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7 ways the Portland Trail Blazers tackle digital challenges

iMedia Editors
7 ways the Portland Trail Blazers tackle digital challenges iMedia Editors
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Treating everything as native advertising


In the fast-paced world of sports, rarely does content have a long shelf life. Fans are always looking to the next bit of player news, the next game, event, or trade. With so much content moving so quickly, how do the Portland Trail Blazers take on marketing? By treating everything as a native ad. From the online experience to the game itself, everything is designed to get you to buy the next ticket or become a more passionate fan.


Recognizing the dangers of content overload


Sports move so quickly that the amount of content being generated for fans is overwhelming. While there's no loss of appetite coming from their audience, the Trail Blazers recognize that, from a digital perspective, it's extremely important to curate content in a way that ensures they are putting out only the best, most relevant material, not just everything. There's such a thing as oversaturation.


Dan Harbison, senior director of digital for the Portland Trail Blazers, spoke to iMedia about why native advertising and content is key to their overall marketing strategy.


(Editor's note: Since this video was filmed, Harbison has transitioned to a role as head of new media for Caesars Entertainment.)


Taking on dual roles: Content creation and analytics


Digital and big data are requiring that content marketing leaders take on an analytics role to inform their creative investments. It is no different for the Portland Trail Blazers. Their marketing team has recognized the importance of wearing multiple hats. It's not good enough anymore to be a one trick pony. Analytics expertise needs to inform content marketing decisions.


Refining the art of internally shopping good ideas


Taking on dual roles as content creators and analytics gatherers presents an age-old challenge: how to shop new ideas in-house for consensus and support. Data can provide new information, which might cause a marketer to invest in a radical idea supported by analytics. How do you present it to your team? It's a challenge we can all relate to and merits attention.


Dan Harbison continued our conversation by explaining why his team was wearing these multiple hats and tackling the difficult issue of vetting new ideas.


Putting infrastructure in place to improve the mobile experience


The Portland Trail Blazers are looking to make their mobile experience as satisfying as possible. They want fans to be on their app as they are watching their games, either live or at home. Because of this, they are investing greatly in putting the infrastructure in place in their arenas in preparation to launch version 2.0 of the mobile app.


Completely redesigning the website


A major site redesign is coming to accommodate and compliment the upcoming new mobile experience. This is an opportunity to eliminate outdated functions and incorporate more current techniques, such as responsive design.


Shifting the social strategy to accommodate story


The Portland Trail Blazers see their social presence as content marketing. While their first priority was establishing themselves on a multitude of social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), their next step is to find the stories on each of them and determine how they can work together. Each social platform necessitates a unique, creative approach.


Dan Harbison ended our conversation by speaking about why these touchpoints were the most exciting opportunities he saw moving forward for the Portland Trail Blazers brand.



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"Basketball ball in male hands" image via Shutterstock.

iMedia Editors

iMedia Communications, Inc. is a trade publisher and event producer serving interactive media and marketing industries. The company was founded in September of 2001 and is a subsidiary of Comexposium USA.  ...

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