EXCLUSIVE: An Exclusive Look at Exclusive Strategies in SMSports


Exclusive deal! Check out exclusive content! An exclusive sneak video! “Exclusive” is one of those words that has become thrown so liberally, especially in digital and social media, it has begun to lose all meaning. Or, at least, the shine of its cachet has certainly is a bit less bright.

We use it for several reasons:

  • It appeals to fans’ sense of FOMO and FOMO’s counterpart, being the first to know (or experience or see). Exclusive is especially appealing for the attention-seeking, share-happy fans that teams tend to find on social.
  • It drives fans to the actions (and platforms) teams want. A team trying to promote its Snapchat – exclusive! A newsletter or Twitter offer coming up — yep, exclusive, too! Getting fans to the venue – exclusive opening video, on an app — exclusive blooper reels. And, well, you get the point.
  • It carries a perceived intrinsic value. The definition, itself, connotes something not available to the masses, only the select few (or few million, sometimes). The notion one is consuming, experiencing, or receiving something only available to them creates strong feelings.

Therein lies the point, mostly. The more the term is carelessly used when not merited, the diminished effect it will have each subsequent time. Instead of focusing on exclusive content to compel fans to go to certain channels, focus on creating a unique, BEST experience for each channel / platform. Understand the audience – on Facebook, on Snapchat, receiving your e-newsletter, coming to your games, and be the best on each channel. It may be the same groceries, but you can whip up a slightly different meal, at least, or give a unique, appropriate presentation. Don’t serve a picnic at the dinner table and fine china on a picnic at the park.

That all sounds well and good, but, as is my charge when writing, what does it all mean and what action should it inspire? It starts with understanding the platforms and the psychographs. Actually write it down (or type it, or use a stylus) — who are you reaching on each platform or at each place, how is content and activity best and most commonly experienced, what is working for others in that space and with that audience, and what does success look like for you and your fans on/at each channel/platform. It sounds like a mouthful, but you have everything you need to answer and get started — an instinct and understanding, loads of data, and a daily focus group of social media and real-life experiences and conversations with fans.

So stop expounding exclusive and start delivering what fans want and what will touch them, connect with them, inspire them, and interest them. Then, exclusive really DOES become exclusive — it’s the specific content or offer each individual fan wants at the right place, time, and medium. Now that’s exclusivity I can get excited about.


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