Fan Engagement Experiment

Derek Mehraban's picture
Instructor
10/20/2016

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As you know in addition to teaching ADV 420 at Michigan State Unviversity, I run a Fan enagement startup called Fantelope. We don't have MSU signed up yet, but hope to for next year, so keep an eye out.

Yesterday we had an event at the University of Detroit Titans. It was a Metro Series pep rally, soccer game, and it finished with Hoop Night in the D. We had some cool Titans Pride t-shirts to giveaway and we put them on the Fantelope app for 50 points.

Detroit Mercy Titans Fantelope Giveaway

At the event we had a steady stream of people who came to our booth, downloaded the app and earned points. The fans earned points by sending Tweets, checking in at the event, watching a team video and more. Once fans passed the 50 point mark they could redeem their points for the t-shirt in the app. 

Titans Pride T-shirts

Fans enjoyed the experience, and our results were good. The Titans herd grew from 155 fans to 255 fans. And for the one day event fans earned 12,000 points and redeemed over 5000 points for t-shirts. So that was a huge bump in usage and redemption.

Fantelope Herd Statistics after Fan Event

The lesson learned here? Our fan engagement platform works very well. Instead of just giving every student who walked up a shirt - we got them all to download and join the app - giving us their email and mobile number - the ability to market to them in the future for upcoming Detroit Mercy Titans sports events. And the app also had the students and fans do some good things, like Tweet about the event, and check-in to verify they were there.

Detroit Mercy Titans Fantelope Giveaway

All these fan engagement activities were motivated by the cool t-shirt giveaway. And the big lesson for me is that having a giveaway that sports fans can earn on site will move the needle for any fan engagement app. 

Fantelope and the University of Detroit Mercy benefitted from this fact yesterday. And a couple hundred fans used Fantelope to win a very cool t-shirt and earn points toward upcoming larger prizes avaible in the app like a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card, free tickets, merchandise and food vouchers. 

Detroit Mercy Titans Fans at Fantelope Booth

Fan engement and stadium experience apps are coming. Michigan State University of one of the best sports environments in the country for college sports. Enjoy it. And when Fantelope does come to your campus, please tell your friends that you know the guy who started it. #GoGreen #JointheHerd

Comments & Feedback

Student

I think this is a really cool event and I wish i would still be aroud for when you start having these events at MSU. I love sports so I think these events could be really popular at mcihigan state.

Student

I think this is a great event and meaningful event. Thought the social marketing research. Investigate the fans experience are important for the event. In order to let more poeple knwo the app, I think exclude giving the T-shirt, there are many new stuff can do to extend the new app. So that student can know about the event and join it.

Student

I think motivating kids with free merch is always a great way to get their attention, as well as using social media into the mix. Having them check in and tweet definitely was a smart idea, and they'll remember it much more than just a free t shirt they got at an event one time.

Student

I beleive this was a wonderful event and campain to promote the app and engage with people. Everyone loves free items, and the t-shirts, when worn bring more exposure and free advertising for the brand. I believe this would be a very benefical app if brought to MSU and allow for the sport community to grow even more. 

Student

I am actually working on setting up a few fundraisers and marketing strategies for a company I am working for currently. This blog post is actually going to work as some inspiration for an innovative and effective way to grow your fanbase, and have them be interactive at the same time. I am happy for the success of your event! This was a well thought out plan and I am excited to see this stadium experience app come to Michigan State. 

Student

This app seems like a great idea! I think the point incentive is a fun way to get students involved.  Many times, students will do anything to receive free swag but it’s difficult to get them to stay.  What I mean is I have participated in booths before where I am supposed to follow a company for free stuff and I will but the second I leave I unfollow because I don’t care for the content of the account.  I believe that if this app tracks by points, it will eliminate that problem which is super cool.

Student

This is also great because students or young adults are very new media friendly, so they are more willing to download an app for fun. I might use this idea in the future.

