The Minnesota Timberwolves, like many other professional sports organisations, use multiple social media platforms to engage and interact with their fans and supporters. Recently, the team has used to their YouTube channel to support and promote their innovative ‘Get Closer’ season-ticket renewal strategy.
The campaign draws on sports fans’ desire to be as close to the action as possible, but also embodies a sense of appreciation for fans who have continually shown their support. Driven by the hash-tagged #GetCloser slogan, this theme of ‘appreciation’ is consistent across all mediums, and herein lies the strategy’s uniqueness and effectiveness.
Instead of promoting season ticket renewals directly or giving away merchandise, the Timberwolves are showing how they have and will continue to give back to their fans and the community through, player/fan events and behind the scenes access. This gives us a sense that the fans are as important as the players are which is particularly evident through their recent series of videos on YouTube:
Behind the scenes access:
As you can you see from the videos above, Minnesota gave season ticket holders an opportunity of a life time to be part of their campaign commercials. The videos portray fans with players in a real life conversation discussing topics not relating to basketball. This shows another side of the players rather than their athletic abilities which are usually on display for the fans, but insight on a personal level, in a very comical way (Andrei Kirilenko’s ‘Get Closer: AK’ was a personal favourite).
There are also a couple of videos which give fans a behind the scenes access of their jet, inside the TV Truck, interview with Wolves radio host Alan Horton and Player outing coverage. There is also a special playlist dedicated to season ticket holders who have renewed their membership with a special message from individual players, again going above and beyond for their support.
As we can see Minnesota has been very active and measured through their Youtube channel when showing fan appreciation and continually offering an experience even when the final buzzer has sounded.
To improve the campaigns effectiveness and reach the Timberwolves have effectively used their other digital platforms. Facebook was used to show the benefits and access the Wolves give to their fans which is the experience unlike another teams offer:
Twitter was also used with the #GetCloser hash tag to group and follow tweets:
— MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) April 2, 2013
— Jeff Munneke (@MinnesotaMunn) March 30, 2013
Event coverage was seen through Instagram:
Last but not least Google+ and Vine have also been used to support the season ticket drive:
One final note, Social media platforms all have their own unique way of engaging and interacting with followers and users, this provides opportunities for Sports organisations to establish deeper connections with fans and supporters. The Minnesota Timberwolves have executed a thorough campaign involving a range of platforms to show how they give back to their fans who give so much.
"Love this promotion by my mates at Timberwolves, despite a difficult season on court the Timberwolves make sure the fan is the centre of everything they do. Congrats to Ted Johnson, Jeff Munneke and Bob Stanke for a great campaign."Sean Callanan, @SportsGeek