The New York Cosmos Want You!

Cosmos

Do you remember the New York Cosmos? Probably not – but not to worry, they’re coming back. The famous soccer club of the 70’s is being rebuilt from the ground up. Legend Pele is the Honorary President. King Cantona and Cobi Jones are Directors of Soccer. They don’t have a team or a league yet but they are busy marketing and communicating. Their jerseys are for sale. They are on Times Square billboards. They have grassroots young players games and training camps. They are smart–they know that a soccer team is actually more than 11 people. They need the fans. Scratch that – they need zealots. NY Cosmos needs tens of thousands of people obsessing about the game – waking up with it, talking about it, posting about it, screaming about it.

So, they are turning to New Yorkers and proposing them a new reason to live. As their CMO and Director of Communications recently shared at the PSFK conference, the new team behind NY Cosmos is trying to create a brand that will start a movement and give way to the club, rather than the other way around. They have a six-act play in turning New Yorkers into an extension of their team:

1- There is no longer old and new, there’s just good and bad or real and fake. NY Cosmos is good and it’s real. It has a modern day significance with a strong heritage. 

2- Provenance trumps personality: The Cosmos are from NY – a mega metropolitan with immigrant populations from every imaginable corner of the world. To appeal to a broader base, the Cosmos are marketing NY to a global landscape through soccer. 

3- New York City is their #1 player: the NY Cosmos brand is closely aligned with New York City. There may not be a team in place yet, but aspirational ads are up on Times Square, the heart of the city. This one was up on Pele’s birthday, to promote a series of promotional activities the club was organizing. [[posterous-content:mAtkfvcwCfzvDnnduxBe]]4- Dream big and make it happen: Through sports gear (vintage and new), the club is putting the Cosmos shirts on New Yorkers backs. This is not just to spread brand fame through fashion, but also to create a broader team and to generate street buzz. Check out the club’s Web site with photos of fans from the streets of NY. 

5. Honoring the fans: The Cosmos is not an elusive brand. They want to honor their hardcore fans and recruit at a grassroots level. The club is embracing those amateurs who had been gathering with their friends to play. The games already have the flavor of NY’s global span. Where else are you going to get Albanians, Greeks, Mexicans and the Polish play on the same team?

6. Always do more than you say: The Cosmos Academy offers young, aspiring players a chance to train for free. The club is not just for those who can afford the tickets. It’s truly for the love of soccer.

Many brands want to tap into the power of advocates and mobilize them, but few have the luxury to start with a base of hardcore believers who share the same passion and code. Having an active fan base  makes the franchise all the more valuable to potential buyers. Once they meet M.L.S. requirements, NY Cosmos can really take off with New Yorkers’ support and enthusiasm. 

Posted via email from Speaking of Social Media

What Will Happen By 2015?

We know what will happen in 2011. Marketing plans are ready. Teams are staffing up for research, ideation, and launches. There will be news of acquisitions, hostile takeovers, and inventions. We will need to be nimble enough to respond to these ad-hoc changes. Yet we truly need to plan for the future, not just for today and tomorrow. We need to start thinking about how content, distribution technologies and audience behavior will change by 2015. The following are predictions on the landscape shifts that will become increasingly defined within the next five years.

Content:

1- Short entertainment will be standard on phones: Audiences prefer short excerpts to long exposes. Most people do not like to read. Many of us need to or would like to stay in the know. With the advent of tablets and mobile broadband, we will read 300-500 word stories on our smart phones. Since online video will be near ubiquitous, content providers will produce more infotainment clips and rely on visual communications to tell stories in creative, succinct ways. 

2- We will arrange the features on your favorite Web sites: We will see click and drag web sites. The content management systems will move to the front end from backend. Brands and news portals will have a better understanding of their users’ preferences and have the chance to improve on their services.

Audience:

3- CSR audiences will be more demanding: Generation G (giving) will scrutinize philanthropy and CSR efforts more closely.  Donating two to 10 percent of proceeds to a cause will not be enough. They will expect more creative approaches from brands that produce tangible results and offer meaningful engagement. 

4- Information filters and organizers will regain popularity: People will use filters to organize their ever-growing list of contacts and prioritize among them. Instead of switching to 50-people networks, such as Path.com, online audiences will defer to new group and folder features on their Facebook pages.

Distribution:

5- Facebook will turn people info into business (and it won’t be just advertising): Facebook will fight with Amazon and smaller players like Yelp to be a word of mouth search engine. The vast amount of personal information it collects will continue to help marketers map out consumer preferences based on social connections and profile details. Privacy battles and issues will continue. Users will search for experience-based recommendations and listings within their extended networks. 

6- Google will become a content distributor: Google will expand its e-stores to include music, movies and clips, creating a vast indie market online. Audience ratings on these pieces of content will be added to Google algorithms.

7- Word of mouth marketing will become more precise: Marketers will successfully target beyond the inner/immediate circle of influencers. Our understanding of second and third cycles of word of mouth will improve. There will be more sophisticated program offerings to mobilize crowds and offer innovative products/services to a wider range of influencers.

 

Posted via email from dotwom’s posterous

Positive Deviance – A Perspective on Innovation

Recently I was theorizing for an anti-smoking campaign to change attitudes, increase intention, perceived risk, perceived benefit, behavior, etc. I wish I had thought about ‘positive deviance’ when thinking of ways to inform influencers and mobilize people to say no to smoking.

According to what I read in a recent announcement from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio, positive deviance suggests that ‘in every organization or community, there are people who solve problems better than peers who have exactly the same resources.’ The RWJF article quotes from a CDC announcement that explains how positive deviance was instrumental in reducing the number of infections in hospitals, as certain individuals figured out highly efficient ways to discard infected gloves and clothing.

This is the crux of innovation – when someone figures out a better way of doing things and paves the way for others. It could also be a new dimension in influencer research. When looking for those who are more outspoken and convincing than others, we could also study their approaches to problem solving.