Times Square. A group of people shows up dressed up in the New York Cosmos jerseys with a large kit sponsor writing saying #NYcosmos, and holding soccer balls in their hands. When they drew enough attention in anticipation of a flash mob, they start simultaneously performing tricks.
At the end of the flash mob, people in police uniform are running up to them, arrest them and take them away, amid grumbling of the crowd.
Do you want to know why it happened this way? Just keep reading this post to the end.
And in contrast to rather negative #AlienForMLS issues on New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls, the edition on the New York Cosmos is going to be positive. I hope no one is going to be offended that I consider the club of NASL in #AlienForMLS format.
This is the seventh issue of #AlienForMLS. In #AlienForMLS, I, Leon The Alien, offer soccer clubs interesting solutions based on the classic sports marketing and neuromarketing. Earlier editions were on Portland Timbers/Seattle Sounders, LAFC, the possible David Beckham’s team, San Jose Earthquakes, New York City FC, and New York Red Bulls.
The interview with the new owner of the New York Cosmos Rocco Commisso makes it clear that his approach is the opposite of that of New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls’.
The New York Cosmos is a real godsend for sports marketing, as this brand has a great deal of history behind it. Why is it so important? Because it provides with an opportunity to both awaken nostalgia and create a lovely story.
We should keep in mind that a nostalgia-centric tactics must exist within the context of the present! Otherwise, it can adversely affect the brand.
The sports marketing quite successfully uses power of a story to create the authenticity of a brand. The story is schemed according to a simple plan: beginning – middle – end, memorability, emotional involvement, obtaining the result.
For each fan soccer is associated with his/her own emotions. The secret of a good sports marketing consists of two things:
1. Understanding the way human brain operates and decisions are being made. And here we are helped by neuroscience and a number of other disciplines (the strongest attraction for me personally is evolutionary psychology).
2. Understanding the emotions of each segment of your target audience. Here we are helped by a well-developed empathy and small data.
It’s a very fascinating subject, since we can affect the hormones just by creating the right events. Those who are interested, please follow my blog, as I’m writing of hormones a lot. I’ll also discuss this subject more widely in the near future, unlocking slightly the secret of the way I applied these methods to soccer players. The article is ready and waiting. Therefore, follow me on Twitter, not to miss it.
There is an interesting peculiarity that at home games #testosterone level of soccer players gets reduced. Responsibility ⬆️ testosterone ⬇️
— Leon The Alien (@LeonFromSpace) February 26, 2017
Regarding emotions, one has to begin with understanding of the somatic marker hypothesis. This is a very crucial moment, since this hypothesis is the basis that all the logic of successful interaction with somatic (emotional) markers builds on.
This hypothesis explains that emotional markers are created and updated in the process of any experience, gained throughout human life.
These markers are the ones that subsequently help us quickly and unconsciously make a choice. And it is these markers that neuromarketers appeal to.
Presently the New York Red Bulls fans are fond of blaming New York City FC fans for their existing for just a few years. In the case of the New York Cosmos, one can build a perfect confrontation on the name of the club, in addition to creating an awesome story. Moreover, this brand is an excellent magnet for supporters in a city with two fairly strong market brands.
And by the way, the authenticity of the New York Cosmos is extremely important. Consider my complaints about the branding of the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. In other words, in terms of marketing, the New York Cosmos have got brilliant perspectives. And they should position themselves namely as the hosts of the city.
I will not dwell on history, because in this case everything is quite obvious, a glorious history, Pele, etc., years of neglect, a revival, a new era, New York meets its true heritage.
Surely, it is important to focus here on the heritage and on the New York Cosmos being the only real New York club. Given the specific branding of the opponents, it’s pretty easy to launch a campaign on positioning the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC in the right direction for the New York Cosmos.
New York is a big market, and I would certainly get neuroscience actively involved. When people have too much to choose from, it carries with it some difficulties. But this situation is quite easy to solve. As I’ve mentioned above, we can well resolve this issue with positioning, but neuroscience is of particular help for us in this case, when a slip can cost too much.
