MAKE IT YOUR GOAL!!!. Table Of Contents. Executive Summary 3 Situation Analysis Industry Information4-6 Client Background7-8 Problem9 Target Market10 Competition11-13 Objectives 14 Strategies 15 Tactics 16
MAKE IT YOUR GOAL!!!
Executive Summary 3
Bus Wrap 17-18
Control and Implementation37
As a relatively newly established ECHL team, Florida Everblades lacks a history and notable fan base currently established with other teams in their division. With hockey being a poorly recognized sport in the South, individuals are hesitant to try something new or break free of family sport obsession or tradition. This leaves low awareness of the powerful team Florida Everblades and ultimately establishes the franchises problem.
By March 31, 2012, being the end of the Everblades current regular season the campaign seeks to elevate awareness of the Florida Everblades in Lee and Collier County from, 78% to 90, increase home game fan attendance per game from 5209 fans, to 6000 and raise FGCU Student involvement within the Florida Everblade network from 42% to 75% Idea: Promote awareness and raise attendance of games.
The primary tagline used for this campaign, targeted toward FGCU College Students, is “Make it your goal”. Accompanied by visuals of hockey players and students enjoying their time at Everblades hockey games, our team is hoping to influence FGCU student to make it their goal to come out for a study break and enjoy the game.
Our team is also planning on using an auxiliary campaign of “Blades for grades”, this is going to run during Fall’11 semester. If students bring in one of their Scantrons s scoring over 80% in any of their courses to the Box office, they receive 2 free tickets to an Everblade home game. Our team has incorporated this campaign to entice students who work hard to have some sort of reward and somewhere to celebrate their accomplishments.
The campaign uses radio and billboard advertising to reach major urban areas located around FGCU including focus on Lee and Collier counties, and on ramps. It also promotes its incidence through strategically placed billboards arranged near the Corkscrew onramp (which coincidently is the onramp to both Germain arena and FGCU), Exit 123. The campaign also relies heavily on social media such as Facebook and Twitter and Visual media such as walking T-Shirt advertisement and Shuttle Wrap (also offering services to shuttle students to and from campus to games on game nights).
Excluding the $2,500 put aside for production costs, we have used 99% of our budget to promote this franchise and raise awareness of what it is and when the games are being held. Our team has $40 (less then 1%) left over for safety costs or other unexpected measures. Three of our tactics being social media and web based are cost free (Facebook, Twitter and www.floridaverblades.com), allowing us to utilize our budget to its maximum potential.
Our team is confident that when this plan is properly executed it will fulfill all stated objectives and finally generate an established and recognized name for the Florida Everblades.
116 Village Blvd #230 Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 452-0770
Commissioner- Brian McKenna
East Coast Hockey League a premier class I-AA minor league, established in 1988 with only 5 members, now has a total of 20 teams playing throughout the United States. The league has 2 conferences, which then have 2 divisions;
American Conference- South Division & North Division
National Conference- West Division & Pacific Division
Each division respectfully plays each other to determine the best then play within their conference to determine the best team, as each of those teams from opposing conferences play in the Championship called the Kelly Cup. ECHL hockey teams are known as “feeders” for the AHL( American Hockey League) and the NHL(National Hockey League). Feeders would be defined as an organization where players can be developed, scouted, and become professional if given the opportunity. The ECHL is currently in contact with 26 AHL teams and 27 NHL teams. Currently there have been 466 ECHL players that have gone to play in the NHL. ECHL games sell over 3.2 million tickets annually, an average of 4,485 per game. Tickets range in the prices around the country anywhere from $8-25 per game to $11-36.
ECHL FRANCHISE NETWORK
11000 Everblades Parkway Estero, Florida 33928 239-948-7825
President- Craig Brush
Located in sunny Southwest Florida, named Germain Arena in 1997 (formerly Teco Arena) is the largest arena in Southwest Florida and is where the Florida Everblades hold their home games. The arena is a great venue offering a wide variety of sports and entertainment. Previously, before the naming rights were sold to Germain Automotive in 2004, the arena was used mainly for Professional Basketball and arena football. Germain Arena has now been host to 1, 000 events such as Concerts, Live Performances, Sports such as the Harlem Globetrotters, the WWE, and the Florida Everblades. Starting in 2012 the arena will be host to the Ultimate Indoor Football League’s Florida Tarpons. Germain Arena has a seating capacity of approximately 7,200 for hockey and up to 8,200 for concerts, family shows, and other events. It accumulates 48.9 million in Annual sales per year with a total of 300 employees.
