Troubled NBA franchise, The New Jersey Nets, has a new campaign underway that has all the elements that we frequently talk about in this space: using the power of celebrity and dealing the customer (in this case, season ticket holder) into the game. Its new "Influencer" program started by new CEO Brett Yormark, brings the fan closer to the game.
To lure back former season ticket holders (while hanging onto their current "P1s"), former NASCAR exec Yormark has initiated a full-scale program that is fan friendly. It's an all-access campaign that includes breakfasts with players and team execs, using their team dancers to greet fans at a series of parties that brings the celebrity of the team closer to the folks in the arena seats. The Nets are even showing up at fans' barbeques where they can work the room, and more importantly, seal the deal with disgruntled fans. They're also bringing back "classic" Nets - in this case, Darryl Dawkins - to be meet & greeters.
Using the allure of radio's celebrities is always a great tactic to stand out on the local level, and bring listeners closer to stations. Whether it's "Workforce Hometown" visits, Listener Advisory Board Groups, or simply Listener Appreciation Parties, radio has the power that iPods, the Internet, and XM do not. Sometimes it's truly a matter of answering phones, returning emails, hanging out with listeners, and making them feel like they're a part of the station that makes all the difference.