Experiments in neuroeconomics have proven that we choose the most subjectively valuable option. Having tested the representatives of different segments of our target audience, we can to some extent understand the average reaction. Let’s bear in mind that experts consider the sample of 24 individuals to be the most effective in neuromarketing, so everything is quite measurable.
Then we recollect that our brain perceives it as a mistake to differ from others. The evolutionary explanation is that it is dangerous. Here is quite a well-known example:
The story behind this photo is quite sad.
There are enough evolutionary psychology experiments and grounds, proving that the influence of other people on an individual is very strong. Some experiments have shown that such influence even in the obviously crazy cases reaches 70%.
Our task is to show that many New Yorkers root for the New York Cosmos. And in this case, we have to create such an impression. I’ve applied this method before, and I’ve learned at first hand the effectiveness of this approach.
One has to start with a somewhat arrogant phrase (I don’t like these things myself, and well-promoted brands should better abandon the arrogance, nevertheless, it’s a good way for a new promising brand to present its power), but we have to create a rather rigid positioning to produce an effect. I guess the phrase couldn’t have been better than “The only New York’s soccer club”.
We’ve got to further use in the possible games with other New York teams slogans like “Europe, we are here since the beginning”, “Europe, this is called soccer”, etc. If the club has got a good PR department, one can make a pretty fascinating story for the media out of it. There just has to be a desire to do it and the league’s support of such an aggressive strategy.
Likewise, to enhance the migrant-friendly image, there can be involved some little campaigns in different languages, Italian, Hebrew (and Yiddish as well), Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian, through which the representatives of these segments will start associating themselves with the club.
But all of that will be later. First we need to spark the attention of the conscious mind. Attention has subdivisions of several types. In our case, we’ll make use of the bottom-up attention (this is the case when you suddenly focus on something unusual, catch someone’s gaze, etc.). It is the kind of attention that, say, store marketers try to win by a little unusual packaging or a brighter color.
Let’s proceed directly to the strategy. The club invites fans to help it for some intriguing reward. It hands them out the team’s jerseys with a large well-discernible kit sponsor writing saying #NYcosmos. They ask them to do tweets with this hashtag (to reach the hashtag top, we likewise use other means) and organize their appearance in groups to peacefully show up in public places and on mass transportation on the day of the game for several matchdays. A particular attention should be paid to places with educational institutions around.
To arrange an entertaining soccer flash mob will also prove to be effective. Starting from fairly simple stuff, as described in the beginning of the article, and ending with more original things, aimed at specific segments of the target audience.
Next, the club should demonstrate its social orientation, using social marketing (or to be more precise, cause-related marketing). Follow me on Twitter, in the short term I’m going to be talking about the difference between social marketing and cause-related marketing, as well as provide statistics on why it is a must-have for any brand, at least in the United States.
Back to the subject at hand. Social marketing is always fine if you do it the right way. But even better is that it is especially pleasant to deal with. It’s all about oxytocin, I’ve written a great deal on that. And it is an incredibly powerful tool to positively affect the fans and the team, as well as all the club’s staff members.
I think it would be very cool if the club becomes the initiator of the marathon in support of immigrants.
In the case of immigrants, we can recall that the club has been created by the very immigrants, the club’s chairman Rocco Commisso is an immigrant, and the club, as well as the city itself, is very friendly to diversity. The social marketing of this kind is very well accepted, and, as mentioned above, it is pleasant and useful to manage. It has to emphasize its American origin, at the same time being very friendly to diversity. For example, the possible motto of the campaign is “We are America. The country of immigrants”.
Of course, while selecting a motto, we should use neuromarketing tools to determine the reaction the phrase will provoke in an individual. Unfortunately, due to their inept handling of the migrants theme, many brands considerably reduced over the recent years the possibility of exploiting it, that’s why we need neuromarketing tools to create the most effective appeal to individuals.
To strengthen the association of a socially directed club, they’ve got to hold different tournaments under their name. It is crucial to add the name of the club to the title of such events, since it is well-known that only the active linkage with the name has an effect. By the way, Audi is actively following this kind of rule. If they have no opportunity to put their name into the title, they are not inclined to become sponsors.
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