The New York Giants are in Super Bowl XLVI because its offense, defense and special teams are clicking at the right time of the season. But I have a feeling Giants fans – at least in the New York Tri-state area – are not clicking through email messages for its ecommerce site.
I got an email from “New York Giants Online Store ” on Sunday, one week after the New York Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers to reach the Super Bowl, and one week before “The Big Game” as every marketer who does not do business with the National Football League has to call the league’s championship.
The subject line was “Last Chance to Get Your Giants Gear Ready for the Super Bowl!” Being I was on a football high (I’m a lifelong fan of Big Blue), I had to open it. But I was not impressed with the offerings.
A similar headline – Last Chance for Super Bowl Gear – is printed above some funky looking football jerseys and some NFC Champions t-shirts. And the first thing that came to my mind: I live in Giants territory, I live a mile from a shopping mall, and if I really wanted apparel that reads “New York Giants, 2011 NFC Champions (I know it’s 2012, but it’s still the 2011 season),” I could wait until Super Bowl Sunday.
Okay, the real thing I thought was, “Why waste my money now when, if the Giants win the Super Bowl, there will be new merchandise in my neighborhood and the NFC Champions t-shirts will be on clearance… and if the Giants lose I probably don’t want to wear something that screams ‘We’re No. 2!'”
Now I know the Giants have farmed their ecommerce out, and as a member of what used to be called the season ticket waiting list, my name is now on file with TeamFan Shop (which was acquired last year by GSI Commerce, which was then acquired by eBay). And I also know email is a pretty inexpensive marketing tool.
But with the amount of Giants merchandise flooding the stores in and around Bridgeport and Stamford, CT, TeamFan Shop could have saved themselves some time by suppressing my zip code, as well as the zips of others in the New York metropolitan area.
Let’s look at last year’s matchup: Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay. There are fans of both teams in my neighborhood, but because they are not local teams to this market, you could not find team-branded Super Bowl merchandise on a store shelf, no matter how hard you look.
So if I’m a Giants fan living in Foxboro (or Foxborough), MA, and I get this email from New York Giants Online Store, I’m much more likely to open that email, click through and make a purchase.
Now, if the headline or the subject line let me know there was exclusive merchandise in the New York Giants Online Store that I would not have been able to find in my bricks and mortar environment, I’m clicking through.
And as it turns out, yes, there is a lot of merchandise in the New York Giants Team Store that I have not seen in local stores.
But as I thought about buying this particular cap, I started thinking, “I have several Giants hats, and I have several Giants t-shirts… If I am wearing this cap on Super Bowl Sunday, won’t it look like I just jumped on the bandwagon?”
So maybe persona marketing could have helped with this particular distribution. If TeamFan knew about my team affinity, my geographic data and the fact that I’m a cheapskate clearance shopper, they’d have skipped me all together.