What's All the Hype About?
By Ivan Dashkov
As construction was almost complete and MGA Sports was finalizing its partnership agreements, the time had come to start creating buzz about the facility. MGA launched a Facebook page and Twitter account as one of the first steps. Before doing so it was important to look at the Facebook and Twitter accounts of other volleyball and sports facilities. After researching, here are some keys to a successful page for a volleyball/sports venue: â-- Posting dailyâ-- Including photos and video of the facility, the people who use it, and the upgradesâ-- Reinforcing the website and having the same message across all communication channels
Posting daily can be tough but it was very important. MGA Sports saw the reward of doing so, as its page already had three to four times as many followers as other sports facility pages because they were engaging their audience more. The posts included offerings and events featured later in the week or that night at MGA. A common pattern that MGA found successful was posting a lot of photos because MGA Sports is not about Fabian Ardilla and his volleyball facility; it is about New England players finally having their own place just for volleyball. People are the biggest part of MGA and it should be reflected in how the facility shares information and markets through social media. In addition, MGA shares stories and links from other relevant organizations such as the JVA, AVCA, Social Boston Sports, Bay State Games, etc. MGA realizes that the posts help boost traffic since these organizations post quality content that MGA followers value.
Outside of social media, MGA Sports has reached out to reporters and secured stories in The Boston Globe, Boston.com, WickedLocal.com, and Patch.com. The Boston.com and The Boston Globe pieces were the first to hit newsstands and helped MGA secure a few partnerships from the exposure and credibility. MGA also emailed local Athletic Directors and coaches, handed out flyers at the end of the High School Boys' State Final match, and posted regularly on the BAVP Yahoo Group. The BAVP Yahoo Group is the most common way to reach out to adult New England volleyball fans. An email goes out to everyone in the group.
Sponsorship and advertising will be an important revenue stream for this large facility. MGA will definitely feature sponsor banners for its partners. It is a trade out for long term rentals and MGA wants to make it known that these groups are using the facility. So far there are small banners for SMASH Volleyball Club and the Boston Sport and Social Club, and the first large banner will go up next week for Social Boston Sports. The large banner will be hung over the insulation above the blue court, and will be the first thing people see when walking into MGA.
Eventually, MGA Sports will sell space to advertisers, but first wants to get an estimate of the number of impressions each ad will have in one year. Since the facility is so new, it will take some time to generate participation, foot traffic, and spectator reports to be able to provide those interested in purchasing advertising at MGA. Another idea is having 30 second and 1 minute banner ads over the state-of-the-art sound system during major events. The ads would be tied to a higher sponsorship package. Website advertising is still something MGA is exploring. The first key is figuring out the most effective layout for the website.
There is an array of directions that MGA can take to market its facility and generate more hype, however each decision is being carefully calculated to make sure MGA Sports is sending the right message to its target market and creating a positive buzz. Make sure to follow the hype on MGA's FaceBook and Twitter this coming week so you don't miss anything before the next post!