Student

I think this was a great way to expand and create engagement with people. Also college students love free stuff, especially T-shirts. I would love to participate in this experience. Is there a way I can. This is great for growing more people and getting more people to be involved. 

Student

This is a much more effective way to get people involved with your company because it requires usage of the app not just requesting the user to like and follow on social media. I feel this would do extremely well on campus at MSU because we do have a large and heavily involved student base when it comes to athletics. As someone who has been a student section ticket holder for the past 4 years I can say with 100% certainty that I would use the app in the Izzone or student section at Spartan Stadium. 

Student

I really like this idea and the event looks like a lot of fun. MSU could certainly gain from using this in the future at any sporting event, rally, or charity event. I wonder if that point system could continue to keep getting people to promote and gain more points for future prizes.

Student

Providing a t-shirt and other incentives for those who engaged in these activities seemed to be very effective in motivating participants. This marketing stratgey could be effective for many companies or campaigns when considering the demographics of the audience. As a college student, I am always willing to like a page on Facebook or use a hashtag for an incentive. 

Student

Smart idea!! Looks like, in this event, people are experienced very effective marketing strategy to get people download the app and give free samples. People already have a great experience and memory about the brand which is cool for the startup apps. Spartan cash might be a great idea for the in campus students rather than off campus gift cards.  

Student

I was surprised with how well the t-shirt giveaway performed at a school not necessarily known for their athletics or their school pride. I would be curious to see how it would perform at a larger university such as University of Michigan or Michigan State University where school pride is very large but so is the amount of people with an excessive amount of their school's gear. Also, how many people deleted the app after they recieved the t-shirt?

Student

Interesting read.  I will contribute to those statistics and download the app.  Very cool that you run a fan engagement startup.  Events like this are one of the most beneficial things you can do to increase brand awareness and build your business.  Wishing you more success in the future. 

 

Student

I think this was a great opportunity to expand your app. People love free t-shirts so they are willing to check out your brand and engage with it to earn one. The point system got people to escentially take a full tour of the app and become faimiliar with it. It's a really cool way to get people to try the app out. Also having the app on the T-shirt is easy advertising as t-shirts are inexpensive, but used a decent amount. 

I wonder if a promotion like this can work for any brand. 

Student

Creating a community seems to be key to anything's success and since this is only strengthening community, Fantelope will be able to achieve a lot! The engagement allows people to instantly like a brand since they get free stuff and college students do like free stuff.

Student

Offering incentives and setting up activities at this event was a very effective marketing strategy to get people to download the app. I think this is very exciting and I hope to see this around campus! 

Student

I feel like this would work really well at Michigan State! It gives the chance to students and the business to interact and create relationships in addition to giving students free T-shirts after they download and join in the mobile application.The organization gets information and the students get free stuff! One of my questions is: how do you continue the conversation? A big thing with any organization or movement is continuing to engage and speak with clients or customers or users. To keep the ball rolling, how are you furthering the conversation? Is it via text message or e-mail? What about a newsletter?

Student

That was a really good idea. The way you got them to use the app instead of just giving out the shirts for free is genius. This leads me to wonder if it would be a good idea, in a way to trade info for free items or points on an app or site. For instance, the more information you give or fill out the more points or free items you can get. Seems like a decent idea.

Student

This looks so interesting! Why hasn't it gotten to MSU yet?

Student

I think the success of this campaign says something about the human desire to feel personally connected. Encouraging social engagement in an environment like this pep rally was an ingenious way to promote and connect the Fantelope app to similar feelings of intimacy and closeness. Especially in this technical age, it is important not to underestimate the influence of face-to-face interaction. All of those who attended this event now have a humanized perception of the Fantelope app, which they can go on to spread with others.

