Jon Siegel, FURNITURE WORLD Magazine's Account Executive Eastern Region, who has a background in sports management, says that, "it isn't difficult for furniture retailers to attract and keep the interest of sports fans. The highly publicized Jordan's Furniture promotion that resulted in 24,000 of Jordan's customers winning furniture is just one big example. This promotion generated a surge in business and publicity leading up to the Boston Red Sox's World Series win. It was reported that the insurer of the promotion paid out between 20 and 30 million dollars to consumers.
"There are less extravagant ways to attract attention," he continued. "Retailers need to be creative. For example, a New York area furniture retailer could use traditional media, in-store sig-nage and the powerful social networking tools discussed by Leslie Carothers in the November/December 2008 issue of FURNITURE WORLD to generate a sports fan following. It would be easy to start a hometown Linkedin usergroup, call it a support group, for spouses looking to spruce up their significant others' ugly sports dens. Another user group could feature furniture design tips for Ranger fans with children.
"Such a retailer might ask customers to enter a drawing to pick the correct number of strike-outs that starting a pitcher is going to throw. The winner could receive a 'sports fanatic' room make-over with Yankees themed furniture and accessories. If the Yankees get into the playoffs that year, the retailer might follow-up with a give-away by random drawing for themed merchandise, including a mix of upholstery, lamps, kids furniture, signed photos, pens, mugs, etc. The believable premise for the promotion could be that the storeowner is such a die hard fan that he or she has to do something to celebrate!
"Even straight-forward sales can be made to appeal to fans. Let's say that next year 'your team' makes the playoffs. Why not celebrate with a sale on select home theater groups that will make watching the big game more enjoyable? Round out the promotion by sending a mailer to your preferred customer list. Invite them to come to a kick-off party featuring new home theater merchandise. Entice them with a playoff ticket raffle and throw in a percent-off sale on promotable 'your team' merchandise, tee shirts and backpacks for the kids so that your team's fans, young and old, can enjoy this post season with all the cool gear.
"Or here's a lure. Run a series of radio ads saying, 'its 2009 all Texas Long Horn Fans. Receive an NCAA official pig skin football with any purchase of $500 or more for your college dorm or off campus home furnishings only at XYZ Furniture of Houston.'
"Stores in most areas of the country will be more successful promoting with collegiate or pro teams playing at the start of a new season or in post season play. College promos should be geared not just by playoff scenarios, but also by rivalry. When the Duke Blue Devils play the UNC Tar Heels, how about, 'Attention
Ten lesson audio presentation that will help you: TURN BROWSERS INTO BUYERS, FOLLOW -UP, LEARN WHAT TO SAY, TURN CUSTOMERS INTO CLIENTS, GET ORGANIZED AND GET REFERRALS. To learn more, go to www.furninfo.com/store & click on "Marketing of Me" Or Call 877-235-3095. See Order Form on Page 75 In this issue.
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