Grizzlies See Growth Opportunities Via In-House Media, Three-Mode App

  • Team’s Grind City Media offers local sports, a betting podcast, and more to engage fans.
  • Wizards, Warriors among teams going in-house in search of content and revenue.
Grizzlies Grind City Media
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies switch to mobile tickets last season has given birth to a three-headed app that the team sees as the future of its fan engagement.

The current iteration of the official Grizzlies mobile app has three modes: one for the team, one for the FedExForum and its events, and a third for the team’s content production arm, Grind City Media. Grizzlies vice president of marketing Rolanda Gregory said Grind City Media is the one with the most growth potential.

“No one knows the team better than we do,” Gregory said. “When we look at the local outlets, it surpasses what they do. If anyone should be talking about the team and impacting that daily knowledge, we should have a shot at doing that, so we’re expanding coverage and bringing on talent.”

Grind City Media provides more than just Grizzlies content; it extends across Memphis-area sports with a daily sports podcast, a podcast series on sports betting, video features, and staff reports covering the team and other sports in the market. The Grind City Media site currently features a variety of “presented by” sponsors, like Mountain Dew and Direct Auto Insurance.

“There’s so much opportunity out there, it will eventually become something that takes on a life of its own as it grows and expands,” Gregory said.

Teams growing their internally-produced content is key to moving forward and driving revenue, Daniel Cohen, Octagon senior vice president of media rights consulting, said. The sports industry has transformed over the past several decades from ticket-sales driven in the 1980s and 90s to sponsorship-powered at the turn of the millennium, Cohen said.

But now, it’s imperative there’s a robust media offering beyond regional sports network deals, Cohen said.

“It’s an absolute necessity; almost an arms race as teams are essentially media companies,” Cohen said. “They’re staffing up tremendously when it comes to online media offerings, and the good ones are becoming content creators.”

The prime example Cohen gives is the Washington Wizards, whose ownership group Monumental Sports & Entertainment has heavily invested into a 24-7 OTT network called Monumental Network, acquiring local rights and “created a destination for DMV basketball fans.

While the Grizzlies content is primarily contained to the team’s regional footprint, Cohen said the league is working closely with organizations to build content opportunities internationally. He pointed to the Golden State Warriors deal with e-commerce retailer Rakuten and the Wizards internal content strategy with Japanese-born rookie Rui Hachimura.

Cohen said the on-the-court rights would likely continue to be owned by major rights holders, like Turner and ESPN, but NBA fans are increasingly more interested in what happens off it, which is where the opportunities lie.

“The teams can’t touch the live rights, but they can get creative with the cultural elements, the fashion, art, food,” he said. “The NBA popularity on the court is being overtaken by athlete-driven content.”

“It’s a wide-open space for brands that are endemic to the sport or team, or a new brand wanting to get in,” Cohen said.

Integrating Grind City Media into the team’s mobile app rather than building a new one made sense for Memphis, which wanted to limit costs and spur adoption by fans, Albert Hughes, Grizzlies senior manager of marketing technology, said.

The app allows fans to access their tickets, interact with fan services at FedExForum, play games, and consume the content produced by the organization. Hughes said the team would continue to add more functionality as fans continue to adopt the current uses.

Next year, the team plans on rolling out a mobile-only loyalty program based on engagement with different brands, attendance, and shopping behaviors. The Grizzlies are also working on mobile food and beverage ordering for in-seat delivery and more games.

Hughes said there’s so much opportunity for the app to provide untapped fan data to help drive business initiatives and marketing campaigns, including Grind City Media.

“The big initial use was moving to digital tickets,” Hughes said. “Knowing they had to come to that experience, we decided it’d be smart, adding new brands to give it another level of engagement.

“We want the app to be a 365-day-a-year experience,” he said.

Article credit: Front Office Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies Select Venuetize to Launch a 365-Day, Multi-Experience App for Fans

MGrizzlies_Global_with_white-768x919

Memphis, TN and Tampa, FL (October 1, 2019) – Today, the Memphis Grizzlies announced its new mobile app in partnership with Venuetize, the leading technology platform for smart space solutions. The Grizzlies’ reconstructed app is designed to focus on three distinct brands – Memphis Grizzlies, FedExForum and Grind City Media. While the app’s main infrastructure is shared, each brand will have its own section within the app for an enhanced personalized look and feel, plus a unique user experience.

“We wanted to reimagine the app so on a single platform, fans can stay up-to-date on all things Grizzlies, get the latest content from Grind City Media and keep track of all the happenings at FedExForum,” said Jason Wexler, Memphis Grizzlies Team President. “The Grizzlies Mobile App will now not only give fans easier access to their event tickets, but it also includes interactive features that allow users to chat directly with Account Executives, preview FedExForum seats before purchasing, play mobile games and more. We are pleased to bring Grizz Nation a more seamless, convenient and interactive platform that allows us to better connect with our fans.”

