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Finish Line links real-time March Madness content to mobile shopping

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March 19, 2015

Finish Line taps mobile social during March Madness

Finish Line taps mobile social during March Madness

The Finish Line is tying together real-time, mobile-optimized content with personalized product selections to drive engagement and sales with on-the-go basketball fans during the NCAA March Madness tournament.

The sporting goods retailer’s “Let’s Dance” omnichannel marketing campaign will see the chain deliver team-specific content and relevant product stories in-store, online and through its social media outlets. Fans will receive opportunities to engage via mobile moments after events occur on the court and have an opportunity to tap through to purchase relevant merchandise from their smartphones.

“It’s easy to create a good ad once but developing enticing ads day in and day out can be a challenge,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile.

“That’s one of the reasons brands look to alternative methods for promoting their brand, such as content creation,” she said. “Instead of telling the consumer “buy my products” once again, the brand gets an opportunity to participate in something the consumer is excited about, get the consumer to derive value from the brand and associate its products with a certain motifs.”

“Finish Line is strategically creating real-time content centered around March Madness. This move will not only engage its audience but also position the brand as a part of consumers love for sporting. The brand also gave a lot of thought as to where their audience is most active and therefore chose to make the campaign all centered around mobile and social media standing.”

Joining the conversation
As part of the campaign, Finish Line will offer customers inspiration for their own bracket selections via expert picks from a team of influencers on its blog.

The goal is to immerse Finish Line in the conversation with fans in a hyper-relevant manner through an omnichannel approach.

Finish Line will drive its story lines from a digital war room, offering fans timely and geo-targeted content surrounding game reaction.

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Fans can tap through for direct access to related merchandise.

Consumers will immediately be able to shop the custom product grids based on team color and brand assortment with the idea of providing a complete story around the hottest gear so that fans can cheer their tournament favorite.

The campaign kicked off with a mailer program delivered prior to the selection day. The mailer provided fans with key information on Finish Line’s tournament coverage.

As the tournament progresses, consumers will receive targeted emails. Mobile engagement will be further fueled by social media and online marketing materials posted moments after the events occur on the court.

Mobile slam dunk
The campaign extends into bricks-and-mortar as well, with The Finish Line store at Circle Centre will feature a refreshed look leading up to the final games, which will be held nearby in Indianapolis.

The Finish Line campaign is the latest example of how the use of mobile social by marketers is getting a boost during this year’s March Madness.

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For example Coca-Cola, Reese’s and other brands are leveraging Snapchat and other social platforms to engage fans during the broadcast (see story).

“When you’re linking content to commerce on mobile you need to make sure that them experience is optimized for mobile all the way through,” Ms. Lowy said. “Brands sometimes make the mistake of creating a landing page that’s mobile opmtimized but which features links to other pages that aren’t.

“If you’re trying to lead the customer to a certain direction test out the entire flow of that journey on your own mobile device and make sure it’s seamless to the end,” she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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