11000 Everblades Parkway Estero, Florida 33928 (239) 948-7825
Owner- Peter Karmanos
General manager- Craig Brush
Head coach- Greg Poss
The Florida Everblades, established in 1998 by Peter Karmanos, is a “AA” minor league hockey team located in Southwest Estero, Fl. Home of the Florida Everblades is Germain Arena, formerly known as Teco arena. It is one of the twenty teams in the ECHL. Florida Everblades was inducted into the ECHL in 1998 along with the Greenville Grrrowl making the ECHL, at the time, a 27 team league. Florida Everblades is in affiliate of the AHL teams Norfolk Admirals and Charlotte Checkers along with the NHL team the Carolina Panthers, and as of July 2010 the Everblades became affiliates of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Everblades are regarded as a successful organization making it to the playoffs in every year of its existence, and appearing in the Kelly Cup twice. In 2010 the Everblades had 36 home games with an average attendance of 5,209, totaling to 187,526, 4th in attendance in the ECHL. These numbers are a little lower than 2009 season totaling 196, 675, 5th in attendance with an average of 5, 463, around 150 more people per game.
However, they have been consistent ranking in the ECHL in the top 5 in attendance for the past 5 of the last 8 years. Overall, the number in attendance in the ECHL are increasingly dropping. Tickets on average for a Florida Everblades tickets can be from $11-$36, a rather high amount when considering other teams prices per ticket. Since becoming apart of the ECHL not only have the Everblades had success on the ice they have had a significant impact off the ice. The Everblades have donated over 700,000 dollars to charitable organizations and raised over $850,000 for local schools by partnering with One For the Community to sell Entertainment books.
The key problems the Florida Everblades face are lack of awareness, a seasonal fan base, and a weak presence in younger target markets. While many citizens in both Lee and Collier County know about the Everblades, most are not aware of ticket prices, drink specials, promotions, and giveaways. Many loyal Everblades fans are those seasonal residents, living in the area for the winter months. While their loyalty and support are important, the Everblades must also find a marketing position that appeals to the 18 – 24 year olds; more specifically, the Everblades need to increase awareness on Florida Gulf Coast University’s campus.
The Florida Everblades target market will be the students of Florida Gulf Coast University between the ages of 18-24 years of age.
Why reaching students?
Reaching the students is very important because they have money to spend: in 2010 they had $76 billion to spend. The students, especially the freshmen are at a stage of their life where they develop brand affinities which are durable. Upon graduating if they stay in the area, having made them fans of the Everblades during their college years will motivate them to attend the game after their graduation.
Students of FGCU
FGCU is located in the south of Florida, in Lee County. The distance between FGCU and Germain arena is approximately 3 miles. Therefore going to Germain arena by car will not last more than 10 minutes, which is less than the time to drive between FGCU and Miromar, commercial area appreciated by the students.
Statistics about the students and FGCU
FGCU is a university constantly growing: from 3000 students in 1999 to 12000 in 2010. This growth will continue for the followings years. That way FGCU is a good target market, because the population is increasing every year. (FGCU quarterly report, 2011)
The sporting industry as a whole is very cutthroat. Derived from a nature built within all humans to strive toward achievement. It is found that Americans spend one fifth of their day or about 5.20 hours daily participating in leisure or sport (projected to grow to 5.08 in 2016) (IBIS Business World, 2011). Americans dedicating this much time toward either participating or supporting one attribute of the industry enables a large margin for opportunity.
With a far from ideal location, ECHL team, the Florida Everblades, is located in a college and snowbird driven economy town. One would think that an event such as a hockey game would draw a sold out crowd, however, the popularity of the market is very slim. The game of hockey is most popular in the northern markets and very unrecognized in more southern parts of the U.S (Louis, 2010).
