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One brand represented at Customer Expo 2018 is responsible for keeping one of America’s oldest sports alive—a game older than football and baseball. That brand is the National Lacrosse League (NLL), which includes 12 teams from the United States and Canada that compete in men’s box lacrosse each year from December to June. (“Box” means indoor, so don’t worry about freezing at the games.)
Stephanie McGinley, the NLL’s Digital Communications manager, came to Expo 2018 to talk about how her company rose to its challenges with customer experience and engagement. She noted that the brand has teams across North America (seven in the United States and five in Canada), so engagement is as necessary as it is difficult. The NLL accordingly employs a multi-faceted strategy that includes engagement at the physical games and also online, particularly through social media and an OTT platform.
The 2017 launch of the OTT platform enabled fans to stream games live on Twitter, CBS Digital, and NLLTV.com. NLLTV has over 25,000 paid and free subscribers, each of whom gets an enhanced experience with behind-the-scenes footage, original programming (such as “ReLax”), and other exclusives. By 2018, these games were also available on Bleacher Report (B/R) Live. The NLL has leveraged the OTT platform to keep customers engaged. They can now watch their favorite team play, even when it’s hundreds of miles away or in another country.
The brand’s viewership has never been higher. In the past, the NLL had games broadcast on traditional digital channels like ESPN3 and Fox Sports Go. Since making the switch to streaming, viewership has quadrupled. The average Twitter Game of the Week brings in just under 350,000 viewers, while playoff games average over a million.
This boom in popularity has also been visible on social media. 2018 saw a 35 percent increase of impressions on Twitter and a 27 percent increase on Instagram. The fans are eager to share their passion for the league on their social accounts.
Pivotally, the NLL has ensured that its financial gains have been used to create customer experiences of increasing quality. The brand launched NLL Productions to keep up with the content. NLL Productions has a full production studio, based in Philadelphia, with three full-time producers on staff.
The NLL reports that ticket sales are increasing, and new sponsors have stepped forward. The brand is ever expanding, and it credits that success to its commitment to giving customers a complete, high-quality experience.
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