Read in Spanish: BYU Marketing demuestra que ‘cada partido es un partido de local’
BYU seems to own the phrase “every game a home game” because of the large number of BYU fans around the world. The BYU athletics marketing team has come up with new ways to reach and engage with those fans.
David Almodova, BYU Athletics assistant director of marketing & promotions, has the opportunity to constantly work on new and exciting projects that have the ability to ignite fans’ excitement.
One project, which happened to be his favorite, was a social media marketing campaign called BYU50. The campaign started six years ago when 25 BYU merchandise boxes were dropped all over the state of Utah in one day. BYU Athletics posted photos that hinted at the locations of the dropped boxes on social media and swarms of people showed up to claim each box.
“The feedback we got from other fans around the country was very overwhelming,” Almodova said. “So the second year, we went nationwide with it and pulled off all 50 states.”
BYU collaborated with Nike to present BYU swag boxes that were dropped in at least one city in every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. Tennessee was one state in particular that produced a lot of fan engagement.
Seth Killingbeck serves on the BYU Alumni Board and currently lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his family. He has been connected with Almodova for almost a decade and was chosen as a contact for the Tennessee drop.
Fans in middle Tennessee were hungry for the prizes and went to extravagant lengths to claim BYU50 boxes. Friends of Killingbeck were suspicious of his involvement in the campaign and even lingered around his house to follow him to the box drop location.
“There was almost a car wreck in downtown Nashville that year,” Killingbeck said. “One guy pulled across three to four lanes of oncoming traffic to try to be the first one to the box.”
The overwhelmingly enthusiastic responses from fans in Tennessee and other states proved that the marketing team could entertain fans across the country from an office in Provo.
Killingbeck took part in other marketing events that have been incredibly successful to out-of-state fans. In the summer of 2019, BYU Fan Fest came to middle Tennessee. This proved to be a great way to spark interest for fans to attend the game in Knoxville, Tennessee, since BYU played the University of Tennessee in September 2019.
“We had fans and families that came from surrounding states,” Killingbeck said. “There was even a family who drove all night from Florida.”
There was a tremendous turnout from BYU fans at the game in September. The BYU Alumni Association held a tailgate that an estimated 4,500 to 5,000 fans attended.
Killingbeck’s wife, Gretchen, had designed a shirt displaying word “y’all” and the stretch Y logo that sold for months leading up to, during and after the tailgate. Many of the thousands of fans that attended the game wore the shirt and sparked a lot of buzz.
“The feedback on the tailgate has been very gratifying,” Killingbeck said. “It took a lot of work from a lot of people to pull that off.”
BYU Marketing captured fans attention across the nation with the social media series Behind the Game. The series gave fans an inside scoop on each home game and select away games. It featured exclusive content from Cougar Canyon and the locker room as well as players and coaches. It gave fans who were unable to attend a chance to feel like they were a part of game day.
“It was really to reach those fans that weren’t local,” said Joel Marion, a senior from Greeley, Colorado, and series cohost.
Marion said he thoroughly enjoyed being the social media talent that was able to reach so many fans. Over the course of the season, the series had 4.4 million impressions and 2 million more impressions than the second-best campaign that BYU Cougars social media had put out.