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Building the Perfect Promotional Schedule
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For every baseball fan, there are four words that can automatically ease the pain of a long, dark winter. Pitchers and catchers report. It's a tangible end to the off-season, but more importantly it's the beginning of a new year filled with optimism and excitement.  After months of planning, tweaking, and move making, it's about time for the rubber to hit the road.  It's time to see how the newly shaped rosters of our favorite teams will actually perform. It's also time when the business side of baseball puts their own roster to the test.  That roster is the promotional schedule- the sports marketing equivalent to a team's starting lineup.

The promotional schedule not only serves as the creative backbone for your sales force, but it also says a tremendous amount about your team. Taking pride in perfecting your promotional calendar tells your fans and community that the organization is invested in continual improvement of their product.  Especially over the past couple of years, reductions in budget and soft sponsorship sales have been tough on promotional personnel. So now more than ever, it is essential to step up creatively to provide new and compelling reasons for fans to get excited about your season.

Building a perfect promotional schedule can start with something as simple as a change in mindset.  Back when I was a young and impressionable baseball executive, I clearly remember one of my mentors describing his job to a client. "We throw 72 parties a year," he said. That one line changed the way I developed a promotional schedule. Every home game is a party and you're inviting the entire neighborhood.  If you look at the plans for one of those parties- say a Tuesday night in June- and you aren't excited about it, good luck at the gates. You must have goals for every single promotion in order to convince fans that attending a party multiple times at the same place is a worthwhile expenditure of their time and money.

What then are the most significant things an individual promotion needs to do? Here are five:

  1. Sell tickets
  2. Enhance the game experience
  3. Elevate the team brand
  4. Create partnership opportunities, and
  5. Generate publicity and attention.

The more events you create that accomplish all of these goals simultaneously, the more perfect your promotional schedule will be. In and of themselves, these aims are pretty self explanatory and most promotions nail at least one of them. Honestly though, how many promotions on your schedule achieve them all at the same time? If you consistently challenge your creative team to approach promotional planning with an attention to comprehensive success based on these goals, your fans, community and colleagues will take notice.

With these objectives in mind, here are some more tips to help build the perfect promotional schedule.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Carter looks at how to building the perfect promotional schedule, and breaks down the five things any good promotion should try to accomplish in the rest of this Premium Content Article on Gameops.com.

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