The Chargers Employ a Perfect Push and Pull Mobile Marketing Strategy

Author Ethel Watts Mumford once said, “The doors of opportunity are marked “push” and “pull.”

That could not be more true with regards to the opportunities that exist today with mobile marketing.

Here’s how the Los Angeles Chargers pushed and pulled their way to mobile marketing success this past season.

Push: Using Rich Push Notifications

If there was a theme song to the Chargers recent push efforts, it would be Salt N’ Pepa’s “Push it- push it real good!” This season they turned to rich push notifications, taking a once text-based piece of content to the next level, adding engaging visuals to make a stronger impact with their fans.

So what are rich push notifications?

Essentially, they operate the same as a typical push notification but also include a rich media attachment, from images, videos, audio, and interactive elements. With these rich pushes, you can combat the constricting character limits of a normal push.

In the screenshots above, you can see how the Chargers took a scoring play to the next level by adding accompanying graphics. The old adage is true — a picture is worth a thousand words — and rich push helps sports team’s to say more in less!

Pull: Using Inbox to Send Fans Non-Time-Sensitive Messages

How often do you check your email inbox? All the time, right? Sports teams, such as the Chargers, realize this and are doing a great job ensuring their fans are doing the same thing with their app inbox as well. With fans’ email inboxes constantly overflowing with newsletters and promotions, a team’s app inbox is able to cut through the clutter and provide content fans actually want.

In 2019 a team’s app inbox is still an oft-overlooked channel, but it can play a very strong role in a team’s engagement strategies. Where teams have found the most success using it is by pushing content to their inboxes that fans would want to revisit. Have you ever opened a push notification and then wanted to see the content again but couldn’t? An app inbox eliminates that problem and makes it easy to provide your fans important information for a longer period of time.

The Chargers do tremendous work using their inbox for evergreen content, including game previews and recaps, Pro Bowl voting opportunities, and more. Teams have also used the inbox to deliver coupons and promotions. Want to reward your fans for completing a mobile app quiz or clicking on a sponsor activation in your app content? Teams can automatically send coupons or promo codes directly to a fan’s inbox. No longer do fans need to remember a promo code or screenshot the barcode. Instead, all they would need to do is click on the message in their inbox. It’s that simple.

Pull: Badging

Badging is the perfect companion to inbox and push notification. Simply put, it’s the…. ability to notify your fans and app users that there is some new activity in your app that they should check out. Just like Facebook uses badging to tell you have a message or notification, sports teams are doing it too with their apps

For instance, as you can see in the screenshots above, the Chargers are using badging to let me know there are three notifications in their app. Instead of solely relying on what could be an intrusive push notification, the Chargers add badging to their repertoire, ensuring the right content reaches the right fan in a much less intrusive way.

Badges tend to be more user friendly than notifications since they don’t interrupt the user. And, because they also don’t require special permission needed to use them. A win-win for sports teams AND their fans!

Going Beyond the Push and Pull

While the Chargers do an incredible job using both push and pull strategies, it’s clear that the method of delivery is just one piece of the puzzle. While one can agree with Marshall McLuhan that, “The Medium is the Message,” it’s also clear that the delivery for a sports team is just the first step, and what comes next is what your fans really care about: the content.

Creating a memorable experience through engaging and relevant content is what it’s all about. Again, the push is important, the badging allows your fans to know there’s a message, and the inbox can be where they access it, but it’s truly what goes beyond the push. The content is what will encourage them to keep coming back. If you’re able to create engaging content that’s relevant for your fans, you can keep them as fans for life.

“Rover gives us a fresh way to deliver interactive, engaging content directly to our fans. It’s user-friendly interface helps to assure that we never miss a beat from the presentation all the way through delivery.”

– Chargers Digital Team

Throughout the season, the Chargers created engaging content pieces from holiday trivias, game previews and recaps, as well as location-triggered content. These pieces also contained a variety of sponsorship opportunities, ticketing activations, all while ensuring that each piece was carefully designed with the fan in mind.

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Overall it’s clear that sports teams can greatly benefit from a clear push and pull strategy for their mobile marketing. But as the Chargers’ great effort this season also shows, it’s just one part of their strategy, and it’s your content that will have them clicking on those push notifications, looking at the badges, and reading those inbox messages.