Riverhounds and Marketing mistakes
Normally I don't write about these things. However I've been following the Hounds since 1999 and have worked with and supported them during that whole time. Even writing match reports for them. So it pains me when I see the team going to hell in a hand basket due to simple little things that should be Marketing 101.
The other day in the mail I got a letter from the Riverhounds, personally addressed and thanking me for supporting them during their 2009 campaign. Great idea really. I would provide a link to the letter on their web page but the team didn't post it. It's not on their facebook account and I assume the myspace page either. Mistake # 1.
Mistake # 2 - It's a plain letter. Now I understand they are generalized form letters. So how can it be made better? Simple: Catch my attention.
Instead of "Dear Riverhound Season Ticket Holders:" try "Dear Riverhounds Team Owner:" I used bold face to make my point. What catches your eye....something generic? Or Team Owner?
Then I go on to explain that the Hounds are "OUR" team and thank them etc. Build the fans up...The loudest and most feared fans in the USL - not just the USL-2. Other teams quake in fear at playing in Pittsburgh! True or not who cares...it's the build up that is important. Besides it is true that the Steel army traveled to Harrisburg and Edinboro University this past season.
Nor was their any value other than the thank you, heartfelt as it may have been. No extra value for me to want to sign up for next year. Hey, how about offering me 4 season ticket passes + limited edition "Riverhounds Owner" t-shirt and a coupon off of other merch? Say for $100? With two other packages below that? Say it with me now...Mistake # 3
I think I'm going to pass this on to some people I know, let them make the pitch or see if I can make the pitch to them. I love the Hounds, love soccer and do really want it to succed. I just don't think the current owners/marketers are capable of making it happen.