FGCU D2/D3 Hockey
Individuals who are educated or interested in the sport enjoy following the College team. FGCU Eagles D2 and D3 teams draw a similar crowd as the Florida Everblades however not as a diverse fan base (FGCU D3, 2011).
Boston Red Sox & Minnesota Twins Spring Training
24 miles from the Everblades Stadium, lays the home of the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins Spring Training Camps. These spectacles cause probable reasoning that many uninterested or unaware Everblades fans turn to support a much higher recognized association. Due to Baseballs popularity in the south, and a much larger stadium and fan base there is no doubt the training camps of these 2 major teams steal Everblades customers (Dietrich, 2011).
Germain Arena Concerts and Events
Germain Arena holds events gathering crowds of up to 8500 people with performers ranging from Sir. Elton John to Disney on Ice. When busy families have only the income or time to attend one event a month, most choose the major name acts rather then a poorly advertised ECHL team (Germain Arena,2011).
Venue (drca, 2011)
Prices (Pete Vino, 2011)
ROI (Pete Vino, 2011)
Seating (FlBlades, 2011)
Access & Commute (Dietrich, 2011)
Game traffic control (jart, 2011)
Fan Base (Wannabe1fan, 2010)
Neighborhood (Dietrich, 2011)
Promotion (Dietrich, 2011)
Attendance (Infinity Pro Sports, 2011)
- Arena and Fan base Expansion (Dietrich, 2011)
- View athletes before they are famous (Dietrich, 2011)
- Boston Red Sox Spring Training (Dietrich, 2011)
- Minnesota Twins Spring Training (Dietrich, 2011)
- Germain Arena Concert and Event (Dietrich, 2011)
Elevate awareness of the Florida Everblades in Lee and Collier County from, 78% to 90% by the end of the 2012 season (March 31, 2012).
Increase home game fan attendance per game from 5209 fans, to 6000 fans by the end of the 2012 season (March 31, 2012).
Raise FGCU Student involvement within the Florida Everblade network from 42% to 75% by the end of the 2012 season (March 31, 2012).
*Result percentages based on a survey completed by 50 random individuals (Appendix A).
The “Make It Your Goal” advertising campaign is going to focus its advertising in multiple medias; television and newspaper, however, will not be two of these medias. The campaign uses a more subculture-specific advertising strategy. Instead of television, a commercial will be created and run on various Internet websites, to generate a more “viral” advertising buzz. Just as important is the lack of cost in running an Internet video. Whereas paying for a thirty second television spot can cost $14 per airplay, viral Internet videos entail no cost to the advertising budget by using a cell phone camera and campaign employees.
On campus, three newspapers are available for students at no cost; two are national newspapers and the other is the University newspaper. The Everblades already have advertising space in the FGCU paper; therefore, the “Make It Your Goal” campaign will avoid print advertisements to prevent a sense of overexposure to students.
Florida Everblades plan to implement several tactics into their advertising plan. Using both creative strategies such as a shuttle bus wrap which also offers free transportation for students to and form games on game night, free T-Shits which will be handed out to 300 students randomly who are utilizing the school library resources actively to enhance their grades (this also ties in with our blades for grades side campaign), billboards advertisement, which will predominately display creative advertisements which will create awareness about the Everblades campaign to thousands of commuters daily, also social media such as Facebook and Twitter will be used to connect with millions of followers, enabling the technological advanced generation we are targeting, real time updates and gossip to be read and kelp at “top of mind”.
Also the Media strategies of utilizing Radio stations (B 103.9, 105.5 The Beat and 102.6 Bob FM) to air our broadcast message to “Make it your goal” raise awareness of when and where the Florida Everblades games were being held. Another media strategy we chose to implement was have a 30 second commercial about the Everblades “Make it your goal” campaign on the home page of the website (www.floridaeverblades.com) to raise awareness and possibly use this ad placement as a tester, to judge response of viewing time and number of clicks to distinguish if the advertisement is worth spending the money to air on television.
