FRIDAYS AT FOUR Volume Ten Issue 2

February 1, 2013

GF Strategies Newsletter

Volume Ten Issue 2
Trends and News from GF Strategies
February 1, 2013
Contact: Greg Flakus

First off of the block…GF Strategies has signed new agreements with the South Carolina State Fair and the Benton Franklin Fairgrounds. At the recent IAFE meetings, company President Greg Flakus agreed to a two-year contract with South Carolina to help them implement a new food sales tracking system during the Fair and also assess their entire food and beverage operations. The Benton Franklin Fairgrounds will continue to work with the firm to enhance revenue sources from the events produced at the venue. We are also working to bring a new instant win smartphone app to the Washington State Spring Fair at Puyallup.

News this issue about digital content, the challenge of keeping your fans coming to your venue, and how smartphones were used as part of ad campaigns during the Super Bowl.

So the news is full of Super Bowl ads. Did the smartphone apps get used, what ones were the most successful and what did users think? Well, usage rates did not impress most of the trend watchers. Seems we are not quite ready to snap a small square on our tv while watching an advertisement.  However, give us access to updated statistics, player profiles and other inside information on our phone during the game, and the usage was at an all time visitor rate on sites like, ESPN and others.

This comes from Coyle Media…”Fans want three things: camaraderie, recognition and access. Camaraderie comes from interacting with other fans. They want recognition form the team for their passion and loyalty. And access means they want to feel close to the team or athlete. Social relates to all that. –ad week

Here is another interesting fact to consider. Many brands today spend two to three times as much on sponsorship activation as they do on rights fees, according to Matt Wasserman of Wasserman Media Group.

So the big question is this one….How do you monetize sports fan traffic? According to an analyst at Forrester Research “the sports brands, (and you could take sports out of this and just say brands) that have done a good job are the ones that understand that to increase the value of their assets, the need to find the optimal mix of content”—ad week

There it is. The optimal mix of content.

The model for establishing a niche in what used to be called fringe sports  would have to be the Dew Tour, now in year nine.. The Tour has been able to create a national marketing platform that includes apparel, music, gaming and art. “Music is a big part of action sports. WE find out what these athletes are listening to and make playlists on the Dew Tour web site”

Erica Permagent Pepsico Sports Marketing

A new book being released next week is called Abundance: Why the Future Will Be Much Better Than We Think, by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. Here are a few of the highlights of the book In the book the authors talk about four powerful forces that are starting to emerge with world-changing potential.

  • Accelerating rate of technological progress
  • The do it yourself innovator
  • Money-and how it is being spent in a particular way. The high tech revolution created a new breed of wealthy techno-philanthropists who are using their fortunes to solve global, abundance related challenges
  • The so called “Bottom Billion” are finally plugging into the global economy and are poised to become the “Rising Billion” –Forbes Magazine

A recent chart in Ad Week offers this interesting graphic about the type of online consumers engaged in social media. Here are the findings about US users:

  • 24 percent are creators—publish a blog, upload music or content they created
  • 38 percent are conversationalists—update status on a social site
  • 36 percent are critics—post ratings/reviews of products or services
  • 23 percent are collectors—use RSS sites, vote online
  • 68 percent are joiners—maintain profile on a social network site
  • 73 percent are spectators—read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch videos
  • 14 percent are inactive.

Trends in food are covered in the latest issue of Food Management News. Here are some of the latest things to be watching for:

  • super sandwiches—upscale hot dogs, exotic subs, premium grilled cheese
  • Whole grains will appear more often on menus
  • Stealth health. More and more are asking for healthy choices..this means making food healthier behind the scenes, with less sodium, more vegetables and whole grains
  • Menu options that for K-12 schools that mirror popular restaurant trends but with healthier ingredients

Other things to watch that are trending hot include chefs in schools, local sourcing, farm to cafeteria, onsite gardens, gluten free meals, sustainability and wellness programs  — Food Management News  February 2012

And the move by all of the major companies to digital and away from traditional media sources continues. This is made clear by one of the largest public relations firms in the World Edelman. Last year, revenue rose by 23 percent in the digital division of the company. “Digital is no longer an optional sport” according to CEO Matthew Harrington. –Ad Week

The NBA reported that their YouTube channel crossed the one billion view threshold, as fans go here rather than to the nightly sports report for content. Times’s brand director Pia Baker says “it is simply not enough to acquire Facebook fans. We want to engage our super fans and provide a platform for content related to the endurance sports lifestyle”—Ad Week

New arenas report shooting for the “immersive fan experience”, one that resembles the multi-screen  viewing experience at home. Sports marketers are calling this “competing with the couch”. “The value of being at the event just does not carry the same weight as it did ten years ago” says Chris Mascatello of ANC sports. Stadiums and arenas that are creating a “connected fan” will be able to further engage their fan base while at the venue for an event, and grow their fan connections and sponsor revenue. Lighthouse Digital has created a new SMD LED video display that allows a wider viewing angle than non-SMD products (surface mounted display). The goal is to enable it to compete with and beat the home experience.

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