The Bengals engage their fans
I’ve always been a Bengals fan. Well, perhaps more accurately, I was a Boomer Esiason fan (as well as a Joe Montana fan, which caused a huge problem when they faced each other in Super Bowl XXIII)… but I digress. My point is, I’m a fan of football (now, now, Canucks, my heart will always be with the Maple Leafs don’t worry), and I recognize the energy that a team gets from its fans, and that teams rely on customer loyalty to succeed – everything from filling seats to buying merch to TV ratings. But ultimately it’s a symbiotic relationship between spectator and participant with each getting something from the other. Which makes it a natural fit for social media.
And it’s good to see the Bengals get it. They are investing in UGC and integrating it into the experience at home games. A perfect fit.
The Cincinnati Bengals have become the first NFL team to launch a site where fans can post user-created videos. The new video site, hosted by technology firm ViTrue, … will be part of the Fan Zone section of the Bengals team site.
During a time-out in the Bengals-Patriots game on Sunday, an announcement invited fans to submit videos to the Bengals Web site showing their support for the team.
The Bengals will also send out e-mail messages today to 40,000 fans asking for user-created videos. The best videos as voted by fans will also be shown on the scoreboard during home games this season at Paul Brown Stadium.
This move is an investment by the Bengals in continuing to build relationships with their community & encouraging the community to build relationships with each other by participating in the decision of which videos get aired. They are allowing them to be part of the in-game experience and to celebrate their city, their team, and their love of the game. Hopefully more sports teams of all stripes will embrace the potential of social media and thinking outside the ordinary, as a way of giving back to their supporters/ customers.
[photo credit: Erik Eckel on Flickr]