A prominent, awareness-raising feature of the campaign is the bus wrap advertising. FGCU shuttles students from on-campus housing to various locations, including the main campus and Gulf Coast Town Center. The campaign will “wrap” one of the buses in an Everblades “Make It Your Goal” advertisement. This will dramatically increase awareness anytime the bus is in use.
More important to the bus wrap advertising is the game night promotion. On game nights, the wrapped shuttle will drive students from on-campus locations to Germain Arena and back. A survey showed a significant percentage (75 %) of FGCU students who would take advantage of this shuttle service, if it were available. Until necessary, only shuttle will be used in the game night promotion.
T-Shirts will be distributed on campus to 300 students ranging from freshmen to seniors. A booth will be set up near the library handing out FREE t-shirts to students who are utilizing the school facilities to study. This ties into another section of our campaign “Blades for grades". There is not a doubt that students will proudly wear this t-shirt around on a daily basis. Free t-shirts are worn and viewed all over the Fort Myers area. This form of human advertisement is great for our small budget because it can allow for advertisement in areas and segments that are too small to individually target. The back of the T-Shirt displays the tagline and the simple website, if anyone is interested in receiving more information about the team they can simply view the website which contains in depth content and a game schedule.
Billboards gives a consistent uncluttered message that our that target market can have repeated exposures to on their commute to in between the Naples/Ft.Myers area. It will reach 93% of commuters in the geographic area we have designated; which will almost certainly capture the majority of our target market that travel between Naples and Ft. Myers area. Billboards also create very quick awareness and enable many campaigns to meet or exceed the expectation with in the first few weeks of implementation. In research conducted by the Product Acceptance and Research Inc, they found that and least commuters were able to recall
43% of static billboards. Billboard advertising also creates the need to impulse buy, which is very effective since our billboard will be strategically placed near the corkscrew on ramp at exit 123, a few miles away from the Germain box office. Studies done by the Abitron National In-Car Study say that 29% of commuters take action to investigate the claims of outdoor advertising with in a week. Over it’s the best way to deliver a clear consistently message to our target market who constantly on the go.(Arbitron National In-Car Study, 2003)
Billboards are the 2nd most popular source of advertising in
the U.S, reaching approximately 93% of American people.
Billboards enable to reach a maximum of people for the money invested.
Billboards will be used as a reminder, and also to increase the product awareness.
For the billboards we have chosen the company Lamar.
During 5 months of the season we are going to have billboards in Fort Myers. The size of the billboard will be 10'5" X 22'8". There will be 25 showings.
Blades for Grades Billboard
The 2 billboards will be placed between exits 101, 123, 136 in an effort to attract our target group of college aged people. The “Blades for Grades” billboard is specifically aimed at college kids. The ad was designed to redirect the viewer to the Everblades website to acquire more information about the blades for grades program. The make it your goal billboard falls in the main tag line of our advertising efforts. This billboard was designed to capture the schedule of a 20 something with all the responsibilities of work and school. It embraces the slice of life technique of advertising.
10,000,000 users of Facebook in Florida. Florida is the 4th state in the us in term of Facebook users. One quarter is aged between 18 and 24 years. 53 billion of minutes have been spent on Facebook by American people. As a comparison, the time spent on YouTube is 5 times less important. 22.5% of the time spent on internet is on Facebook. It’s a huge amount.
A few years ago, a firm who was not on the internet made an error of strategy. Today, it’s the same with Facebook. Not being on Facebook is a big error moreover when you’re using the basic tools of Facebook it’s free.
In our strategy we’re planning to create a fan page which aim will be to attract potential consumers. The aim won’t be at the beginning to retain fan, because the team has already a website for the fan where they can express themselves. Our target market is very tech savvy and will find this way of advertising less intrusive and easy to navigate.