On event and game days, the Venuetize-powered mobile app will provide a personalized experience for fans who are at the arena, showing users the most relevant information for their event. By including app integrations with vendors such as NBA.com, Ticketmaster, Experience, Arrive, Fanatics, GameChanger MVP, Zappar, Handbid, Olark, Waze, Uber and Radius Networks, event goers will be able to access features such as live game stats, tickets, parking, merchandise, augmented reality experiences, bidding on auctions, and the ability to chat with an account representative. Additional user engagement includes navigating the arena, RSVPing for events, listening to player’s Spotify playlists, sharing player cards and much more.

“The Grizzlies wanted to develop a truly unique mobile experience for their fans,” said Karri Zaremba, Venuetize founder and COO. “By leveraging the Venuetize platform, they are able to bring to life their vision of a personalized mobile experience that spans across all of their brands and properties. In addition, the data and analytics our platform captures will continuously improve the fan experience and drive greater insights for the entire organization.”

“This is only the beginning,” said Rolanda Gregory, Memphis Grizzlies Vice President of Marketing. “We’re taking an iterative approach to rolling out new features and enhancements. In 2020, we’ll launch a new mobile-only loyalty program where fans will be rewarded for engaging with our respective brands. We are also completing the discovery process for mobile ordering of food and beverages. Our goal is to listen to our fans and incorporate the features that will benefit them most.”

By leveraging the powerful mobile-commerce engine that Venuetize has developed, fans will soon be able to seamlessly make mobile payments, resulting in a better overall fan experience and providing valuable data back to the organization. Additionally, for Season Ticket Members, the Grizzlies will provide better efficiencies in managing their accounts by allowing payment arrangements and renewal of accounts via the app. Upcoming versions of the app will continue to improve the mobile experience for Grizzlies’ fans adding even more features and further integrating the user experience.

For more information and to download the Memphis Grizzlies app, visit grizzlies.com/app.

About Memphis Grizzlies

Founded in 1995, the Grizzlies spent six seasons in Vancouver before relocating to Memphis in 2001. As one of the youngest franchises in the league, the Memphis Grizzlies have seen their share of success, making the NBA playoffs seven out of the past nine years in Memphis. Fans who want to support the Grizzlies and purchase 2019-20 Season Tickets can do so now by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com/tickets. For more information on the Grizzlies, visit grizzlies.com, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram (@memgrizz).

About Venuetize

Venuetize makes the way people experience spaces easier, more personal, and enjoyable. The company’s mobile platform integrates with existing venue infrastructure to deliver mobile wallets, contextual advertising and information, and other applications that improve and innovate the guest experience. Founded in 2014, Venuetize works with professional sports teams, stadiums and arenas, casinos, entertainment districts, and shopping destinations throughout North America. For more information, visit http://www.venuetize.com.

Super Women in Business

By  – Associate Editor, Memphis Business Journal
Updated

They are leaders in their careers and in their communities. They find solutions before anyone sees a problem. They don’t wait for an opportunity to present itself; they create it.


They are super women.

Each year, the Memphis Business Journal honors 25 standout female business leaders for positive contributions to both their professions and their communities at its annual Super Women in Business event. In industries such as banking, government, nonprofits, and logistics, the 2019 honorees span all sectors.

To see the 2019 Super Women in Business honorees, click the slideshow.

Following a public call for nominations, this year’s honorees were selected from a large pool of candidates by MBJ’s editorial staff. Selections were based not only on career achievements and impact, but how they go above and beyond outside of work.

https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2019/08/08/meet-them-now-mbjs-super-women-in-business-2019.html

How NBA Team Memphis Grizzlies Uses Walls.io

“We Wanted a More Aesthetic View of Our Social Media Posts Across Our Brands”

A photo shot from the view of a Grizzlies player who is sitting on the floor. Four of his teammates are standing around him helping him up.

Blackberry Opts Out

blackberry

The leadership at Blackberry continues to amaze me with its inability to turn the company around.  They’ve been at the very least risk adverse at a time when they should have been making brazen moves in order to regain even a slimmer of market share.  Now it seems that they’ve completely thrown in the towel when it comes to the mobile hardware market as they’ve sold global rights to the Blackberry brand to Chinese manufacturer TCL.

The mobile pickings in the US are very slim – iOS or Android; just like our 2-party political system.  We really need a third option.  Hopefully, there’ll be new competition that will totally disrupt the mobile market.

