It’s got football and baseball, sure, but basically Pittsburgh is a hockey town. After all, the Pittsburgh Penguins have brought home three Stanley Cups, most recently in 2009.
But the ice was looking a bit thin after the team’s sixth-game loss to Detroit in the 2008 finals. That’s when Penguins management reached for mobile marketing as a way to strengthen ties with its fan base. The Penguins began working with Vibes Media, a Chicago-based mobile marketing agency, and started bulking up membership in the Pens Mobile Club, a fan-centric community that sends out mobile alerts, team news, post-game recaps and relevant merchant and brand offers to loyalists.
Vibes used a combination of mobile sweepstakes as incentives and text-to-screen in-game promotions and, after three years of working with Penguins management, announced last month that fan subscriptions have increased to 70,000 today from 14,000 in 2008.
During playoff season this year, a mobile sweepstakes in partnership with Delta Airlines offered fans the chance to win two tickets on their Pittsburgh-to-Paris route. The offer, promoted in the stadium, online and in radio ads, drew more than 63,000 entries and 3,000 new opt-ins to the Pens Club.
“The Penguins get the mobile difference,” says Vibes Media CEO Alex Campbell. “Time, location and interaction are the three keys to a good SMS campaign. They understand that the content, and even the offers and promotions have to add value for users, and they have one of the lowest churn rates among our clients.”