Variety - Promotional Pill
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In our series of Promotional Pills, this is our Promotion Enhancing Drug designed to insure you have variety in your promotions.

For each of the promotional pills, you are given a set of questions which are designed to help illuminate ways to improve and enhance your show.

VARIETY - Spice it up.

For clarity on this pill we divide this into two parts: First we will look at Promotional Nights, followed by a look at Promotions and Contests.

In our promotional pills you will take your promotions, then ask a few questions about it.  For the Variety Promotion Pill, here are the questions you will ask:

For Promotional Nights

  • How is this game night promotion different than my others?
  • Does this promotion center on a giveaway, an experience, the players, the fans, or something irreverent?
  • Who does this promotion target?  Moms, sports fans, kids, loyal fans, first time fans, segment (the military or students)

Take your list of promotional nights and ask those questions.

For example:  Are you having Britney Spears Night, then A Tribute to Clay Aiken, then Tom Cruise Bobblehead Night (which are all pop culture irreverent theme nights...and despite being different, they all feel the same.) 
As opposed to the variety of a Player Bobblehead Night, Salute to Lawyers Night, and a Fireworks Night (which showcase a variety of topics, attractions, and targets).

I looked at the Sacramento Rivercats weekly promo schedule from a year ago.  This is simplified but  I think they did a nice job.

Mondays:  Bingo Night
Tuesdays:  Taco and Tecate Night
Wednesday:  Macys Night 
Thursdays: Beer and BBQ
Fridays: Drumsticks and Hot dogs family fest
Saturdays: Fireworks
Sundays: Kids Sundays (kids take over the ball-park)

Each night targeted different groups, Thursdays was for singles, Mondays for seniors.  Each night had a different attraction, like the added value of a fireworks display, a discount on food, or the experience of kids day. The Rivercats made each day of the week feel special from the outset.

They had special guests for select games and even these guest targeted different segments, like using former player Hall of Famer Jim Palmer for older fans and Kelly Anderson (USA Softball) for young girls.
In short this is a team who has effectively considered the variety promotion pill.

For Promotions and Contests

For Promotions and Contests ask these similar questions

  • How is this contest different from my other inventory?
  • How will it stand out to our fans? **Also very important to your sponsors
  • What is the likelihood of a winner?
  • What does my average contestant look like?
  • Who wins and who has a vested interest in the contest?

As you can see these questions are created to help point out ways to make promotions different.

For example, if you look at your game script and see three contests tonight:

  • It's your sing for your supper contest.  Two adult contestants sing a  song to win dinner.
  • Price is Right:  An adult guessing prices on grocery store items
  • Movie Trivia Contest

By asking the questions at hand you it's clear these contests are all pretty much the same: contestants are adults, these are not physical contests, winners are only the people standing there, and no one outside the contestants has a vested interest in the contest.

Your answers to these questions shouldn't be the same, and asking them can help illuminate ways to adjust your contests and make them unique.

Promotional contest variety is an easy fix, since there are many ways to make a contest stand apart from the others. Last year I did a live game review with the AFL Chicago Rush (click to see a playlist of videos from the Chicago Rush game)  Their inventory provided great examples of how to spice up in-game inventory.

  • Include different elements of your game entertainment staff: For the Rush their The Discover Card Kick used the mascot, the LaSalle Bank Promotion used several cheerleaders, and the Off the Net Catch contest featured a player. The variety made them each feel different.
  • Vary Contestants. Over the course of their show the Rush used kids to catch the football, athletic adults for the long football-throwing contests, and even celebrities for the trike race.  Each felt unique.
  • Change the Action: What are the contestants doing?  Singing, talking, being smart, racing, shooting, playing?
  • Prizing: Prizes can also make contests unique, from sponsor-related items,  to autographed items.  Mix up the value from a few bucks to hundreds, and use prizes  connected to the your sponsor a paint store?  Then the prize should be paint.
  • Odds of winning: Does your contest have a winner every time? Are the odds of seeing a winner incredibly slim?  If you have one indemnified contest with tiny odds of winning that can be interesting.  A game night full of them?  Not so much. Conversely does every contest end with a winner?
  • Who wins: Does anyone else win along with the contestant,  everyone win, or no one?
  • Vested Interest:  Do the fans have a vested interest in the winner?  Can they win along with them?

Summary - Use the Variety Promotion Enhancing Drug; Take a look at your promotional nights and contests, ask the questions and let the Variety Promotion Pill enhance your promotions.

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