Sport Chek is the leading retailer of licenced merchandising in Canada. The media strategy needed to be on the right time and place.
How do you architect the media presence if you don’t know which team will win? How to plan media depending on the outcome of game in real-time?
Acknowledging that licenced merchandise is 100% an emotional purchase, we studied the emotional curve vs the sales curve and discovered that they were identical! At the peak of emotions, when the team won, or better yet clinched, there was a short timeframe of euphoria that triggered purchases. And every minute after that victory were sales dollars left on the table. On the flip side if the team lost or was eliminated, every media dollar invested was a waste. We called it euphoria marketing !
During playoff season, sales for licenced merchandise over index online.
Consequently, we crafted two e-commerce exclusive offers to cater to this timely opportunity:
1- 20% discount valid only for the duration of NHL games.
2- 12-hour delivery for fans that wanted their gear in time for the next playoff game.
It was the combination of a product offer, a media strategy based on emotionally-driven purchases and a media plan that was 100% non-committed until triggered that made our campaign stand out.
For instance, Sport Chek was the first retailer to run TV spots during hockey broadcasts featuring exclusive offers only valid for the duration of each game.
More importantly, we were also the 1st Canadian retailer to build a custom script with Google and the NHL to automate ads delivery and optimization. In achieving this feat, we were able to program and trigger offers 48 hours prior to selected matches as well as recognizing teams’ victories to serve offers within seconds after the game ended, leading to having the most relevant offer in market at the right moment.
The solution was to use a data feed to obtain game results in real-time. Alongside with a set of rules, a creative for every outcome possible and a handful of media partners willing to play ball, this campaign was success!
An important consideration when planning the campaign was being local. Our execution revolved around 4 main cities and teams: Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto – all Canadian contenders for the NHL series.
As our campaign was based on real-time triggers to deliver offers crafted for the right euphoria moment, another challenge was to choose the right media partners and work closely to maximize flexibility with non-committed media buys.
To overcome this, during the first phase of our campaign – which ran during the regular season – we leveraged the flexibility of digital OOH to display congratulations messages triggered only if a team clinched.
Next, during play-offs, social and display banners were triggered within seconds of a team’s victory. At the same time, Search campaigns with tailored ad texts were also triggered following victories.
As further incentive, a 2nd screen campaign ran with adapted display and social ads as well as TV spots during matches with offers only valid for the duration of a game.
Finally, as triggers and flexibility were the main components of this campaign, it follows that creatives and messages needed to be adaptive – a total of 40+ creatives were produced in advanced and pushed appropriately depending on the matches’ outcome.