The newest way to bring fans closer to a sport is to take their picture at a live event and put it up on the Web.
That's what Wishoo, a photo based marketing services company in Indianapolis, has done for a few clients, including the Women of Wrestling, the women's professional wrestling organization.
The organization, a product of WOW Entertainment, Inc., an Indianapolis firm founded last year, features live events across the country that have been televised 22 times so far on Fox and other independent stations and once on In Demand and Direct TV pay-for-view.
The goal of the Wishoo promotion is to enable WOW to develop one-to-one relations with the fans and bring them closer to the sport.
This is done by taking their pictures at wrestling events with their favorite wrestlers, such as Jungle Grrrl and the Asian Invasion. After the pictures are taken, the fans are given a serial number they use to claim their picture on the Web. Fans log onto Wishoo.com where they enter the number, which displays the picture and allows them to send it to family and friends, making it a viral promotion. There is a link on the Wishoo site to Wowe.com, the WOW site where fans can learn about upcoming events and telecasts.
There is no cost to the fans for the pictures. WOW pays Wishoo based on the number of cameras and days the cameras are used, according to John Wechsler, CEO of Wishoo.
WOW has done TV, radio and newspaper advertising, according to CEO Jeff Lewis. The Wishoo promotion is a form of online advertising, because "it drives fans to the site," Lewis says. "It's a source of information for fans and a way to promote our pay-per-view and TV broadcasts." Lewis also says WOW collects demographic information on the fans who provide their names, zip codes and email addresses when they retrieve their photos. WOW can send all fans email. Fans who opt in will receive other promotions, including direct mail.
The first photo event was in January at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles. Others are being planned.
Wishoo says its photo based marketing promotions give consumers an opportunity to preserve memories of an event while enabling the events' sponsors to increase their promotions. Wishoo's other clients include the Indy Racing League, Michael Jordan's Flight School Basketball Camp and the NCAA Hall of Champions.
- Ken Liebeskind may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org