Avoid the Rut of Routine: Experiment, Surprise, and Delight

stuck-in-a-rutIn the world of sports business, routine can often reign. Sure, trades and story lines and campaigns break up the daily grind, but seasons fly by. One game day routine leads to another, the preseason events, holiday campaigns, community events, and promotional nights come and go. The previews and features and highlights and contests graphics and GIFs , while fun and engaging, become part of the process, rinsed and repeated days on end.

While sports teams, leagues, and media have a leg up on all the other competitors for attention, speaking to dedicated, engaged fans, that attention and engagement cannot be taken for granted. There is value, but also peril in getting married to the routine.

This is not to say that practiced and successful tactics are not replicated nor that consistent branding should be given up so every post game graphic looks to be from a different universe. Keeping the basics of content and messaging in place is important, too.

But, with so much content and engagement each and every day, there exists ample opportunity to experiment, improve, and, the oft-repeated mantra – surprise and delight. Make it a point to try something new at least once or twice each week.

Instead of a post game infographic with stats, do one with a great post game quote. Let the full highlights live on your website and, instead of linking there on social media, cut the best scoring play or defensive play of the game. Ditch your usual pregame pics with photos of the equipment being prepared. Instead of a first goal prediction contest, have fans predict the first assist. Maybe don’t post that same GIF for the eleven-billionth time and play around with other content.

You’re in a relationship with your fans and it’s important to keep the sparks flying. Don’t become the boring old couple watching a DVR’d episode of Shark Tank that you may have already seen. Try something new, be a bit unpredictable, observe, and experiment. Keep the emotional excitement at a fever pitch. Day after day, game after game, season after season.

What have you successfully experimented with recently? Comment below or tweetme at @njh287

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