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How Detroit Pistons Used Email Marketing To increase fan engagement

How Detroit Pistons Used Email Marketing To increase fan engagement

Sneak Peak:

 Read this case study to know how an American professional basketball team increased fan engagement by 49% through email marketing   Company: Detroit Pistons Industry:  Sports Tool Used: Email Marketing Result: 49% increase in mobile engagement


The Brand & the Story

The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The Pistons participate in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Eastern Conference Central Division. The NA team wanted to increase fan engagement through email marketing in an all-so-more innovative way and so they made use of dynamic emails for keeping the fans up to date with the latest basketball scores. They also included live traffic map in emails to help fan navigate the ways in & out of the arena. The US basketball team saw an 18% increase in click-through rate and 45% increase in engagement time along with 49% increase in mobile engagement.

The challenge before Detroit Pistons

Emails are usually taken as the static means of communication by many brands. And this could be a big challenge in sports marketing where every update is just instantaneous and almost nothing is static whether it’s about ticket sales or game scores. What’s’ hot the one moment is quite irrelevant the other and that fans want access to information moment by moment.

Detroit Pistons’ strategy for Email Marketing

Detroit Pistons is owned by a company named Palace Sports and Entertainment that teamed up with Movable Ink to send emails to the fans who were attending the games. These emails that would update every time the fan checks them were called the ‘Interactive Gameday Guide’. The emails were sent out to ticket holder a few hours before game started and used real-time data. These emails would update every time a recipient opens or reloads them. Before the game, the email displayed team matchups, records, stats and information about attending the game however during the game; it displayed live scores and stats for all 10 players on the floor at that moment and after the matchups, it displayed the final box score. detroit-pistons-increased-fan-engagement-49-email-marketing-2 A live traffic map was also included in the email for helping the fans in finding the optimal route in and out of the arena. This was done with an objective of solving the main issues of the event goers i.e. ingress and egress


The Success

The campaign that was called by the team as ‘a real-time, dynamic second-screen experience’ helped them in meeting the objective of increasing fan engagement before, during and after games. The emails were tracked by Palace Sports over a six-game stretch just after the campaign was launched. The results based on the initial tracking of the emails witnessed:
  • 18% spike up in click-through rate
  • 45% lift in engagement time
  • 49% increase in mobile engagement

Words by Jason Scott, Manager of e-Marketing

“We always want to have a multichannel approach with, the mobile app, etcetera, but why not provide it, if we have the ability, within that email?”

Words by Elizabeth Tashik, Movable Ink Account Manager

 The Pistons’ Interactive Gameday Guide was “a top-use case” for her company. “Our goal is to make every email communication extremely relevant and one-to-one and personal and effective, and I think that we achieved that here.” “Basically, we’re trying to help marketers have those one-on-one conversations with their consumers in the consumers’ way. We decide as consumers when to engage with a brand when it comes to email. Why not make that conversation relevant to what’s happening to them at the time of open instead of at the time of send?”
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