The live sports industry is no stranger to texting. If you’ve attended a major league game in the past few years, you may have received a ticket link or promo code via text message. But there are so many other creative ways to use SMS in sporting contexts at every level.
Today’s sporting events aren’t just about what happens on the pitch, field or rink. From the pre-season buildup to the post-season wind down, there are countless opportunities to engage with the community via text at any time. After all, more than 97% of Americans already own a cellphone. Why not reach out to fans in a familiar way?
In this quick guide to SMS for sporting events, we’ll look at how you can engage with your attendees—before, after and on the big day.
1. Event Marketing
Of course, the most familiar use of sports-related messaging is marketing. You can leverage text message marketing to communicate with current fans or reach new ones (or both). Some ideas to generate more revenue via SMS marketing include:
- Announcing ticket releases and availability – When tickets go on sale, fans signed up for your marketing messages can be the first to know. Notifying superfans via text feels much more personal than a tweet or email. You can also create urgency and let those on-the-fence fans know when ticket numbers are running low.
- Upselling on season tickets – Season tickets are often a terrific deal for anyone who comes to a few games a year. Since you probably already have access to data around ticket purchasing history, you can target those repeat visitors and encourage them to upgrade to season tickets.
- Ticket promotions – If you’re facing an event with a lower turnout, you can promote two-for-one tickets or a “bring a friend” deal over text. By encouraging current fans to bring their friends or family, you begin building a larger fanbase.
Best of all, you can segment your audiences to make your marketing more potent. For example, you might want to text only your current season ticket holders with an exclusive offer. With a mass text messaging service, you can do that.
2. Fan Engagement
These days, marketing is less about selling products and experiences and more about building a relationship. Texting gives you a direct way to engage with fans beyond traditional marketing.
Thanks to the two-way technology of mass texting, participation is easier than ever. At any point during a game, you may want to text with (not to) your fans about:
- In-game votes or surveys
- Half-time contests
- Raffle results
- Collecting captions or photos for the jumbotron or scoreboard
And the fun doesn’t have to stay confined to game time. Before or after a match, superfans may want to know about:
- Upcoming matches
- Player stats
- Links to other games in the league
- Promos for future tickets, merch or food deals
- Exclusive “mobile-only” fan club offers
You can even use SMS to give superfans a one-on-one conversation with their idols.
Creating an interactive messaging experience for the fans can make game time and home time more enjoyable. Remember to schedule your messages according to the best times to send text blasts.
3. Updates and Reminders
When it comes to live events, anything can happen—and that’s why having a direct line to your attendees is vital. In the week leading up to the big game (and even hours before), you can use mass texting to provide real-time updates on
- Weather delays or considerations
- Lineup changes
- Schedule changes
- Parking restrictions
- Road closures
Even a simple reminder about the upcoming event can help you maximize turnout—you’d be surprised how often people double-book themselves!
4. Entry and Exit Requirements
Slowly funneling fans in and out of arenas can create bottlenecks that sour the experience for everyone. To make entrances and exits as smooth and safe as possible, you can remind fans of
- Event start time and curfew
- Bag restrictions (such as size limits or requiring transparent bags)
- Prohibited items
- Mask and vaccination status requirements
Another way to speed up entry is to send a ticket link a few hours before the game with a reminder to have it ready.
5. Internal Communications
Mass texting doesn’t need to be a strictly external tool, either. As an event organizer, consider using mass texting to communicate with
- Players and participants – Many of the event updates destined for fans should also go out to the participating teams. Is a torrential downpour going to delay the game by 45 minutes? That’s 45 more minutes of relaxing and warming up before the game.
- Personnel – Coaches, trainers and even managers may need a quick message from time to time. From event-day updates to information about dressing rooms and accommodations, having a direct line to the top brass is never a bad idea.
- Employees – Even your cashiers, cleaners and ticket-checkers may need event updates and information. Mass texting allows you to reach every member of your team in minutes.
The takeaway here is that SMS messaging is a universal tool that lets you reach anyone for any reason.
Spice up Your Next Sporting Event with Textedly
When promoting live events, you have a million things on your mind. Why not simplify your marketing, engagement and logistics with SMS messaging?
With Textedly, you can reach more sports fans than ever, faster than ever. From scheduled messages and auto-reply texts to in-depth analytics and an unlimited subscriber list, we make it easy to grow and manage your fanbase.
To find out firsthand how mass texting can supercharge your next sporting event, sign up for a free trial of Textedly today!
Pew Research Center. Mobile Fact Sheet. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/