Did you know that during breaks between ad pods on Sunday there will be a game in a big stadium between the New York Giants and Boston Patriots? I was interested to learn more about this. But then, curling is my sport.
Fans of the New York Giants not only know details, they are also getting to see behind-the-scenes footage taken on a Flip camera by defensive end Dave Tollefson. It's part of a promotion the Giants are calling “Tolly Cam.” Tollefson shows clips taken during the team's flight to Indianapolis, shots from the team's hotel, locker room and other places usually strictly off-limits to the fans.
But there's a catch. To watch the videos, which are on the Giants' Facebook page, you can't just click on the “Tolly Cam” tab. The site has been offering up one video per day since it launched earlier this week, but for that video to be unlocked, the daily "likes" tally must reach 10,000. The page has a “NYG Like Meter” that show's the day's progress.
Nilay Shah, director of digital media for the New York Giants, tells Marketing Daily that the team first did such a program, which is powered by the Wildfire social-media app, before the 2007 Super Bowl, but without the 10,000-friend prerequisite. He says the new program, which launched on Tuesday, has boosted "likes." "We have been averaging about 6,500 likes per day and, with this feature, we are getting a third more likes per page," he says. "It’s content no one else can get."
Shah says the team has also completely revamped its web site, added a mobile version, and changed how it talks to fans. "In 2007, the main way we communicated was through email. Now we have a mobile app, a blog, and a presence on Google+ and Twitter. Our goal is to push out as much content as possible through as many different avenues as we can." He says that the Giants digital strategy had been "push," but that now, "We want fans come to us from many avenues, from whatever screen; our goal is to leave no stone unturned."
On the night of Feb. 2, the team is holding an hour-long webcast featuring four Giants players, wherein fans can submit questions to the players via Twitter in real-time. Shah says there are also several Google+ hangouts with four top Giants players, wherein fans can query them via Facebook. "We are trying to make fans feel they are part of the Super Bowl experience," he says.
The team also ran an online program that this year culminated with a group of diehard fans getting their picture on stadium tickets to Giants games. The online promotion, which launched last March, asked fans to submit an explanation of what makes them the biggest Giants fan. The team picked 20 finalists, whom fans voted on via a Facebook promotion that whittled the list down to ten. "Those 10 appeared on game tickets, meaning the 80,000 people who got tickets saw those fans."
Also, during the 9/11 period last year, the team created an online digital mosaic comprising 22,000 digital tiles -- each one a Facebook or Twitter profile.
After the Super Bowl, the Giants will have a web program where fans can vote for the best player of the game. "As the game goes on I will take three guys playing well and set up hashtags for each player. People can vote on who the Player of the Game is, and the count is curated on the fly," says Shah. He adds that the team will be doing a lot more of these kinds of programs going forward. "Our big focus has been fan engagement."