A programmer once told me how he looks to the future. If he’s concentrating on the 18-22-year-olds of today, he said, he’s looking at the media and tech habits of today’s 12-13-year-olds. I thought of that while I was reading about how one NFL team is reaching out to younger fans. The Indianapolis Colts: The first NFL team to reach its youngest fans on Kik:
“Those are our fans of the future, when they get older,” said Amber Derrow, the social media coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. “So, this fits that young teen demographic that we don’t really target at all right now.”
Kik has already been selling Promoted Chats for the past year, ad products that help brands accumulate followers and talk with them. Paul Gray, Kik’s director of platform services, said there have been more than 16 million messages shared between brands and fans. The chats are typically handled by messaging bots that can respond to users in a way that hopefully doesn’t come off as too robotic.
In the case of the Colts, the Promoted Chat is a game that takes followers through seven levels of a choose-your-own adventure story about rising through the football ranks from high school player to the pros.
Earlier this year I met with representatives of the Jacksonville Jaguars and learned about their UK efforts. There are plenty of impressive things going on in the NFL.