Twitter is a great form of free advertisement. All individuals with a twitter account are able to follow the “FLORIDABLADES” for information about the team, when there games are, any media or press releases, ticket deals, prizes, sweepstakes and contests. Basically any form of short advertisement or information that the team would like to promote can be translated through this type or social media. Because this form of advertisement is free for both the consumer and the producer it can be used to maximum potential. Twitter is simple and quick, taking hundredth’s of a second to tweet various information 160 characters or less. Also this form of advertisement can be accessed through any smart phone, laptop, tablet or anywhere there is Internet access available.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau Report, “thirty-eight percent of college students are now 25 or older”. The age of college students is on the rise, and has been for years. Radio will be used as a channel of adverting in reaching are target market due to (as depicted on slide 2, graph 1) forty seven percent of public radio listeners are 25 and older. As a survey was conducted of 100 FGCU students(as depicted on slide 2, graph 2) it was found that 105.5 The Beat, B103.9, and BOB 102.9 were the most listened to radio stations by the students. In order to reach these students we will run a flighting schedule depicted below, during the months of the Everblades season December-March, six times a week for four weeks out of the month. We will run a .30 second advertisement during the hours our target market listens to the radio, found to be the evening driving time.
Average Age: 23
Male/Female: 72% 28%
Average Listening Time:6:00 pm- 9:00 pm
Average Duration Listening Time: 30 min
WBTT 105.5 The Beat is a rhythmic contemporary station playing hip-hop, R&B, and rap music. It serves primarily Lee, Collier and Charlotte county. Its slogan is “SW Florida’s #1 party station”.
103.9 WXKB is a contemporary hit radio station playing music determined by the top 40 music charts. It is located in Cape Coral, Florida and broadcast to Fort Myers and Naples. It is often called “B-103.9 All the hits”.
102.9 BOB FM plays a variety of oldies ranging from the 50’s to the 80’s, as a well as adult contemporary. It features many fm stations throughout the United States as well as Canada. Often misinterpreted as an everyday character “BOB” stands for Best Of the Best
Audio: GGGGGGGOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! (10 seconds)
Announcer(Fast paced): Tired of sitting around the house studying all night, or playing the same boring video games? Sick of paying outrages movie ticket prices, and expensive concert tickets?
Well this week you need to “Make it Your Goal” to come out and support the Florida Everblades as they continue their streak of 8 playoff appearances, and in sights for their first Kelly Cup Championship.
Florida Everblades “Make it Your Goal”!
To measure the effectiveness of our advertising campaign our team is going to work with the German arena to implement a program in which a surveys are given to attendees of the games to in order to see if our target market has been reached and our objectives are being met. Since it would be quite bothersome to attendee to take a survey while at the game, we will try to give them an incentive like a free hot dog, or a coupon for the breakaway sports pub in order to get people to participate in our effectiveness measurements. Our team we will also work with the current Germain arena employee’s to see if they have noticed a change in the demographics of the hockey game attendants.
To measure the effectiveness of our Facebook site our team will track the number of likes that the site receives over time. This will give us a good indication of how well our site is drawing in the our target market, and how we can make it better to attract more of our target market. Since outdoor advertising has the highest awareness of all methods of advertising we feel that it would unnecessary to institute any kind of awareness program (billboard source:2008)
Our team is confident that “Make it your goal” campaign contains the appropriate combination of creative and media aspects to reach our target market of college students. After conducting surveys and living in the student environment our team was able to draw conclusions about which advertising strategies and tactics would be most recognized and accepted by such audience. Our team feels that by reaching this market and expanding their options of events to attend and ways to escape the daily grind of hard work, we can increase awareness by word of mouth (which we feel is the best way to advertise) and also increase attendance of Florida Everblades home games taking place at Germain Arena.
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COUNTY OF RESIDENCE
HAVE YOU ATTENDED AN EVERBLADES GAME?
IF YES, WOULD YOU ATTEND ANOTHER GAME?
WOULD A SHUTTLE SERVICE FROM FGCU TO GERMAIN ARENA INCREASE YOUR DESIRE TO ATTEND A
1) Do you listen to the radio and if so what station?
3) Throughout the day how long would you say you listen during a period of time?
4) In what times of the day do you find yourself listening to the radio?
5) In what activities are you participating in while listening to the radio.