What Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce Can Teach Us About Platform Exposure

It’s November, and the most streamed artist in a single day in Spotify history is unsurprisingly Taylor Swift – she broke her own record. She also has the most streamed album […]

It’s November, and the most streamed artist in a single day in Spotify history is unsurprisingly Taylor Swift – she broke her own record. She also has the most streamed album of 2023, which is curiously a re-recorded re-issue of an album that dropped nine years ago. We won’t get into the semantics of why that happened, but needless to say, Taylor Swift is peak culture right now. She’s in the middle of a multi-billion dollar tour, and her relationship with NFL A-Lister Travis Kelce has dominated the pop-culture tabloids for weeks now. Taylor Swift is truly a master when it comes to exposure.

 

A Lesson in Exposure

 

Taylor’s relationship with the Chiefs Tight End has generated a ton of exposure for each. Her movie, The Eras Tour, just crossed $200 million at the box office, a feat no concert documentary has achieved before. It’s currently dwarfing Oscar contenders like Killers of the Flower Moon in terms of revenue. Taylor has also appeared on National sports broadcasts and Saturday Night Live, driving demand for her tour even higher.

For Travis, his jersey sales have increased 400% after his girlfriend was seen sitting in a press box with his mother, doing secret handshakes with Patrick Mahomes’ wife. Kelce’s podcast has surged to number 1 on the charts, and now Amazon is heavily promoting a documentary about his life. The most cynical of pop culture pundits doubt the validity of this relationship. Swift was, after all, linked to actor Tom Hiddleston during Hiddleston’s campaign to become the next James Bond. Could this just be a brilliant marketing ploy by two celebrities who understand the power of exposure? 

The truth is, it doesn’t matter. What we are watching right now is a masterclass in multi-channel marketing. Swift and Kelce are everywhere, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot avoid it. Brands inside the world of sports/entertainment and otherwise should be taking notes.

 

Using Omnichannel Exposure to Keep Your Gaming Brand Relevant

 

Let’s stick to the world of sports and eye a couple of other entities that understood the assignment when it comes to brand awareness. DraftKings and FanDuel are everywhere these days. It is nearly impossible to watch a sporting event, attend a game, or listen to a podcast without being inundated with their ads. It’s working, too; their market shares represent 39% and 34%, respectively. 

There are other players on the court; Bet MGM has the entire marketing apparatus of Las Vegas behind it. Penn National recently bailed on an ill-fated partnership with Barstool Sports and now plans to go all in with ESPN with plans to launch an ESPN bet. With the lines being continually blurred between traditional sports entertainment and gambling, one strategy these companies are employing is to make as much noise as possible to steal away market share.

 

Converting Exposure to Dollars

 

Like Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, it appears that sports betting firms and the larger sports entertainment vertical are realizing that exposure is good. If we step away from gambling and look at sub-verticals of sports like Fantasy Football, we see personalities doing the media rounds like they’re on a book tour, if only to promote a podcast. 

Hulu, one of the most prominent streamers in the world, has run entire campaigns telling people that they have live sports. And, of course, Travis Kelce is involved in the ads.

The question then becomes, what can other sports-centric brands learn from this… or any brand for that matter? In the middle of fall, it’s easy to draw everything back to football, but these are generally lessons we learn on the first day of PR or Marketing 101. Get your brand top of mind.

Many businesses won’t have the millions of dollars these larger enterprises are pumping out for traditional ad buys, so the important note here is to get creative with a thorough omnichannel communication strategy. It might cost a brand $7 million to enter a consumer’s home during halftime of the big game, but if you are willing to target their phone instead of their TV, you might be able to do it for under a penny.

 

How Omnichannel Can Grow Your Brand

 

The two most straightforward use cases for omnichannel communication are acquisition and retention. Many sports gaming and fantasy football platforms offer massive incentives for sign-ups. DraftKings, for example, provides data that their average customer acquisition cost is about $400 while the average customer lifetime value is $2500.

Some folks may not know, but there are plenty of free-to-play games on gambling platforms, which means many users with an account are not actively paying the brand. The same is true for fantasy football with free and premium paid leagues. An easy strategy here would be to text promotions to users who only play free games and try to upgrade them to paying users. By texting offer codes directly to their phones, we can convert these users in just a few clicks. SMS is the gateway here, but firms in specific markets might also want to consider WhatsApp, Messenger, or even Viber.

 

Converting Users to a Premium Tier

 

Once a user is transacting on the platform, the next thing we want to consider is churn. Sure, lots of users will place a few bets, set a few line-ups, and then let their account lapse when the season is over. SMS can be a very handy tool in keeping your brand top of mind, even during the off-season. 

Fantasy sports platforms can continue to advertise their free and paid leagues for baseball, hockey, and basketball. More traditional sports books can message their users about pop culture events such as the Academy Awards. Yes, you can bet on best picture.

Even if your users aren’t interested in a wider breadth of services, you’re at the very least staying top of mind so that when next season comes around, they will be less likely to jump to a competitor.

 

Support Use Cases for Omnichannel

 

Ah, yes, those pesky competitors. One thing about sports books and fantasy games is that they often provide nearly identical products. Sure, occasionally one will give marginally better odds, but the actual user experience piece comes down to the app or service the company is providing. 

A smart leader working in this space would realize that customer service can be a real differentiator, and what better way to render customer service than choice? Choice of channel to communicate for support, choice of channel for two-way communication, by offering more roads to dialogue with your customers, you are making a commitment to place a premium on UX.

 

Omnichannel for Information

 

The last piece we want to dive into is omnichannel communication for the delivery of information. This will get into the weeds of how fantasy sports and betting work for those who participate, but in essence, it is an ecosystem of information.

Patrick Mahomes had a cold over the weekend, and his performance suffered. In such a case, a gamer would want to have that information before placing a bet or adding him to a fantasy roster. It could, in theory, make that person more likely to bet against Patrick Mahomes’ team.

In the omnichannel world, we call this ARN, which stands for alerts, reminders, and notifications. In no vertical can ARN be more valuable than one of speculative investment. What are the weather conditions of today’s game, what players are hurt, and who is caring for a sick family member? These are all times when a brand should be sending SMS alerts to customers. By sending users information that can help them win and make money, these alerts are certainly deemed valuable content. This not only keeps your brand top of mind but builds trust.

 

The Bottom Line

 

If ‘Traylor’ has taught us anything – yes, we’re making that their unofficial couple name –  it’s that exposure equals dollar signs. This is a lesson that many brands know all too well but haven’t leveraged creatively. Without an unlimited marketing budget, CMOs and their staff have to be clever to keep their company top of mind. 

While it wouldn’t hurt to have Taylor Swift organically using your product in front of an audience of millions, a more realistic way to keep your audience engaged is to go directly to them. And if you want to know how to do that, check out an Eras stop near you. 100,000 screaming fans will be recording the whole thing on the easiest tool for you to target – their phones.

Contact our team of specialists to see how your brand can get started with a robust omnichannel communications strategy today.