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More Yardage: Musings on Ad Packaging for College Football

By: Nick Godfrey on November 11, 2014

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I keep reading about the challenges and woes of College Football. The mix of big money, big risk, with colleges that have reduced public funding jumping into bed with TV advertising (that’s cable and broadcast both making for a very crowded sleeping arrangement!) who are struggling to hold onto eyeballs and thereby their advertisers.

College Football is a great thing. I certainly could watch more, but I suffer the same way everyone else does with not having enough time for anything. I’d like to sit on my couch and watch more TV, AND I’d like to be in my basement doing more projects. I’d like to play more with my kids, I’d like to keep in touch with my buddies and I’d even like to spend more time catching up on hundreds of emails that are sitting in my in-box. We are all in the same boat or, shall I say, on the same team, with too many “To Do’s” with not enough time to do them.

From my customer-centric perspective, these two leagues – College Football and TV – could be going at this with a modified approach. By understanding your audience (fan, customer, viewer, or whatever you want to call them), you can strive to provide them what they want vs. trying harder and harder to give them what you want.

To do this, I’d first invite my fans to opt-in to get their College Football information delivered to them. Now, I know each team has to have an email list, but you have to go looking for this. I do admit to not to watching all football and all TV advertising, but I know a coordinated campaign where the College and the Station are working together to package a unique experience for fans that is delivered via alternative channels that cable does not exist. On air there should be open invitations for viewers to opt-in for the Boom-boom State program with games, prizes and inside information.

Think about the possibilities of leveraging the multitude of channels – social, email, text, mobile, apps, DM, and others to be developed – to deliver interesting, relevant content – school, player, team, endowment, students, courses, alumni, fun games, contests, calendars, prizes and more! The more targeted, engaging and interesting this is made, the more fans that will participate. Also, the more interesting the end experience is made, the more that advertisers will be tolerated and the more they will be willing to pay.

Boom-boom State’s program could offer targeted content based on the individual fan’s segment and behavior. For example, the segments could be Donor Alumni, Recent Grad, Vegas Gambler, and Football Nut. By these example segments you can guess what their interest will be. Not all are the same, each is varied, yet all want to know more about Boom-boom the school, Boom-boom the team and Boom-boom the institution. OK, since I am dreaming at this point, I’ll take the armchair athlete idea all the way… How about the Boom-boom State fan engagement program being manned and operated by the students of the newly formed Customer Technology Marketing department.

Now that is a cool idea. The colleges will get the money, the TV advertisers will get the audience, and the kids will get some really relevant teachings. And you and I will get the content and information we want without having to spend the weekend inside on the couch! (Actually, that does not sound so bad, but my wife thinks otherwise.)

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