CRM in Action: Racing to Win Customers

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Challenge: Open to the public only three weekends a year, Michigan International Speedway (MIS) is that state's largest sports venue--and has just seven chances each season to generate sales. The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series is hosted at the speedway once in June and once in August, and has sold out every year for the past 14 years. For MIS's July race weekend and support races, however, successful ticket sales are not always as promising. Additionally, since many fans buy tickets at the racetrack on the event date, obtaining customer information is virtually impossible. "We wanted to build a database so we could market to them in the future," says Keith Karbo, director of marketing for MIS, "and also know more about them in general so we could be smarter about our communication." Solution: MIS looked to ePrize, an interactive promotion firm, for an effective marketing strategy. By distributing an e-decoder game piece to event-goers at the speedway, as well as at other sporting events and venues via the MIS Mobile Ticket Office, customers are encouraged to visit a Web site that will enter them in a contest. First, however, the individual must register and provide some demographic information. The game may be played as frequently as once per day, and with each subsequent visit to the site a different marketing question is asked of the customer. "It's a great way to do a survey and allow the participants to have fun while doing it," Karbo says, emphasizing the fact that the more times a person plays, the better the odds of winning the end prize. "Hopefully, we'll become more than just a three-week-long entity in their mind," he says.
Results: Since using ePrize, MIS has collected nearly 45,000 names, a majority of which has opted-in to receive additional information from the company. Karbo says the initiative has provided an increase in traffic to the Web site, as well as a good base of individuals to send future targeted communications to.
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