(The Storm Chasers - Dance Team for the Iowa Barnstormers and some fans: Ron, Rick, me, Michael...yes, there was a football game too.)
They say that all politics is local. If that is the case I'd submit to you that all marketing is local too.
Monday night the Iowa Barnstormers came back to life as an Arena Football League - 2 (AFL2) team. The team had been idle since 2001. The advertising and marketing leading up to this event was impressive.
The crowd at the Wells Fargo Arena (The Well) approached 10,000 people. It was a great crowd, lots of energy... The Barnstormers lost to the Lexington Horsemen 41/43 but there were other winners and losers. And much of it has to do with the other side of advertising - MARKETING.
The Fans - They got what they paid for: 2.5 hours of hard hitting arena football, lots of excitement, a great tailgating party before the game and many saw The Well for the first time and were impressed at what is one of the finest arenas in the Midwest.
Jeff Lamberti - One of the owners of the club Jeff has worked in front of and behind the scenes to bring this to the people of Iowa. And on Monday night he was there mixing with the fans. He was working the crowd at the tailgate, went up and down the steps shaking hands and talking to fans and asking, "So, what do you think?"
The Players - They were treated well and enjoyed opportunity to show off. For some of them it's been a long time since they put on a football uniform. Some of these guys have been out of college ball for a couple of years. It was a chance to "come back" to something they love. And, at $200 a game and a $50 bonus if they win...nobody wearing the uniform is getting rich.
Global Spectrum - These are the "out of town managers" of The Well and, as usual, they let the fans down...again. The service inside The Well is one of the major downfalls of the operation. Long lines of people, equipment that doesn't work and volunteers who are not organized. Add this together and you get those long lines and some very frustrated fans that missed most of a quarter of play...waiting for the next problem at The Well.
The Food - The food here is really, really bad. The issue here is Ovation the food service group. I've been a Iowa Stars Hockey season ticket holder for three years so this is not a new issue. Not long ago several of us traveled to the Quad Cities to see the Stars play the Quad City Flames. The arena was not as nice but the food choices were remarkable. Matt Holcombe of Global Spectrum told Jeff Lamberti he has never had a complaint. OK, Matt...here's one.
How are you treating your "Marketing Opportunities"? Are you listening to your customers? Making what changes you can to insure they have a positive experience? How you treat these marketing opportunities make all the difference.
People will buy a poor product that has great advertising...once. In this case people paid to see a pretty average football team. Will they come back? Maybe...but only if the supporting players measure up to the expectation.
So, your business or service: How many marketing opportunities do you miss, mis-read and what are you going to do about it?
Michael P. Libbie - Thanks for reading..