thing will be the Pioneers Field Goal Game challenge which is a game where there are 5 stages. The first stage will be a 10yd field goal and you flick your finger on the screen and try to make the field goal. The stages get tougher and tougher. The final thing is the Chuck the Beaver game which is the Pioneers version of crossy road and instead it’s Chuck running across the field trying to avoid the running players and the goal is to go as far as you can. Finally the Other button on the bar will have customer service and information.”
Last but not least, we loved some of the content ideas. One of our favorites from the competition were the “Post Game Drip” posts. We can see this being really popular with fans!
Great job Pioneers front office, and congratulations to Elizabethtown students on a great competition. We loved seeing the improvement from last year, keep up the great work!
Montgomery County High School, Missouri (Salt Lake City Scorpions)
Montgomery County has been under new leadership with Joe Basinger the last two seasons, but they have not missed a beat. Once again, MCHS was very competitive throughout, and it was great to see the Scorpions front office compete to the very end. They have offered some great ideas throughout the competition, and the sixth challenge was no different.
We loved the team’s app, nicknamed “ScorpView”, and all the functions fans can perform using their mobile device, including buying tickets, purchasing concessions and/or merchandise and having it delivered to seats on game days, stats and game updates, and much more. One unique idea that we liked was a group chat feature, exclusive for fans using the app. We also really liked the idea of “360° mode”, providing an incentive for fans to download the app by offering different camera angles and game perspectives with “sky cam” broadcast coverage using a drone. That could have a lot of potential!
One thing that was really great to see from the Scorpions’ was enabling (via opt-in) of push notifications. Not many other teams included this as part of their digital marketing strategy, which we felt was an oversight. The Scorpions front office, however, did not miss the mark, and will send “good morning and happy game day” notifications to mobile devices on the morning of game days. And for fans attending the game, the notification will list all of the possible activities they are able to participate in and the amenities they will have access to at the stadium. Some of those amenities include new food and beverage offerings unique for specific game days, “enter to win” promotion opportunities, and more.
Nice job Scorpions front office! We look forward to seeing you take the next step next year and contend for the title!
Woodbridge Senior High School, Virginia (San Antonio Spiders)
It was really fun to see Nicole Healey’s students at Woodbridge High School make a big leap in this competition, moving from a tenth place tie last year to a well-deserved top five finish this year. Like each of the challenges along the way, the San Antonio Spiders front office delivered with their digital and social media marketing plan.
The website (https://sites.google.com/view/spidersteamwebsite) was great, providing all the necessary ingredients for fans to visit consistently, and more importantly, to buy tickets and merchandise. We also liked the email marketing strategy, featuring the “The Weekly Web”, a digital newsletter that will communicate team information, promotions, ticket offers and more to Spiders fans.
Last but certainly not least, we loved all the ideas for engaging fans in the metaverse. Described by the Spiders front office in their digital and social media plan as “inspired by the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets the Spiders plan on introducing a program called ‘Spider-Verse’ which allows fans to get a view of the game like they are there in person, from the comfort of their own home. This would let fans see what the stadium is like and get different angles of the game.” This has tons of potential, and might very well represent the next frontier of sports marketing. Other features of the Spiders’ metaverse strategy include a gamification strategy that allows fans a chance to catch balls from the team’s QB, trying to throw a football through a hoop or tire, throwing balls to Spiders receivers, and celebrating wins with the team in the metaverse.
Really nice job this year WSHS students, we look forward to seeing you take the next step next season!
MVCTC, Ohio (Dayton Jokers)
As has been the case throughout this competition, there were a lot of great ideas and executions from the Jokers’ front office in this challenge. First and foremost, they did a great job recognizing the importance of providing a strong signal at the stadium for mobile devices and plan to install towers at all four corners. A great digital and social media strategy won’t mean much for fans on game days if they can’t connect at the stadium.
We liked the consistency MVCTC students displayed as well, using the same hashtags throughout the competition, encouraging fans to use #Jokersden and #DealersDen on posts, and rewarding fans who use the hashtags will definitely help elevate levels of engagement. We also liked the idea of using those hashtags on the team’s social platforms to promote their players when Pro Bowl voting begins.
Overall, the Jokers’ offered an excellent and detailed breakdown of each social platform (Insta, Twitter, FB, YouTube, Snap & TikTok) and what content will be posted to each, we loved the extra effort to provide mockup examples of a post for each platform as well. Nice job going above and beyond to help us visualize the type of content you plan to share with your fans.
The Jokers website (https://swinning62089.wixsite.com/dayton-jokers) was also very well done, incorporating much of what they have developed throughout this competition into the site. Great idea to use a QR code to provide fans with easy access, and it was interesting to see the franchise feature a tab for gambling. That shows that the class has done some research and recognizes industry trends. We also liked seeing your class featured as the “staff” on the website along with the various roles each played within the organization.. that was really cool. 🙂
Overall, a fantastic season from the Jokers front office. Congrats on holding off the Tridents for second place and a runner-up finish in the competition!
SCC FFL 2022 FINAL STANDINGS
|Grant High School
|Miami Valley MVCTC
|Blacksburg High School
|Virginia Beach Tridents
|Helena High School
|Woodbridge High School
|San Antonio Spiders
|Salt Lake City Scorpions
|Elizabethtown High School
|Salt Lake City Mountaineers
|Tolland High School
|San Antonio Spartans
|Five Star Magnet Academy
|Salt Lake City Maniacs
|Carl Sandburg High School
|Santa Cruz Prairie Dogs
|Bigfork High School
|Salt Lake Pronghorns
|Kellam High School
|Richardson High School