Mobile Advertising Breaks Into the Sports Industry
I play on a football team in the Baltimore Sports and Social Club. Last week, when our game was canceled due to weather only 30 minutes before starting time, I received a convenient text message alerting me of the cancellation from a company called RainedOut. The league encourages all of the players to opt in to this free service in order to simplify announcements of cancellations, field changes, or other last minute notices.
RainedOut began in 2004 and since then the company has built a following of more than 2,000 leagues and groups, from the Boy Scouts to local sports teams. The service is free for the groups, and it allows group leaders to send 160 character messages out to a list of subscribers. Parents, players, and fans are encouraged to subscribe in order to receive the team’s announcements.
Within the past few months, RainedOut made a strategic decision to capitalize on its captive audience of sports enthusiasts. Each message now contains a 20 character identification of a sponsor. National organizations, such as Five Guys, have signed on to have their name displayed at the bottom of the team’s announcement.
One of the main benefits for companies who partner with RainedOut is the open rate of the messages. 95% of subscribers open the messages from RainedOut within 4 minutes. Companies can also take advantage of situation-based advertising, which means that a day changing event has given consumers a new opportunity to spend time and money.
So far, RainedOut only has a few sponsors, but this advertising opportunity seems to have a lot of growth potential for companies looking to target sports enthusiasts. There are hundreds of thousands of subscribers to RainedOut, the open rate is extremely high, and by including the sponsorship at the bottom of the message, the advertisement is non-invasive.