New Lions Digital Strategy Set to Increase Brand Awareness

The Detroit Lion’s brand holds a special place in the sporting world today. Ever since being introduced to the NFL in 1934, business owners have made it a priority to continually represent the Detroit Lions franchise in a successful manner. However, during recent years we’ve realized that both ticket and merchandising sales have decreased at a steady rate.

The decline in progression stops here. We have developed a full digital strategy ready to put the brand of the Detroit Lions back on the map.  The goals of this campaign will obviously include both an increase in ticket and merchandise sales, but will also focus primarily on increasing brand awareness for the Detroit Lions organization. This campaign strategy begins with our target audience.

 Our target audience for this campaign will be males ranging from an 18-35 age group. A majority of our focus will be in the state of Michigan, where fans of the Detroit Lions roam. Males dominate the involvement when it comes to the National Football League, and this age group represents a major part of the male population associated with football. However, females will not be forgotten. There are plenty of women out there who do enjoy the sport of football, and we realize that in many situations, women are an excellent target. Whether it be men buying their ladies Lion’s apparel or women who follow the team, this campaign makes it a priority to cover everyone. With this strategy come our many goals that we intend to achieve throughout the process.

 Our Key Performance Indicators (KPI) will keep our guidelines in check, allowing us to stay focused on both short term and long term goals. Increasing ticket and merchandising sales are an important priority in this campaign. Statistics show that the Detroit Lions lack in both categories compared to other franchises in the NFL. The Lions ranked 14th in the league in attendance percentage (98.9) and didn’t even receive a top-15 ranking in merchandising sales. One of our many goals is to influence these individuals to connect with the Detroit Lions brand. This brand has established itself in a positive manner. Not only have the Lions acquired many star athletes fans continue to recognize (Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh, etc.), but the organization has also connected with a number of charities. In September 2012, the Detroit Lions teamed up with the Children's Charities Coalition, a charity dedicated to helping children in need through experienced leaders and several yearly fundraisers.

Who wouldn’t want to support a brand with this type of reputation? The “Big Idea” of this proposed plan is making these types of actions visible to NFL fans around the world that will create a positive image for the Detroit Lions. We intend to show our target audience along with football fans around the world, why the Detroit Lions is a brand to be recognized and to be proudly associated with. Our KPI intends to keep the Detroit Lions organization in the top-10 rankings for years to come. Tools and tactics will play a huge part in our success rate.

What digital tools will be used to affectively reach the success rate of this campaign? How about everything you could possibly imagine. Email, text-messaging, TV/Radio, internet advertising, etc. These marketing tools will allow us to reach our target through a vast number of outlets. Individuals can receive text messages and emails for both ticket and merchandise deals that come up during the season. For those who surf the net or watch TV often, videos advertisement will play a huge role; videos including Lion’s players such as All Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson can inform our individuals about fan giveaways, contests, charity events and fundraisers, expressing to the public that the Detroit Lions are a lot more than just a professional football team, they are an organization that cares about the community and its people. Over the years, the Detroit Lions brand has partnered with a variety of “big hitters” in the business world; Ford, Pepsi and several recognizable charities to name a few. Using media outlets through TV, blogs, radio, etc. will successfully get the word out of events that feature their partnership and connections.

Along with any type of digital strategy comes budgeting. Although, the plan is not set in stone, rough estimates have been made to successfully plan this strategy. The strategy as a whole is estimated to reach $5 million. Many hours will go toward planning steps that are essential to the success of this campaign. Strategy, planning, implementation, management control and paid media outlets are all crucial steps in successfully achieving our goals. An estimated 50 hours a week (10 hours max per day, 5 days per week), is set to go into effect. These priorities set the standard of what we intend to accomplish. Showing the world what the Detroit Lions brand stands for.

The Detroit Lions are not just a football team, it is an organization that gives back to the community. It is a franchise that has been around since the NFL began, comprised of star athletes with their eye on the prize-“the Lombardi trophy.” There is one thing that sets this brand a part from the more notable successful brands in sports, such as the Lakers and Cowboys?  The “will” to win their first title. This is a brand that’s hungry for success and still makes it a priority of theirs to support their community and fan base. Now tell me, who wouldn’t want to be a part of this team? Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this brand? This “family” if you will. With this digital strategy we have the opportunity to not only increase sales in both merchandise and tickets, but most importantly to show everyone what the Detroit Lions brand actually stands for. Honor.