Louisville Slugger Social Media Giveaway All-Star Game Analysis

Louisville Slugger tried a social media scavenger hunt to promote the brand during the All Star Game pre-game events in Kansas City on Sunday July 8th.  I followed the tweets and facebook posts, and have some analysis to provide for those that are interested in social media marketing.

First of all, here are the scavenger hunt game details.  Louisville Slugger was giving out 12 special blue All-Star Game bats at undisclosed locations throughout Kansas City starting at 1:00 PM Sunday.  You needed to follow them on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sluggernation or follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/louisvilleslugger in order to get clues on the location and to learn what the secret password was when you arrived at the secret location.   If you didn’t win one, and many did not, the $79 dollar commemorative 2012 All Star Game Bat can still be purchased at the mlb store.  Here’s a photo of the bat that was given out.

It all started with
this tweet.  Let the bat hunt begin.  Six or seven hours later, after all 12 bats were given out, the game was over.

They started out at the Plaza, moved into downtown, then to Belton, Overland Park, Shawnee, The Legends, Zona Rosa in the Northland, The Sports Authority, then back downtown to the All Star Game Fan Fest at Bartle Hall.  

Here are a few points of interest.  Those who followed Louisville Slugger on Twitter were privy to the clues and information before anyone else.  Checking hash tags, or loading slugger nation on Twitter.com seemed delayed.  The Facebook page was the last to be updated, so there was a real advantage in having your tweet-stream front and center if you wanted to win. Sorry facebookers, Twitter won the information war today.  Don’t know if that was on purpose or on accident, but the fact remains.  Here’s one angry Facebooker.  

Was it effective?  What did they gain?   How is Louisville Slugger going to measure success?  

Let’s dive into the cost.  Let’s assume the bats cost 50% of the retail price.  I’m sure it’s much less, since they manufacture the bats themselves, but let’s assume 50%.  That means the cost of the bats is $79 retail * 12 * .50, which is about $474 dollars.  Let’s assume the Louisville Slugger Marketing team was already going to be in Kansas City for the All Star Game, so let’s not include airfare, lodging, etc.  Since the team is salary, there’s no extra salary overhead to execute the game.  Finally, add $75 dollars for a rental car, and $25 dollars in gas for driving around the city.  Total marketing campaign cost - $574 dollars.  

How many Facebook likes did they have before the contest?  125,567.  Below is the Google cached Facebook page from July 1, 2012.

How many Facebook likes do they have now?  127,967.  

Therefore, they accrued 2,400 from the scavenger hunt today.  Looking at it from a dollar perspective, they spent $574/2400 or about .24 cents per like.  Not bad.  

How many Twitter followers did they have before the scavenger hunt?  Twitter does not allow viewing cached pages due to some angry javascript code, so I went to Bing, which lists twitter followers in the search results page.  I was able to get around the angry javascript by snapping a screen shot in milliseconds before being redirected to Twitter.

As shown below, Bing shows 5,439 followers as of 4/2/2012.  Doing the same trick on Google showed they indexed the site just a few days ago, see below, but Google does not include followers or tweets in the search results like Bing does.  Geez - C’mon Google!

Google’s Twitter result for SluggerNation.

Bing’s Twitter result for SluggerNation.

That means that Louisville Slugger did not get all those followers tonight.  Let’s assume they had 6,000 followers before the hunt started.  

Looking at Twitter tonight, after the scavenger hunt was over, Louisville Slugger has 9,010 followers.  That means they possibly gained 3,010 in one day.  

Taking the $574 / 3010 equates to about .18 cents per user.  Even more return on effort (ROE) than Facebook.  If you take new Facebook and Twitter followers combined, that’s $574 / (2400+ 3010), which equals out to .10 per follower.  Louisville Slugger should be excited about adding that many fans at such a low cost.

Now for the bad part.  I’m not sure how they measure this, but on the facebook page there were several comments about people cheating.  Apparently, some people “knew” of the locations before others.  I think that was due to what I said earlier about the Twitter followers getting information before the Facebookers.  This sounds like a ringing endorsement for all the Facebookers to start using Twitter.  In this case, Twitter aided the winners and Facebook became the sounding board for angry customers.

Also, at first, Louisville gave away the bats at happy-hour restaurants and bars.  What about the kids, Louisville?  Following those giveaway locations, the tide turned and more kids begun winning the bats.  That is, until Bat #7 and Bat #9 were won by the same individual, who was without kids.  Some of the newly-following fans were up in arms about this calamity.

It appears you can’t win them all.  Not sure if the Louisville Slugger Marketing team had thought about all the “what if” scenarios, but I would think having the same fan win two bats might be seen as cheating.  Louisville Slugger has not commented at this time about the lucky winner of two bats - #7 and #9.

Here’s the lucky winner of two bats pictured below with Bat #7.

Here’s the lucky winner of two bats pictured below with Bat #9.

Here’s a summary of the clues, locations and passwords.

Bat #1

Clue: One of KC's best happy hours, this iconic restaurant & bar by Brush Creek is where #1 is hiding.. Password: MLB Prime Wood Bats (Tweet)

: Granfalloon

Bat #2

Clue: Feel the Power and See the City Lights... serving up tradition since 1953 at this hot spot! Password: All Stars Swing Slugger (Tweet)

: Johnny’s Tavern

Bat #3

Clue: Slugger was founded in 1884, 13 years later this baseball league was formed in Texas, come pay tribute here. PW: Buck O'Neil (Tweet)
Location: Negro League History Museum 

Bat #4

Clue: A legendary local golfer with 8 major wins, eats here at least once a week.. Come find me! PW: Omaha Pro Gloves (Tweet)

Location:  Arthur Bryants

Bat #5

Clue: "Belt on" baseballs when buying product at this great family-owned business in the Southland area! PW: Flare ball glove (Tweet)

Location: Southland Sports

Bat #6

Clue: KC's team uniform and equipment specialists shop here in Overland Park... come find the bat! Password: XENO (Tweet)

: Not posted, but here’s the Tweet with winning photograph

Bat #7

Clue: Show your colors while near Oak Park by "sampling" all of your favorite Royals gear here! PW: Go Royals!  (Tweet)

:  Kansas Sampler

Bat #8

Clue: when you need Louisville Slugger baseball equipment, these brothers in Shawnee will take care of you! PW: Omaha bats (Tweet)

: Nill Bros

Bat #9

Clue: Every season starts here at this Spanish pink zone area! Come find me and say the password: Genesis Wheeled Bag (Tweet)

: Zona Rosa

Bat #10

Clue: When you need an authority for sports, seek out this northland location for your needs! PW: Attack TPX BBCOR (Tweet)

: Sports Authority

Bat #11

Clue: Come find us outside of the place where you can get the full All-Star experience, it sure is a lot of fun! PW: Fanfest (Tweet)

:  Fan Fest - Bartle Hall

Bat #12

Clue: hanging out by the most amazing fountain in KC!! PW: ASG This is the last bat- good luck! (Tweet)

:  Fan Fest - Bartle Hall

The way it ended (Tweet).

Thank you Louisville Slugger for coming to Kansas City and spreading some bat joy via social media.  Great job getting thousands of new followers for .10 cents a pop.  Maybe you should have thought about what you were going to do when the same person followed you from location to location and won more than one time.  For all the fans who want a comerative bat, but did not win one, check out the mlb.com shop and you can pick one up for $79 bucks.