The client needed to create buzz and increase fandom and viewership for their minor league team and foster a global fan community for their major league team. Some initial ideas had been surfaced including forming strategic partnerships between the minor league team and the local music industry and utilizing international sporting events to build a fan base and strengthen the team’s international partnerships for the major league team. The client engaged Pepper Foster to further analyze the local and global markets, generate and prioritize additional ideas and concepts, and develop a clear strategic path forward.
The first step was interviewing key internal stakeholders to understand the strategic objectives, delineate a robust research approach, establish a timeline, and align the stakeholders around a common vision and goals.
Initial stakeholder interviews solidified the understanding and direction in which they were looking to achieve; 1. Establishing the minor league team with the local community and 2. Extending the major league team’s international footprint.
Our team researched, analyzed, and distilled vital market data to uncover untapped opportunities. We developed insights into the minor league team’s city, residents, and the nuances of the minor league landscape within the local community. We also conducted holistic surveys of minor league teams, their social media presence, website UX, and best practices.
Key international markets for the major league team were analyzed and assessed for cultural differences, international fan participation and the next three years of the international sporting association’s game locations.
Building on the market analysis we charted the course for the establishment of the client’s minor league team within the local community. Opportunities to create dialogue and connections between residents and the team were outlined and recommended strategic partnerships with local music venues and festivals, radio stations, and nonprofits identified.
We also researched and prioritized the most lucrative and feasible global markets for the major league team, while navigating challenges of staying within League parameters and their unpredictability when it came to final decision making. The result was an outlined recommendation of potential highly established international brands the team could partner with to not only expand the team's international fan base but also position it as a global player and brand.
Findings and recommendations were documented and presented to the key stakeholders. Compelling visuals, data-driven insights, and a strategic narrative helped convey the potential impact and ensured alignment and support for the strategic vision, goals, and critical next steps.
Strategic, actionable, and most importantly, executable plans that factored in the sporting association’s guidelines and guardrails were developed and handed off to the client for execution. As a result of the plans, the client team had a clear path forward for both the minor and major league teams that included strategic and compelling supporting arguments for taking the necessary steps to start the next phase of work.
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