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Using Social Media to Connect with “Ultimate” Sports Fans

nteractive marketing and sports are a natural fit for most sports popular in the wired United States. However, as interactive marketing director for MoneyGram, my team was tasked with using interactive to leverage the company’s corporate sponsorship of professional cricket – a game very foreign to me and most American sports fans.

To tackle this task, I immersed myself in the game of cricket – growing up in Florida, it’s hard to think of any sport other than my beloved college football (Go Knights!). So, I attended the North Texas Cricket Association’s matches, read a book, and watched many, many YouTube videos about cricket. The passion for the game was instantly apparent!

Working with MoneyGram’s cultural agency, Global Diversity Marketing, we sought to strategically tap into the enthusiasm for cricket, leveraging the audiences’ confirmed digital habits, to spread the awareness of the MoneyGram brand. The team crafted a social media-based competition – the “Ultimate Cricket Fan!” We put out the call to cricket fans to apply to be selected as MoneyGram’s official blogger and win an all-expenses paid trip to Sri Lanka to cover the 2012 T20 World Cup.

The campaign was wildly popular and exceeded all our KPI’s:

- Attracted over 2,000 contest entries

- Grew MoneyGram’s Facebook cricket fan page over 900%, to more than 100,000 fans – a feat achieved by less than 1% of all Facebook fan pages

- Reached over 48 million friends of fans

Earned media opportunities from across the globe on cricket-oriented media outlets:

Overall, the campaign exceeded the goals and objectives, and reached key MoneyGram markets of India and Southeast Asia, UAE, Australia, UK, and even the US!

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