Yahoo! Account Breach!


It’s just been announced that Yahoo! experienced a data breach that caused more than 1 billion accounts to be compromised.  Hopefully everyone knows not to store or transmit sensitive information on ‘public’ email systems, meaning email providers that give you a ‘free’ account as they’re often the target of hackers.  Also your emails are searched for marketing and sales opportunities.  In any regards, if you have a Yahoo! account, keep a lookout for suspicious activity – and consider moving on to a different platform.

The Ever So Dependable Facebook Metrics

fb

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Facebook is still discovering and fixing issues with its metrics algorithm.  When the majority of your revenue is comprised of selling advertising, it’s key that your customers trust the product in which they’re investing.  We all understand that Facebook has worked hard to monetize a difficult product, especially as we move towards a true mobile first world.  As Marketers mull over options for social spend, Facebook will need to reassure the market that their platform is effective in reach, engagement and especially conversion.  And they’ll need to work even harder to regain trust.

 

Optimizing Your Website

Website Optimization

If your Marketing department is not taking advantage of using an optimization testing platform to conduct A/B and multivariate tests, or if you’re using a proprietary system, here are a few reasons to consider utilizing one of the many platforms now available to marketers.

2 Main Reasons for Implementing an Optimization Testing Platform:

  1. Allows you to easily run marketing A/B and multivariate tests so you can optimize your website content thereby increasing conversion rates and engagement at a faster pace.
  2. We’ve all experienced prioritization issues when it comes to competing for technical resources, now there’s a work-around.  If your test is restricted to front-end/graphical user interface changes (such as testing call-to-actions, page layouts, text or imagery), there’s no need to involve IT and wait for development resources until you have a sure winner.

Important Features to Consider:

  • Easy to use drag and drop interface that includes in-page and in-line editing via a WYSIWYG editor.
  • A side-by-side view of what the changes are in a test (current vs proposed view of the page or elements) will become important as you start using the testing platform.  Believe it or not, some major platforms do not have this capability making it cumbersome to understand and see the changes without going through unnecessary steps.
  • Ability to stop a test upon reaching a customizable threshold.  While most platforms will automatically stop a test after a certain date has been realized, not all platforms will allow you to customize a threshold.  For instance, once a test hits 1MM page views, or exceeds a 5% CTR.
  • While permissions should be a standard include, a customizable workflow is a must-have option.  This will allow your organization to route new test changes to different departments and team members (such as to Copy, Graphic Design, and Compliance) as necessary for edits, review and approvals before new tests are published.

When conducting an RFP for a new optimization testing platform, be sure to keep the above points in mind.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Marketing Technology Landscape 2016

Marketing_Technology_Landscape_2016

Chiefmartec.com has updated their annual Marketing Technology Landscape.  The new design makes it easier to find companies.  It’s broken down into the categories of Advertising & Promotion, Content & Experience, Social & Relationships, Commerce & Sales, Data, and Management.  If you plan to implement a new marketing platform, be sure to review the updated landscape for potential vendors to include in your RFP process.

Omni-Channel Campaigns…Connecting the Dots

Intersecting circles

When launching a new service, product or startup, it’s important to do so from an integrated and connected perspective. Marketing campaigns should be planned strategically across all available marketing channels. If a particular channel isn’t utilized it’s important to understand and notate why.

Creating awareness and buzz is best done in concerted partnership across multiple marketing channels, leveraging the audience and strengths available in each channel.  Omni-channel marketing ensures that you’ve covered all the bases.

Once the purpose, theme, budget and schedule are determined, drilling down to analyze each marketing channel is necessary.  Campaigns aren’t one size fits all, so a strategic play on how to utilize digital, traditional and out-of-home, as well how as how key tools such as targeting and segmentation impacts your messaging are important. How you communicate on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, can be decidedly different from Email Marketing, Radio, Banner Ads, Direct Mail, PPC or DRTV so it’s necessary to create customized copy for each channel that ladders up to your overall campaign theme and message.

Measurement is crucial in understanding what roles marketing channels play in the performance of your campaign.  Implementing multi-channel attribution tools can assist in this area.  While you may not see a direct conversion from some channels, knowing which channels are introducers and influencers are just as critical as knowing which ones are closers.

When launching marketing campaigns, do not do so in separation.  Leveraging at least multi if not omni channels will yield better performance.  I have witnessed organizations that launch campaigns in isolation – with different teams being responsible.  The email team is launching a totally different campaign and message than the social team, etc. with no integration or coordination from the top.  Creating an editorial and acquisition marketing calendar will help coordinate the efforts of multiple teams, and ensure everyone is on-message.