Student

After reading this blog post, I was very interested in how the students reacted to the campaign.  When approaching a group of college students, I believe it is very easy to persuade them into participating in events when free gifts are included.  Because college students tend to have less money than the majority of the population, it was a great idea to give out the shirts.  The reward of downloading the app was much greater than the hassle of downloading the app.  I think that increased the download amount.  I am excited to see how MSU students will react to this campaign.  The campus is wider, and sometimes harder to get a message across.  But, with a campaign like this, it should be successful.  College students have a hard time denying free gifts, and especially because we are handy with technology. 

 

Student

I think this idea is brilliant! Instead of handing out the free T-shirt on the streets, asking students to join in some activities to earn the t-shirt is more interactive. This is what does "engagement activity" do to people. This activity using the psychological of people that hardly to say "no" to free gifts in a really good way, getting people involved into the activities is not only for advertising the app and organization, but also for leeting people know something about the organization. This is a one shot solution to solve the problem that strangers who don't know anything about the organization are hardly to advertise. 

Student

This kind of fan engagement activities is attractive. The engagement on the social media platform is very organized which helped the events went through well. If the Fantelope come to MSU, I would glad to tell my friends to enjoy this.

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Student

I think it always a good idea to set gift giveaway in engege activities, because most of people love to get the free gift and difficult to refuse to give a small faver. I think you did a good campagin. You also give me good idea to do a compaign.

Student

I think this is a great way to keep fans involved and not just be another organization handing out free t-shirts. I can't wait to see this at our own campus! When do you think it will arrive?!

Student

I think this is a very clever way to advertise the app fantelope, I remember you metioned this  in our first class, cant wait to see this in MSU!

Student

 

I think offering incentives always is a good motivator and that it was a really good idea to bring attention to the app. Giving something away no matter what is going to generate buzz and support so I think it was a very smart marketing tactic and it seems like it really did work out to get people to check out the app. 

Student

What a great way to get people engaged in the app. I mean they could've said no to the free T-shirt, but it seems they were really intrigued by it. I think its a great idea and i think MSU will be just as engaged into the app as UDM was. Can't wait to see Fantelope grow.

Student

It was a brilliant idea to take this from a one way engagement app to a two way engagement. Tracked down what your goal was and how to appeal to college kids, free t-shirts representing their school! I like it, and I hope to see MSU engaged in this as well!

Student

I remember you talking about this the first day of class, that i so neat. I am really excited to see how this leads up in the future.

Student

I think that this Fantelope campaign was a great way to gain user demographics to help form a better buyer persona for your company. I like that you used the T-shirts as an incentive for people to engage in the product rather than just giving away shirts and hoping they will remember your company. I think as far as advertising goes no matter in person or online engagement is key. If you can change a person’s behavior even for just a moment they are much more likely to use or buy your product. 

Student

I think that this was a great way to advertise Fantelope! Offering incentives (and really good ones, at that) always motivates people. I'm glad that you got a good turnout and that people were willing and ready to sign up for your app! I hope it comes to MSU soon!! 

Student

This is a great way to advertise. Students will do just about anything for free stuff; I know I've given companies my email just to get a discount or something for free. If the company is one I'm interested in or left a good impression I will even follow up on the emails they send me. 

Student

I absolutely agree! I don't know what it is but college students specifically LOVE free tshirts! (I'm definitely included in that). Giving out free items by encouraging them to further engage in your app is a great way to attract people without just talking at them through advertisements. 

Student

I think this was a great way to advertise your company and get more people to use your app. As a student, I would do just about anything for a free t-shirt so that was definitely a great incentive! I can't wait for your company to hit MSU so hopefully I can get a free t-shirt as well.

Student

This is a great idea and form of interactive advertisement, it gets individuals engaged and you the creator get live feedback from random individuals using them. It also a huge win for those users because they got to experience a cool new app and be a big part of the start of the product and get a new shirt,, and free clothing for college kids is huge. 

Student

I think it is very effective way of maketing your company. personally, giving an incentive is very smart way of promoting business and creating more advertising  for the sports events. It is good interactive form to increase attention of your app. I definately looking forward to see Fantelope promoting in MSU. 

