This digital strategy discusses strategic ideas and tactics to attract more children to the Michigan State University Summer Sports Camps. The slogan of this campaign will be “Be Sparty Strong,” referencing MSU’s Mascot, Sparty.
There are two different target audiences for the MSU Athletics Department.The first audience will be students between the ages of eight and 17 because only students between these ages are eligible to attend the various sports camps at MSU. This audience will be critical because they are the ones we need to attract to the camps. In turn, they will encourage their parents to register them for the sports camps.A second target audience will be the parents of children between the ages of eight and 17. They are the ones who will actually be paying for the sports registrations, and that’s why they need to be a target audience for this campaign. We need to convince them that it is a good idea to send their children to a summer sports camp.
MSU Athletics needs to develop a Facebook page specifically for MSU Sports Camps. This Facebook page will raise awareness of the different services and sports MSU sports camps have to offer. On this page, there will be photos, videos from past summer camps, graphics, and quotes from past campers, giving the camps a source of 3rd party affirmation. The campaign should also develop a Twitter account. Again, this account should specifically be for MSU Sports Camps. This account should tweet various calls to action encouraging followers "to sign up for different camps," "reserve their spaces now," and "call for more information." Finally, MSU Athletics should also consider developing and maintaining two blogs. One will be called the “Camp Blog,” offering a casual look into the athletics department and showcasing the outstanding individuals that work there. This will allow parents to feel more comfortable leaving their kids with the instructors and coaches because they will know more about them.
The big idea will be a second blog, but this blog will be called, “The Sparty Story.” Here, once a week, the blog will cover the life of one MSU student athlete and how they became "Sparty Strong," or, put another way, how they got to the point in their athletic career where they’re playing for a Big Ten school. This could inspire both children and parents and encourage them to sign up for a sports camp at MSU.
Effectively marketing MSU athletics online will be critical to the success of this campaign. We should have two major goals: to increase brand awareness and to sell more summer sports camp registrations. To measure our successes (our key performance indicators), we should look at both if the sales improved as well as how many people our visiting our home site, msuspartans.com/sportscamps.
The first stage of effectively marketing on the Internet will be to redo our website. When visiting the website, we need to encourage our target audience to fill out a registration to send their son or daughter to our sports camps. We should also include the blogs on the website, as mentioned earlier, and more photos. MSU Athletics in general is becoming a more recognizable brand, and we should use images from MSU sporting events to inspire parents to send their children to such a strong athletic school. Currently, there are no pictures on the website. Most of the website only includes text. We need to optimize our Website, Facebook page, Twitter account, blogs, and ads that we use to increase our ranking in Google searches. Our keywords should include:Summer sports camps Camps in MichiganBe Sparty StrongMSU Athletics CampsMSU CampsSpartan CampsSports camps for kidsWe should also use Google AdWords ads. We need to consider Ad Groups, which are lists of keywords based around a tight theme. One Ad Group should focus on the theme of ‘summer camps in Michigan.’Another Ad Group should focus on ‘sports camps,’ because we will be competing with camps at different schools. The keywords should focus on all the sports we offer.
We need to ensure our website works well and is just as effective on mobile devices. More and more people are using their cell phones to access websites and their social media. We should also consider developing an app with more information on MSU sports camps, MSU athletics, and videos for them to watch.
For our work in implementing this digital strategy, we will bill MSU Athletics $250 per hour. So, the budget will be broken down like this:CAMPAIGN TIMELINE: Jan. 1, 2014- June 1, 2014 (20 weeks, 10 hours per week)Strategy meetings and research: 40 hours= $10,000 Planning: 10 hours= $2,500Implementation: 10 hours= $2,500Management: 20 hours= $5,000Paid Media, ads, and apps: $25,000Monitoring: 20 hours= $5,000 TOTAL: $50,000
This campaign runs from the beginning of January to the deadline of submitting camp registrations, and during that time, MSU Athletics should run an aggressive digital media strategy. This campaign will promote the idea of “Being Sparty Strong” through three different social media outlets: Facbeook, Twitter, and blogs. The two blogs, especially the “The Sparty Story,” blog, will personalize the camps, helping parents feel more comfortable sending their children to the sports camps. We’re excited to get started on this campaign for MSU Athletics to bring more students to MSU sports camps!
Be Sparty Strong- Digital Strategy
at the Midwest’s best summer sports camps
Digital Strategy Proposal
for MSU Athletics Department