The purpose of this assignment is to create a marketing plan and corresponding crisis communication plan for dissemination through social media.
Whereas social media originally began as a means for friends to stay in touch, it has quickly grown into an expansive platform for connecting people all across the world, and it plays an integral role in any marketing initiative. In the industry of sports marketing, social media allows fans to engage with teams and brands and enables news to disseminate in real time. Audience members can respond to sports events with tagged photos and hashtags, while athletes can communicate directly with their fans, promote sponsors, and keep the public informed of their schedules. Viewers can live-stream games on multiple platforms. Teams can track fan engagement, spending, and attendance while posting game schedules, selling tickets, and promoting fan-specific content through their own mobile apps. Essentially, social media is a fundamental tool by which sports marketers can create competitive advantage for themselves within the sports business landscape.
This assignment will be completed in two parts. For the first part, assume that you are tasked with developing a social media marketing plan for the sports team of your choice. This team is relocating to a new home stadium on the opposite side of the city and needs promotional material for rolling out this announcement. While the move is not a rebranding of the team name, logo, or mascot, consider how you could market this move with a positive spin that will honor fan loyalty.
Remember the importance of creating a strategy that promotes a consistent message across all platforms and uses a voice that is consistent with the brand being represented. The overall message should support the larger goals of the team, organization, or brand.
You may use the “Social Media Marketing Plan Template” to brainstorm and organize your thoughts, but the assignment you turn in for grading will be submitted as a 500-750-word paper. The plan should include at least three or four sentences on each of the following elements.
- Marketing Goals – Explain the message you are trying to communicate to your target audience and relate the anticipated outcome of this communication.
- Target Audience – Determine the fan DNA of the team and provide a profile of the consumer you are targeting. List this fan’s top five consumer traits.
- Message – Relate the core content of your social media marketing plan: the announcement of the team’s relocation. What specifically do you want fans to know about the relocation? How will you be communicating this: an infographic, a photo, a photo series, a video clip? Provide rationale for why you are choosing this method of announcing the relocation and remember that this message should support the larger goals of the team and its brand.
- Social Media Platforms – Decide which three social media platforms you will use to disseminate this information about the team’s rebranding in order to reach the greatest segments of the team’s target audience. How do the social media platforms you have chosen reflect the team’s fan DNA?
- Audience Influencers – Determine influential people within your organization or current fan base who can act as influencers of and supporters for your campaign. Consider players and coaches, team sponsors, recognizable leaders and fans, and celebrity endorsers. Explain why the individuals you have selected will be optimal spokespeople for this campaign.
- Timeline – What are your goals when it comes to the timeline of this campaign? Outline the agenda for your campaign’s release based upon the timeliness of the season, its relation to the team’s relocation, and any other special events.
- Competitive Advantage – Explain how the marketing strategies of this social media campaign will help the team gain an advantage over their competition.
- Evaluation Metrics – How will you measure the success of your social media campaign? Describe at least three methods of evaluating the campaign’s success on social media. (For example: increase in total number of followers on a particular social media site, number of interactions or hits on the social media content, sales results and revenue generated directly by the campaign, or the number of likes/shares/comments related to the campaign, etc.)
Mock up an image of the social media content you would post to announce the team’s relocation. You are welcome to use Photoshop, if you have access, or to utilize a free platform, such as Canva, to enhance the quality and design of your content. Select your wording, images, and content carefully, remembering to follow the format used by each specific social media platform (e.g. character limits, use of hashtags, etc.). Remember the importance of creating a strategy that promotes a consistent message across all platforms and uses a voice that is consistent with the brand being represented. The overall message should support the larger goals of the team.
For the second part of the assignment, in approximately 250 words, develop a crisis communication plan and describe how you would tactfully use social media to preemptively navigate a negative situation before it spins out of control and becomes detrimental to the team. In the case of this sports team relocation, fans may be upset about how the move to a new stadium will affect their priority as season ticket holders or how it will affect their commute to and from games, or the general public in the vicinity of the new stadium may be displeased with the influx of traffic/increase in noise on game days. How would you use social media to counter a potentially negative backlash while supporting the team and encouraging fan involvement in a strategic way?