QR Code Marketing for Sports Teams

Guest Post by Brandon Bailey Sometimes genius is found in desperation. I find that my best fits on insanity have led me to the edge of my mind in all areas, including my creative bounds. I don’t like Gatorade as an actual drink, but I love their marketing campaign calling for evolution, you know the one. Dr. Naismith and peach baskets in black and white to Jordan and his sneakers flying through the air.

I bought an iPhone, this is not that big of a deal in the process of evolution, in fact, it is an iPhone 4, so I am currently behind the trend coming to the world in June when the iPhone 5 hit stores. Regardless this new phone gives me capabilities I never had before. By now we’ve all heard of Apps for any number of uses and reasons, my previous phone served me well, but it was arcane in many ways, most notably I could only use it to take calls, text messages, and pictures.

This new phone came to me in the weeks after I’d applied to be the head coach of a Division III wrestling team. Seemingly unrelated, until we get to the bottom of the connection.

I was not a national champion, I was not an All-American, I was not even a national qualifier during my time in college, and considering I wrestled Division III I knew I had to bring the kitchen sink to this interview. I did the requisite stuff, I made copies of my resume, got my suit cleaned, bought a new shirt and tie, combed my hair, the stuff mom tells you to do.

I am really confident in my wrestling skill set, and my physical training skill set is what separates me from other coaches; but I needed a thing, a gimmick when it came to marketing the sport on a small campus that is overrun with Greek life. Seeing the affluent nature of the school I took a chance to suppose that more than 75% of the student body is equipped with smart phones.

Smart phones are not just phones, but supercomputers that sit in your hand. Beating my head against the wall brought the advent of the QR Code ambush. You know, those weird looking squares that people can scan to take them right to a website to tell them more about something else.

Kinda like this:

SCAN ME NOW!

You don’t know where this is taking you, but you think just enough of the people that posted the image to be curious. Once you’re curious you want to learn more, once you want to learn more I got you where I want you.

It’s easy, I can tempt you with words that simply read, “Go ahead, scan me, I DARE YOU”. Simple enough and for a sport filled with proud people this is tailor made for wrestlers that never back down from a dare. It also works really well with curious college girls and boys that just have too much time on their hands. And those kids that look too young that they have their own smart phone, yeah, this works on them too.

Using QR codes (or any code system that can be scanned on a smart phone) is a simple process, one that I found to take little more know how than to hop onto a browser and get moving on the internet.

There are two key pieces of content you need to make this work. 1-You need a code generator. I use http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ 2- You need a landing site that will house the information you want to get to people.

The process is very easy. Figure out what you want to market, maybe an article, maybe a highlight, maybe a video, find the web address of the determined site and copy the web address. Next go to the code generator page and paste the web address into the area provided. Click generate and you have an image specific to you and your needs that you can store as am image. You can place the image in print media, in a PDF file, or even use it as a main image on a website for real interactive information that the user controls.

If your landing site is something generic like a team website you can reuse the image

over and over again to give people a fresh look at the site and keep your program relevant in their minds.

I didn’t get the coaching job, but I did gain insight into new ways we can market wrestling. Especially easy and free ways to market wrestling.

QR Code marketing is a great way to reach people, especially the growing population of smart phone users that want ways to interact with their information.

Brandon Bailey is an assistant wrestling coach at York College of Pennsylvania. He is passionate about his sport and finding new ways to grow it. Find him on Twitter @BBYork

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