To best illustrate some ideas I have for the SF Deltas, I have created the creative concepts listed below.
These concepts can be expanded on with each member of the Deltas’ leadership team. To me, PR is a dynamic ecosystem where the Director of Comms serves as the conduit between the team and community to ensure a rich and engaging conversation. Conversations change direction; they pivot, repeat themselves, talk in circles, chant, shout and jump to random thoughts.
Open collaboration across all departments is critical to maintaining authentic conversations with our community, as is taking a back seat at times and simply amplifying what our community creates organically. A fully branded experience for fans during matches, community events, online, and at press events should serve as a conversation starter, not a distraction or single opinion.
Rules of Soccer Videos
Similar to MN United’s video explaining the ins and outs of NASL soccer, we create a series of videos that explains what the game is all about. Videos should be short (shorter than the example), funny, and above all else: clear.
Speaking w/o Language
The soul of soccer lives in movement and song. No matter where a fan is, or what language they speak, the music of the Deltas brand: the shouting, the whiff of the ball in the air, and the deep long breaths of our players as they run across the pitch should immerse our fans’ senses.
The Delta Call
Working with our fans, the Deltas develop a ‘Delta Call’ that is unique to our brand. From there, we get local celebrities, business owners, politicians, and fans to bring the ‘Delta Call’ to life on the streets of SF.
This may start with us filming videos of fans in various neighborhoods doing the call. Then, we encourage our fans to post videos of themselves doing the call to get a free shirt or ball.
I’d love to see a video of an elementary student standing nervously in front of her classroom, wearing a deltas shirt. The teacher looks at her and says, ‘Okay, you’re up.” The girl clears her throat and gives out a passionate’Delta Call’ – there’s silence for a second – and then the class erupts with a’Delta Call’ right back (and cheering!). The Delta logo appears above the girl’s smiling face.
Or a very simple video of our logo with a team chanting our call that goes up on Instagram.
The idea here is to create a signature call that transcends language and instantly builds community. Once we have it, I can create a promotional campaign that puts this call in front of media outlets in interesting ways. Example: get a local newscaster to do the call during the 6pm news on the day of our season opener.
Using cartoons and languageless ads are old devices used in marketing since the 70’s . We’ll give it a new spin and use these devices to appeal to younger audiences and social media users for immediate, absorbable messaging that doesn’t rely on any specific language.
10-30 second graphic and cartoon-based game recaps, presented as gifs.
Longer promo videos on social media should have a mix of music, graphics, and fans cheering. Focus on capturing the Deltas’ energy, not specific messages.
Each player and coaching staff has a cartoon alter-ego created. Before the season starts, each cartoon video lasts 30 seconds.
Before the season starts, we launch cartoon videos on social media of each player “singing” their backstory. The cartoon player is front and center playing soccer and slowly growing up from childhood to playing at Kezar. The background changes rapidly in a nod to Mission-style murals, with the player’s hometown, neighborhood, parents, etc. morphing behind him. Final shot morphs the cartoon into a smiling shot of the player. The player gets to choose the music in each video – similar to a ‘walk up song’.
During the season, we can post these videos immediately to social whenever the player makes a big play, which gives us a little time before we post the actual replay. It also gives fans a chance to make an emotional connection to the player before seeing the replay.
Postseason, we can commemorate each players’ greatest plays of the season with 10-30 second cartoon gifs. These can also include the coaching staff and fans reactions to these plays. We can tag the opposing teams in our social posts of these replays with some good natured banter: Thanks for the memories!
Kezar gets the cartoon treatment too. In a cartoon world, the energy of a stadium is captured, not the stadium’s age or weather conditions…
The idea here is to have our videos and graphics reposted and reblogged by fans and media outlets as much as possible. Bonus points if these are featured in art & design blogs. There are also plenty of ways we can integrate this cartoon campaign with our kids’ merchandise.
Each seating section at Kezar is named after an SF neighborhood. Various in-game promos target different seating sections’ neighborhood personalities. Each game focuses on a new neighborhood to spotlight. In the week leading up to a game, we target a specific neighborhood with community events promotions. During the game, we should video clips of those neighborhood events. We can also make commemorative tickets with mural-style art depicting each neighborhood on the tickets as well.
Press Release: SF Deltas Celebrate San Francisco’s Culture with Neighborhood Seating Sections.
Diversity in Bay Area Pro Sports
I want to celebrate the diversity of the Deltas’ leadership team as much as possible. It’s rare to have such a diverse leadership team in a Bay Area startup and professional sport. But the Deltas are making this happen so seamlessly that hardly anyone is noticing. This year, players across all sports have call attention to racial equality. While women’s professional soccer has brought fair pay to the forefront of media attention.
A Bigger Conversation
This year, players across all sports have call attention to racial equality, police brutality, and peaceful activism. While women’s professional soccer has brought fair pay to the forefront of media attention.
I would like to create a press event where our entire leadership team makes statements about how the Deltas embrace diversity internally, on the pitch, and in the community. The event can be in coordination with other local tech companies who are committed to creating an even playing field for everyone in sports and tech (Airbnb, Salesforce, and Facebook are leaders in the charge) as well as the National Diversity Council. At the event, we announce that _xx_ tickets will be given to various youth programs that serve diverse populations in our community such as the Boy and Girls club and San Francisco LGBT Community Center.
Deltas Season Opener Gala
Formal event the week of our first game of the season against the San Jose Earthquakes. We invite our inaugural season ticket holders, sponsors, leadership team, players, coaching staff (of the Deltas and Quakes).
Create a Fitbit account for different members of our leadership team, coaching staff, and players where we invite fans to connect on Fitbit’s platform to play challenges against the Deltas. Players can encourage fans and talk about their dedication to training.
Press Release: SF Deltas Engage with Fans by Counting Steps
Pitched to fitness blogs, Men’s/Women’s Health Magazine, and Sports-Tech blogs
Corporate Wellness Partnerships
This could also fit into a larger partnership with local tech companies corporate wellness programs where the staff of a company like Airbnb can meet the Deltas team for a workout on Kezar’s pitch a few days before a match. Then, the company would have tickets to the next upcoming match. Being true to our team’s values, we would also include local youth groups to participate for free.
Press Release: SF Deltas Finds Fans in Corporate Wellness Programs
Pitched to fitness blogs, Men’s/Women’s Health Magazine, and Sports-Tech blogs
Travel & Destination Press
Promote the Deltas’ 2017 season to travel blogs
- Airbnb blog
- Time Out San Francisco
- Trip Advisor
Local Family Bloggers and Meetup Groups
Pitch Deltas games and community events as the best family-friendly activity in San Francisco.
The devil’s in the details here, as is measuring success or failure metrics to optimize performance. With more information about how the team works, I’d love to draw up a complete campaign (and implementation plan).