One of the best tools in any marketing arsenal is a keen understanding of a market’s passions. #psychographics. Our tribal inclination is a deeply rooted facet of the human experience, which today manifests itself in the waving of flags painted with our impassioned affiliations. Football, one of America’s greatest pastimes, is ripe with this passion. At every age. At every class.
The Easton, PA vs. Phillipsburg, NJ rivalry is legendary, and a real American tradition. As the longest running high school football rivalry, the annual Turkey Day face-off extends way beyond the field, the coaches, and the schools. For more than 100 years, these two towns separated by a river, a state line, and a loyalty to their respective teams come together with the same goal — winning the Forks of Delaware trophy and securing bragging rights for their community.
The community participation in this Holiday event is epic, every year seeing over 13,000 fans and alumni in attendance. For many, attending has become a Thanksgiving family tradition. Those who can’t attend watch it on SECTV or WFMZ. The event has it all. Well, except for an accompanying digital event that provides fans, alumni, parents, faculty, and the rest of the community a platform to show their school pride and support their team. Until 2018. Until Swayfield.
We asked the students, parents, alumni, faculty, and community members who rally around these two teams to show their school pride by uploading photos and videos to our contest microsite run on SoCamp. Participants then shared their favorite entries through popular social media channels to accrue votes. The school with the most cumulative entries and votes – Easton High – won the honor of presenting a check for the dollars the contest raised to a selected local charity, Battle Borne, at the Thanksgiving Day Rivalry Game.
Easton and Phillipsburg High Schools partnered with a local veteran charity, Battle Borne. Battle Borne’s mission is to help post-combat Veterans find the resources they need on their road to recovery. In an effort to raise awareness for PTSD and other post-combat Veteran issues, the two schools featured Battle Borne, and their partner Not One Forgotten, during the rivalry game by rucking the signature game day footballs to the stadium at Lafayette and participating in the coin toss.
Ramping up to the big game, Swayfield put on a social media contest pitting the constituents of the two cities against each other to compete for school pride on social. Through the uploading of photos and videos, sharing of this media through social networking channels, and achieving votes, the individual participants raised the scores for the school they entered on behalf of in an attempt to outdo their rival.
Through sponsorship sales and an on-microsite Crowdrise campaign, we raised money for the charity, which was presented by the winning school, Easton, on the field during the rivalry game between the first and second quarter. Throughout the game, the most voted and standout entrants had their photos featured on the Jumbotron.
Say that 10 times fast.
|Total users who visited the site at least once||10,982|
|Total number of times all site pages were viewed||69,809|
|Users who found out about the site from Facebook||56%|
|Users who found out about the site from Twitter||3.7%|
|Users who found out about the site from Instagram||< 1%|
|Users who found out about the site from LinkedIn||< 1%|
|Users who visited the site by typing in the domain name||19.6%|
|Users who clicked on links in email promotions||3.4%|
|Users who came from other websites||1.8%|
|Users who found the site via Google||< 1%|
|Total number of entries, votes, shares, opt-ins, etc.||35,066|
|Total number of users who asked to receive email updates||622|
|Conversion of total unique users to opt-ins||5.7%|
|Across all networks||871,282|
|Average across all emails||30%|
|Average across all emails||9%|
|The average across all industries is < 1%||3%|
This was a pilot program conceptualized and pitched by our team here at Swayfield. Approved by the school boards only 7 weeks before launch, we had a short window for design, development, deployment and sponsorship sales. That said, we were able to raise $1,425 for a nonprofit who had just received its 501c3 status earlier this year.
Running just one month, and starting with no direct access to community members (save for any promotion the school districts took on), we achieved upwards of 11,000 unique site visitors and almost 70,000 page views. While this alone doesn’t tell a story, the fact that 14.5% of all site visitors participated in the contest is a clear indication of thematic effectiveness.
With a lean ad budget, we put social media ads in front over 43,000 people in and surrounding the two cities, with total ad impressions over 93,000. This is noteworthy with Easton’s 2017 census at 27,109 and P’burg’s at 14,950. Our ads achieved an average relevance score of 7.67% with our top ad performing at a relevance score of 9.
Cumulatively our social media ads had an almost 3% click-through rate. The average social media ad click-through rate across all industries is less than 1%. Factoring both advertising and viral content shares, Facebook stood out achieving 56% of our overall user-base, proving it to be an effective marketing vehicle for this contest.