On your next campaign, utilize omni-channel marketing to engage consumers on their turf and to see a lift in performance.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Building Your Social Media Strategy

Social media buttons on on the modern keyboard

As an organization focused on either B2C or B2B, it’s important to determine what your Social Media strategy should be.

While we all know it’s important for businesses to be on social media, it’s equally vital to first understand what you’re trying to solve for.  Do you have a need to respond to customer issues and complaints, promote new product or service offerings, conduct polls and surveys to obtain data, build a community, etc?

Once it’s determined what you’re trying to solve for.  It becomes easier to build the strategy and tactics to execute on each objective.

While social media marketing might mean something different to you, here are some of the tasks and goals that may be beneficial.

  • Determine which social media sites/apps are best suited for your business.
  • While paid social can help spread the news of your brand and/or promotion, count on organic as your long-term approach.
  • Define your communications calendar and determine your communications cadence.
  • Post consistently.
  • Listen across all social media and communications platforms to understand impacts to your brand and business.
  • Respond rapidly, but diplomatically to any negative content and posts. Remember the spotlight is on you.
  • Sometimes intervention is needed.  Ensure you have a mechanism for determining when a post/comment deserves a more ‘intimate’ response away from all the public eyes on social media.
  • Engage consumers when they post positive feedback about your product or service.  This allows you to build a relationship with them.
  • Review your performance and optimize your creative, messaging, campaigns, etc.
  • Use targeting to ensure your message meets the appropriate audience.
  • Evaluate the numerous social technology tools that are available so that you can adequately build your social infrastructure.

Building a social media strategy takes a lot of reflection and knowledge.  Managing the day-to-day communications and engagement takes a lot of proactive work.  Ensure that you understand your organization’s limitations and strengths when it comes to planning and executing on social.  During the initial stages, it may be wise to enlist the expertise of a social media agency to steer you in the right direction.

Social media marketing can work for any organization if the right strategy is in place.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Better Than Google Glass?

Contact lens

The move by Samsung to create a ‘smart’ contact lens could make the likes of Google Glass obsolete.

A smart contact lens has far reaching possibilities.  The virtual augmented reality potential is limitless.  Even erasing the need for those pesky 3-D glasses needed for movie watching.

And of course the amount of data available to marketers would be remarkable.

What I’m not so certain of are the privacy implications.

In any regard, the patent that Samsung has for this Blink technology moves us a step closer from wearables to embedded human technology.

Learn more at Digital Trends.

Role of the Business Card in the Digital Age

image

I’ve often wondered about the seldom used box of business cards that sit in one of my desk drawers, as well as the stack that occupies a small place atop my desk.  While they contain useful information, they’re often left behind.

I’ve forgotten to carry them when attending important vendor meetings, or when interviewing a potential new hire.  I realize at those moments that I’ve just made a business faux pas. Although one that’s glanced over by almost everyone as I’m also seldom alone in forgetting to carry them.

Once upon a time, business cards were critical in making first impressions, establishing methods of communication, and demonstrating that you are a professional.

Today, they have been somewhat displaced by smartphones that allow us to enter our contact information directly, and sites such as LinkedIn.

In today’s world, I do believe that business cards can continue to be an effective marketing tool for entrepreneurs and executives as it’s a piece of yourself and your brand that can be left behind as a reminder.  This is amplified when time is of the essence, phone batteries are low, or you want to be sure your email address doesn’t get misspelled.

For me, this serves as a reminder to keep them at the ready.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Invest/Maintain/Kill

Yahoo!

Invest/Maintain/Kill:  These are words to live by for any organization.

Today, we’re starting to learn about the impact of Yahoo’s Invest/Maintain/Kill List.  While it may initially sound threatening, cold or insensitive, it is a strategy that all organizations should utilize.  And use often.

As an organization, it’s important to constantly evaluate, measure and plan for the future as it relates to your core competencies, technological advantages, people, strategic partnerships, and any other competitive advantages.  Having a strong indication of which of these items should be further invested into, maintained as the status quo, or subtly decommissioned or killed is key.  It helps to keep your organization nimble and focused on its most critical objectives and goals, while keeping aboard the talent and people who will best contribute to reaching those objectives.

I applaud Yahoo! for taking these necessary and crucial steps.

Learn more about the changes at Yahoo! on re/code.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Twitter Departures

Twitter

Major changes in leadership at Twitter indicates that the company has major challenges with its business model.  Trying to stay relevant to its target demographic and competitive with other Social Media platforms is a huge undertaking. Let’s just hope for Twitter’s sake that its users don’t depart as quickly as its top brass.

Read more at re/code.