Friday, October 2, 2009

10/2/09: Crew's Marketing Leaves A Lot To Be Desired, Die Hard Fans Look To Guerilla Marketing

Here's a great idea I ran across today from some Nordecke fans upset with the lack of smart marketing from the Columbus Crew. The fan leading the cause had the following to say, by the way if the guy reads this get in touch with me, I would like to interview you more on this idea as I think it is needed and a touch brillant:

For a little while now, I've been kicking some ideas around in my head regarding starting a kind of supporters group that is completely focussed on marketing the Crew. Crew FO obviously has their own marketing strategy (roll eyes), media relations, budget priorities and so on, so this would be something that doesn't seek to get in the way of what they do, but we would be a little more street-level, grassroots, and web-savvy. This new group wouldn't get in the way of the important things that CSU, HSH, and LTA do on game day and in terms of setting up travel and so on, but would work to enhance what they do and even help promote those groups to potential new members. But the main goal would be to get more people aware of the culture, get people in the stadium, and put pressure on local media to devote more time to the Crew. And to do so cheaply, yet effectively, hence, guerilla marketing.

Just over the last few days, a few people have mentioned that they might like to get involved (Crew Chuck35 and smithnwesson to name the two most recent). Consider this a thread for brainstorming. Think big and think small. Think small like images for t-shirts, flags, flyers, pins, stickers, etc. that could be sold or distributed to saturate a particular part of the city on a particular day. Think big like starting a weekly Crew webcast or turning the area around Hudson and Summit into a Crew version of Wrigleyville. Anything is good.

Come up with stuff. Put it on here. Talk about it.

My thoughts: Overall, the feeling in the Nordecke is that the Crew do not know how to market, they put their marketing in the hands of an out of town marketing firm that likely knows nothing about soccer and what makes people come to games, while the fans in the Nordecke do know. These fans have brought other fans, unsure about soccer, to games and have made them die hards as well. The Nordecke has put money towards other things to make the section look better like Tifo through hard work. The Crew fans in the Nordecke could divert some of this money towards marketing. Crew fans in the Nordecke could pass around a hat and that money could lead to a marketing campaign to bring more Columbus fans out to the games.

I think it's brillant. Guerilla marketing is basically what the Truth company does with smoking. They take donations and etc. and combat smoking with creative public demonstrations and billboards, etc. These demonstrations may be seen as annoying by some or creative and fresh by others, but either way they force people to take notice and to think about smoking for a second:

Overall, it's not the Nordecke that is keeping people away through a little swearing (despite what some may say those people were never coming before, during, or after the Nordecke). The Nordecke has brought more people to the games and has left that area in the stadium densely packed, while the rest of the stadium struggles to fill up. The intentions of this guerrilla marketing would be to extend the Nordecke to the rest of the stadium by bringing out more fans with the qualities of a real fan who shows up every day and loves this team, like they deserve.

Brillant idea.

After this, the Nordecke should really look into a non-profit section and start working with charity as well, maybe then some overly sensitive Columbusite's wouldn't be so up in arms with a little swearing if we were helping people as well. Couldn't hurt. Glad to see the Nordecke start to organize itself, with that many people 2,000 to 3,000 people, they can fund their own marketing and campaigns. I feel in the next 3-5 years you will start seeing the Nordecke start to organize itself extensively in this fashion.

We have quite a bit of smart college types working in marketing, computers, and other fields who could make this happen.


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