Forever Collectibles Inc. (FOCO) is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of licensed merchandise in the world. They have partnerships with all of the major sports franchises (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, etc.) as well as entertainment franchises such as DC Comics, Game of Thrones, & Stranger Things. FOCO has traditionally sold most of their manufactured products to a variety of other resellers, Fanatics.com for example. However, FOCO recently launched an e-commerce website, FOCO.com, with goals of building FOCO brand awareness and increasing direct to consumer sales. FOCO hired Today’s Business in June of 2019 to help them develop and manage an affiliate marketing program. By July, things were off to a great start and the program was booming. The collaboration between both teams was outstanding and FOCO knew that Today’s Business was ready for the next big challenge.
But this year FOCO had two new products, Christmas-themed Pajamas and Hoodeez that they knew would be a hit this year if marketed correctly.
With the successful launch of the e-commerce website and the recent addition of the affiliate program, FOCO was ready to invest in a campaign designed to build the FOCO brand. Here were the challenges that needed to be addressed:
How can we leverage the holidays and seasonal products to build our brand?
How can we get the best bang for our buck using athletes? How can we get athletes to properly fulfill their obligations while they are in the middle of their season?
How do we differentiate from the other licensed sports merchandisers out there?
With a lot of challenges, FOCO turned to Today’s Business to help create a campaign that could help the brand reach its goals. Knowing the NFL and evaluating the products that FOCO had, we knew that the way to compete here, create a buzz, and see a return we would have to appeal to women and families. In collaboration with FOCO, we created the #FOCOFamily campaign.First, we analyzed FOCO’s Google Analytics alongside 3rd party data to analyze each team’s fan equity and social equity or how much money they spend on their teams and how much they support their teams on social. We created a ranking for all of these teams based on this data. Once we had identified what teams should be the main focus we turned to the players. This is where things got a bit more complex.
By reviewing this information we were able to select the athletes who would produce the best content for the campaign and who would resonate most with our target audience. Also, we knew that by getting families involved this would appeal to athletes who post family content and we would be able to pitch this to our network of athletes as a great opportunity for them to produce great content that their fans would engage with while also getting paid. This method helped us recruit over 100% more athletes than we had guaranteed in our proposal and also helped secure fantastic rates.
Securing the athletes was step one in the campaign but we knew to truly drive results we would need to have the ability to repurpose this content for advertisements. Anybody who is in the social media marketing industry knows that organic reach has been in decline since Facebook updated its algorithm in 2018. Social media is a “pay to play” space for advertisers so we knew that organic reach wouldn’t be enough to move the needle. We made sure we contracted content usage rights for all of our athletes so that we could run advertisements on social media.
While this campaign was going on we still had our affiliate team working tirelessly bringing everything full circle. We did product placement to get the product featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. We used the content from the athletes to help secure big publishers such as FanSided, SBNation, and more.
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