September 30, 2009
Txtstation gets college sports fans to engage with CBS and Burger King
Quick-service restaurant giant Burger King is sponsoring CBS College Sports’ on-air polls and quizzes urging viewers to text in to engage with the network.
CBS tapped Txtstation to power the on-air SMS voting platform, currently running during all NCAA football games televised on the network. Computer giant IBM was the first sponsor when CBS College Sports initially rolled out the text-poll program for March Madness at the end of the last NCAA basketball season.
“We did some testing of the on-air SMS polls with Txtstation during the NCAA basketball season, and it worked out really successfully, so we geared up over the summer to approach the college football season full bore,” said Mike Jaquet, vice president of sales at CBS College Sports, New York.
“We got the technology installed for football games this fall, which adds to production value, drives revenue from sponsorships and allows us to gauge viewership based on the number of texts we get each game,” he said.
“Getting people to respond to questions via text messaging engages them and lets us monitor viewing in a unique way.”
Burger King, also known as BK, is a global chain of fast-food restaurants headquartered in Miami, FL, with more than 11,550 outlets in 71 countries.
Burger King Holdings Corp. is its publicly traded parent company, with the investment firms TPG Capital, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners each owning about 25 percent.
This is not Burger King’s first foray into mobile marketing.
The QSR chain has developed a mobile commerce iPhone application, tested location-based mobile advertising, run on-deck mobile advertising with carrier partners, launched a branded mobile game and teamed with MVNO Virgin Mobile USA for ringtones.
College sports fans love to text
CBS College Sports Network is a multimedia network and the first dedicated exclusively to college sports 24 hours a day. It consists of a digital television service seen in more than 35 million homes via cable, satellite, http://www.collegesports.com and its network of 215 official college Web sites.
The average age of a CBS College Sports viewer is around 35, meaning that many of its audience members are college graduates, a sought-after demographic for brands.
The network’s core demographic is males ages 18-49, and it indexes highly in African-American viewers. CBS claims that its viewers have a propensity to buy luxury items.
CBS College Sports also contributes a significant amount of content to CBS Mobile.
Volkswagen's Audi brand launched a mobile campaign earlier this year as the first brand sponsor of the CBS Sports iPhone application.
The CBS College Sports network will televise 40 NCAA Division I football games this year, and the company’s goal is to get on-air SMS polls into every game.
Various questions come on screen during televised games, usually two or three times per game. Fans choose between three or four responses, each of which has a dedicated short code. They are asked to text in their preferred response to the short code 55333.
The logo from each sponsor—in this case, Burger King—appears within the on-screen SMS poll graphic, and one of the on-air personalities announcing the game reads a message from the sponsor as well.
Eventually, CBS College Sports wants to ramp up the SMS initiatives with Burger King and other sponsors to take advantage of the text-back technology that Txtstation offers, letting brands text back ask for a double-opt-in to send additional infroamtion and offers.
"CBS College is a joy to work with because they do a great job of executing the texting element," said Michael Falato, vice president of sales and business development for Txtstation, Austin, TX. "They always over deliver for their brands and deliver a great broadcast."
As fans text in to the on-air short code, Txtstation updates the results in real time while the graphic is still on the TV screen, giving the viewers live results to the poll.
“The unique thing about Txtstation, I can see results grow on screen after I text in, which makes it much more engaging for fans,” Mr. Jaquet said. “In this world of a desire for instant gratification, this provides that in real time as people are watching the on-screen graphic.
“It’s something Txtstation offers that no one else offers,” he said. “This partnership with Txtstation is one of our first forays into engaging with fans through the mobile space.
“We’ve seen great results so far and we expect to do more going forward.”