How Stony Brook University Uses SMS to Deliver Value to Its Sponsors

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Stony Brook’s athletic program gives revenue generation a boost by offering sponsors visibility across campus and connecting them with thousands of leads.

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Stony Brook University is a public university located 60 miles outside of New York City. With close to 26,000 students, SBU is one of the most popular colleges in the state.

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When sponsors approached SBU’s Athletic Department looking to advertise to students, they needed a way to help provide higher value to encourage larger sponsorships.

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Stony Brook University was able to secure over 2,000 phone numbers that they could share with sponsors thanks to their text-to-win giveaway strategy.

Van Wagner is a full service mutli-media rights holder and campus marketing partner for over 37 universities and conferences across the country.  They create and execute creative on campus marketing programs for local, regional and national businesses.

So when one of Van Wagner’s Account Executives, Jessica Fallica, partnered with Stony Brook University’s athletic department, she immediately got to work, figuring out how to capitalize on the enthusiasm and engagement of the student body.  

When a client approached Jessica needing a mechanism to capture data to market a new insurance product, the idea of text-enabled sporting event giveaways was born. 

We connected with Jessica and her Stony Brook team to learn more about their SMS-based sponsorship strategy and how colleges around the country can replicate this approach with their own corporate sponsors.

Keeping Long-Term Sponsorship Campaigns Engaging Thanks to SMS

As any good salesperson knows, the more value you can deliver your sponsors, the more likely they are to continue their investment. 

And college campuses offer a unique opportunity to connect brands with students. 

Jessica and her team wanted to capitalize on the university’s unique position to connect these two audiences through a text-to-win contest. 

Here’s how she did it.

Determine the Prize

The athletic program’s top sponsor puts together a prize pack for students. For example, with Stony Brooks’s first contest, a local Chevy dealership offered a brand new car to one lucky winner who would get the chance to shoot a trick shot to win it!

Currently, they’re running a giveaway with Liberty Mutual offering a prize pack including gift cards, a customized jersey, and basketball season tickets.

Create a Keyword

Next up, Jessica creates a keyword. (A short word or phrase that, when texted in to a phone number, enters a student into the contest). 

Students give their permission to receive marketing and promotional material from the sponsor by texting in the keyword. This is made clear in the terms and conditions of the contest. 

Run the Contest

Now for the good part. During each basketball game of the season, Stony Brook’s athletic department advertises their keywords and contests on the big screens, encouraging attendees to text in to win. Once the students text the keyword, they are automatically asked for follow-up information, including their name and email address. 

SimpleTexting’s text-to-win contest receives all entries associated with the contest, randomizes them, and even selects and notifies a winner.

Thank you for entering the Fans4SBU Fall 2020 sweepstakes. Your entry is complete! Click here for official rules:

Exchange the Information

Once the contest is over, Stony Brook shares the information collected on the sponsor’s behalf. 

They get a boost to their marketing database, and the university is able to up the ante on their top sponsorship tier thanks to the added deliverables. It’s a win-win!

Replicating The Model

Jessica has a few parting words of wisdom for any educational institution on the fence about offering text-to-win competitions to sponsors.

“SMS has been really great, and I think it’s something that would be useful with other colleges and universities, especially within athletics. They’re [athletic departments] are always trying to find new ways to collect data for sponsors. So it definitely makes sense.

The ability to run your own text-to-win contest comes included with every SimpleTexting account. 

Give us a try for free (seriously, no credit card required) to test it out with your sponsors!

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