Student

The professor is not just giving out free T-shirts, he is getting the consumers involved by downloading the app to receive a free shirt. Based off of the statistics, I believe this is a good marketing strategy since they increased the target audience by getting phone numbers and emails will make the start-up more popular.

Student

This event is a very successful marketing strategy, if people download the app then they can get a T-shirt, this method not only make people love enjoy it but also can improve the visibility, it's kind of a advertising form, we can also use this method in many area, for example a food product can make caps with some food cartoon logo.  

Student

In one of my resource posts I stated how I was confused about inbound marketing. This example was very helpful in me applying what I know about inbound marketing and to understand each concept better. You delivered valuable content that was meaningful by making them download the app and then receiving a tshirt. This turns consumers into fans by rewarding them with content for becoming a part of your company. 

Student

Free stuff is a way to get any college student to help promote a brand or in this case an app. I know personally if I have a chance for a free t-shirt I'll do just about anything! This is a great way to get promoters of your brand and jump into the deep end for marketing. Seems like a really cool idea for fans to communicate and plan events together through a simple app.

Student

I think that this was a great idea and worked very well in favor of the company but also the consumers. It creates more of a mutual relationship between the two and gets the people truly interested involved in the process. I think that doing this campaign at Michigan State is also a wonderful idea and I think it will really help the app jump start. 

Student

It seems as this was a successful way to market your startup. The fact that you are rewarding users with free gear and giveaways by encouraging social media enagement shows a strategic marketing platform. With the number of students and fans rapidly growing from the event, you are setting an online trend that can potentially generate an internet trend. The Fantelope based giveaways, excluding the gift cards and food vouchers, also serve as physical reminders of what the consumer had to do in order to obtain that physical reward. I've always seen reward-centered advertising as very effective, and if this trend continues, I also see a bright future for Fantelope.

Student

Fantelope is a great idea and giving away free stuff is a great way to win the heart and loyalty of a poor college kid. I personally have no problem giving my email out to a company that has spent as much time and money engaging with students on campus. Directly engaging with fans has the most opporutunity for creativity and appears to be yielding positive results. I am looking foward to seeing fantelope on Michigan State's campus in the future. 

Student

Looked like an awesome event! You really knew how to hit your target market well, providing them with incetntives to get the app was a great idea. The app obviouslly was a hit too, which means you now have a much large consumer base from which to work. Wish i could have gone!

Student

This event was a total success. you didn't just give users a prize for recognizing your company, you made them get involved first. I think this is a very effective way of marketing your company. this is great idea about make a app for fans, this should be working well I think, give people who have interesting to know and watch sports around them.

 

Student

This seems like a really good way to draw in a crowd and get them involved! I know sometimes if I go places they will tell you to download the app but some people are always too lazy to do it. This way it makes them be much more engaged and they end up winning fun prizes for it! It seems like such an easier way to market yourself while gaining a lot of information about the fans and ways to contact them 

Student

This event was a total success! It's great to see the thought process that went into the event as well as a breakdown of the results. Having fans utilize points to redeem the shirts opposed to just giving them away was a wonderful idea and I'm glad to see that it was so beneficial in the end. Not only were fans downloading the app but being given the opportunity to be come comfortable with it in that setting seems like it could be really helpful had they any questions or concerns. Usually when it comes to navigating a new app, users are on their own so it's nice to see that they had an opportunity to make the app downloading process a little bit more personal.

Student

This is a very effective way to atract users to your startup. What I enjoyed most about it was that you didn't just give users a prize for recognizing your company, you made them get invloved first. This is a way to get students engaged in their school and a very effective way of giving them an idea of what ou are trying to accomplish with Fantelope. Many companies that set up a stand or a tent that give away free gifts just for walking up. That doesn't do much good for your business as they still have no clue what you are about. But this process gets them involved and I think it is much more affective.

Derek Mehraban's picture
Instructor
10/20/2016