A Bozuko beta customer profile: The Lowell Spinners

By: Jack Winston

Bozuko continues to roll out its marketing promotions tools to a select group of marketing thought leaders in the greater Boston area.  We will be firing up an exciting set of games at venues in the Lowell area (home of the Industrial revolution, birthplace of Jack Kerouac) over the next few weeks.

We are particularly excited to be going live with Bozuko at the Lowell Spinners on August 2.  The Spinners are a Class-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.  At time of writing, they stand 3.5 games out of first place in their division of the New York-Penn league.

On average, the privately owned Spinners draw 3400 fans to LeLacheur Park for their nearly 40 home games during the regular season.  With 1500 season ticket holders, they aim to “sell every ticket” at the standard $7 face value.  They do not, as other clubs do, give tickets away in favor of focusing on selling concessions.  Ticket sales are their primary source of revenues, with concessions and sponsorships (field signage and ad space in game programs) as secondary sources.

We recently caught up with Spinners staff Jon Boswell, Director of Media Relations and Jon Healey, Vice President for Group Ticketing to discuss marketing and promotions strategy for the Spinners Ball Club.

Tell me about your general marketing promotions strategy.

We work with a very limited marketing budget that mostly goes towards radio, print, and direct mailings.  We run a lot of sponsored promotions, where a brand or local business will sponsor a special event in exchange for publicity.  Sponsored promotions may include giveaways (e.g. Dustin Pedroia bobblehead), theme nights (e.g. Starwars or Nascar) or celebrity athlete autograph sessions.  We also run dinner and premium seating specials with our on-site BBQ restaurant, The Gator Pit.

What about online?

The Spinners website is managed by the MLB Advanced Media group.  (Jack’s Note: It is a pretty slick site, with team roster, schedule, and live play by play coverage of games).  The Spinners organization gets a cut of revenues generated from ads served up on the Spinners site and we have several advertising spots that we typically package with in-park signage.

Have you experimented with Group Discounting?

We have not done GroupOn, but did experiment with some local group discounting services (sample here) – frankly with limited success, most likely due to a limited reach of the service.  We have had some success with deeply discounted packages promoted through 50:50 deals with local radio stations.

We talk a lot about trying GroupOn, but we have real concerns about the economics.  Our strategy is to build and retain a fan base that perceives value from a fairly priced ticket.

You have a very active Facebook page.  How do you get value out of Facebook?

We currently have about 6000 likes and 2500 or so twitter followers.  We try to do 2-3 posts per day.  We see impressions driven from posts to the news feeds of fans that Like us to be a very economical source of advertising.  While it is difficult to measure, we think the Facebook newsfeed is increasingly influential when compared to other online marketing techniques like email.  Email is a great tool to reach our fan base – particularly early on in the season when there is pent up demand to watch baseball and a full slate of games ahead of us for people to buy advance tickets.  As the season moves on into July and August, we get less of a return on each email and need to rely on other channels to stay connected with our fan base.  With more people spending more time on Facebook, we can use our newsfeed to push mini-messages out to fans to stay connected, run promotions, and encourage attendance.   We have run a few informal contests to drive Facebook likes and would like to do more in the future.

In general, we see Facebook as a powerful way to grow and maintain our fan base.

What have you done with location based services or mobile technologies?

We do offer a 15% discount for checking in on Facebook.  We do have Foursquare and GoWalla places but have not done much with them.  Facebook check-ins are something we would like to encourage.  The impressions you create when a fan checks in at the Spinners and broadcasts their location to all of their friends are again, a great source of low cost advertising.

We see a large percentage of our fans with smart phones.  This year, we launched a Spinners App and also deployed Munchly that allows fans to order food and drink on their phones and get it delivered to their seats.

What are you hoping to get from Bozuko?

Bozuko is a great way to connect with our fans while they are in the park and a way to get them to engage with us on Facebook so we can stay connected after they leave.  We are looking forward to giving away some great prizes to fans who give it a try.

If you are in the Lowell area, stop by LeLacheur Park for a game or 2 during the next home stand, Aug 2 – 6, first pitch at 7:05pm.  Full Schedule here.  The Spinners will be running lots of games with Bozuko, with chances to win lots of great prizes.  Great baseball and exciting games on your mobile phone.  That is what summer is all about.

Stay current on Bozuko by subscribing to our blog, following us on Twitter, and liking us on Facebook.  Download the Bozuko iPhone App today.

To learn more about the Spinners, visit their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.  More importantly, come catch a game this week (map).

  • http://twitter.com/BozukoBiz Bozuko, Inc.

    The Spinners’ Bozuko game kicked off tonight with lots of great prizes being given away.  Check-ins at the Spinners’ LeLacheur Park hit over 14,000 facebook walls as new players checked out Bozuko.  Jon Boswell stopped by to say Hi to the Bozuko team.  The Spinners defeated the Aberdeen Ironbirds, 5-4.  The Spinners are at home through Saturday, August 6.