How WEEI-FM Drove $50K with Pro Football Contest

by Julie Foley Second Street

The Idea

WEEI-FM is part of Entercom Communications Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts (DMA 7). The well-known sports radio station has been running contests since early 2011.

WEEI-FM paired up with title sponsor Staples to activate their New England Patriots fan base and promote weekly specials in Staples stores. Additional sponsorship for WEEI.com’s Pro Pick ‘Em Challenge was provided by Cross Insurance. Each week, players predicted which team would win each game, as well as estimating the scores of Monday night games as a tiebreaker game. In addition to the weekly game, players could also participate in a survivor pool, where they chose a team that they thought would not lose. Picking a losing team resulted in elimination from the survivor pool, however, a player could still participate in the weekly game.

The Execution

The extensive promotional package for the contest included:

  • A minimum of 115 on-air and 90 Internet radio :30 promotional announcements over the course of the season
  • Co-branded banners on the Pro Pick ‘Em page, WEEI.com homepage, and run of site
  • Weekly messages to social media followers
  • An ad campaign on the WEEI mobile site
  • Inclusion in three weekly newsletters for the duration of the season
  • Internet radio streaming companion banners
  • SMS reminder messages

The promotional banner display and mobile ad campaign had an incredibly high number of clicks, with the banner display receiving much higher than average click-through rates.

The local grand prize winner received a $500 Staples gift card, an autographed Patriots jersey, and a pair of tickets to a Patriots home game, while weekly winners received either an autographed jersey or a pair of regular season game tickets.

The Results

The 2012 Pro Pick ‘Em Challenge brought in $50,000 in revenue. There were a total of 5,583 participants and over 600,000 page views throughout the season. The contest generated significant traffic for the radio station’s social media sites resulting in 63,043 new “likes” on Facebook and 25,561 new followers on Twitter. In fact, the contest had three times as many entrants as the 2010 challenge, giving the 2012 season the highest participation rate ever for a WEEI.com football challenge!

Why It Worked

  • The contest was heavily promoted on-air, online, and through mobile and social media sites throughout the season.
  • The prize package tapped into football fans’ wants, which encouraged increased participation. Furthermore, weekly prizes in addition to an overall grand prize raised the chances of winning, enticing players to participate.
  • WEEI went out of the way to remind players of the contest through weekly SMS and social media messages to create a constant buzz about the contest.

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