Georgetown Athletics: Making Marketing Great Again

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With a full-time staff of one person, Georgetown is using creative methods to engage fans and promote their department

From unique bobbleheads to exciting fan cams, Georgetown's marketing team has been crushing it. Image via Georgetown Athletics

From unique bobbleheads to exciting fan cams, Georgetown’s marketing team has been crushing it. Image via Georgetown Athletics

In an era where fans are on their phones as soon as the action in a game stops, finding creative ways to attract their attention and get them to engage with something outside of a text, Tweet or Facebook post has become increasingly difficult.

While the space between whistles has become cluttered by noise, one program in particular is finding a creative way to cut through it with the help of one of their partners.

Led by Chris Grosse, Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing, Georgetown Athletics has used their partnership with Xerox to create a fan cam that has all but set the bar for branded activations.

“Last year we had Xerox come on as a partner and they needed a feature at the basketball games and one of my interns came up with the idea of, ‘Copy that Dance’ and I thought that was really creative and Xerox really liked it,” said Grosse. “We played a bunch of music videos and asked the fans to copy the dance. Fans really enjoyed it, but this year we wanted to take it to another level by doing something truly unique.”

Instead of using the atypical dance or kiss cam, Grosse and his staff built off of what they had learned last year, retooled, and released the “Copy that Scene” cam at all Hoya men’s basketball games this year.

“We told our sponsorship people about the idea of changing it to copy that scene and they were onboard with the concept. From there, we ran with it and have seen it take off,” added Grosse. “It started with the Titanic scene and expanded from there. Since other teams have created Lion King cams, I drew inspiration from that idea and decided to look at other iconic movies, TV and situational scenes.”

Only five games into the season, all signs point to the cam being a slam-dunk. Even Grosse himself has seen an increased amount of fan engagement both in the venue and on social media, something that he takes pride in.

“For us, it isn’t just about the experience during the game, it is also about creating something that fans will share on social media after the game,” said Grosse. “It has been a lot of fun and the fans have been great and have gotten into it with their improvisation which has been awesome to see.”

Not only has the cam been a hit, it has also been one of the easiest parts of the game mix to execute for Grosse and his staff of assistants and volunteers. As the only full-time marketing employee, activations like this have proved extremely valuable for a man with hardly enough time to catch his breath during a game.

“I am the only full-time marketing person here so I am pulled every which way when games are underway. From handling social media, to monitoring the headset to make sure the game producers are executing correctly, my time and attention is spread out across multiple areas. The ‘Copy that Scene’ aspect of the game is great for me because it is simple to execute and creates a ton of fan interaction,” explained Grosse. “All I have to do is come up with a scene, find a clip, and then I have a marketing assistant who creates the frame. After that, we send it over to the people at the Verizon Center and they implement it.”

While the “Copy the Scene” cam might be what most people see, Grosse and his team are known for creating crisp and relevant content to promote their department in a fun and engaging way. With a “uniform reveal” and their creation of marketing specific shoes, they take time out of their day to add some fun to the grind that is working in sports.

From the Titanic to Peanuts, to a cam that pays homage to the crazy uncle we all encounter at Thanksgiving, Grosse and his staff have overcome the restrictions of a small budget to create something that has added value to a partnership, given fans a lasting memory and, at least for the moment, a good reason to look up from their phone.