Besides spending millions to be a major sponsor of the upcoming Olympic games in London, risking life and limb running after Usain Bolt during the 100-meter dash finals wearing a cape with your credit union’s logo on it, or somehow cajoling Queen Elizabeth to wear a neon orange “XYZ Credit Union Rocks Your Financial World!” T-shirt during the opening ceremonies, how can your credit union leverage the Olympic wave over the next couple of weeks?
You’ve probably been deluged by the onslaught of Olympic ads from sponsoring companies the last month or so – and it will continue more so over the next couple of weeks as the games proceed. These ads are also capturing the timeliness of the games – just like you will see ads revolving around seasonal events such as the Super Bowl every January and February, “Back to School” each July and August, and the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays during November and December. The list goes on.
So, again, what is your credit union doing to capitalize on this major, global event? Hopefully, you have something in the works and or you are already well into your campaign. I hope the latter. Listed below are examples of what a few credit unions are doing this year…
- Fairwinds Credit Union ran a VISA promotion between April 1 and May 31, 2012, for a member to win a trip to the London Olympics. The more members used the card, the more chances they had to win.
- VyStar Credit Union also ran the same type of VISA credit card sweepstakes promo, running through August 31, 2012. In fact, VyStar is already planning to run the campaign every four years beginning in 2016 for a different grand prize winner and guest to go to each summer Olympics.
- Kelly Community Federal Credit Union ran a “Loan Olympics” auto-referral campaign from April 1 through June 30, 2012. Members who referred a current or non-member for an auto loan through the credit union received a little gold of their own, being given $100 as a “thank you.”
- San Jose Credit Union adopted an Olympic theme for its Kid$ Day$ promotions this summer from July 1 to August 31, 2012. Children can come to the credit union decorated in fun Olympic setting and participate in Olympic-themes activities while learning a little about finances.
Really good and effective these ideas are. But let’s step outside the sweepstakes box a bit and see how your credit union can generate some traffic to its website,
Stepping outside the box (sometimes a bit too far), here are some other Olympic promo ideas to consider: some lame, some good, most fun, all possibly effective in sparking other ideas. (Note: Please check with your legal department on the legality of using any Olympic logos, athlete images, etc. in marketing pieces. Some of these folks are a little sensitive about this stuff.) These ideas aren’t necessarily ones to directly generate revenue, as they are ones to enhance the image of your credit union.
- Shoot and post an Olympic YouTube parody – These are fun as long as they are not too over the top in the goofiness department. Perhaps filming a torch run from department to department showing how your credit union works together to provide excellent member service. (Just don’t catch anything on fire.) Or some sort of 100-meter sprint to show the quickness of your service. Or a Bruce Jenner-like gold medal effort showing the great lengths your credit union goes to for member satisfaction.
- Discount promo for every gold medal America wins in London – Take one of your normal rate promos and incorporate an Olympic message on it to ride the coattails of the games. Like San Jose Credit Union’s Kid$ Day$ mentioned above, it was a regular educational event for kids. But they wrapped it up in a nice Olympic bow for a more enticing presentation. You run these promos throughout the year, why not focus on the Olympics for a couple of weeks.
- Olympic blog – If there are any staff or members heading to London to watch the Olympics, ask them if they would produce daily photo blog of their adventures and post on your credit union’s homepage (or at least a link). This task might be a bit of work for the person who is attending the games, most likely on their vacation, but would be fun to check in to the website each day to see something new at the games they covered. Who knows, maybe a member will apply for loan while perusing the pics. A daily update provides incentive for members to return each day for the latest news.
- Olympic poll – Run a member or staff poll of favorite historical Olympic moments, post on website. Even conduct a poll following the London Olympics to see what members thought was their favorite Olympic moment of 2012. Link YouTube videos to each one. There are plenty of survey or polling apps on the web today to pull this off relatively easily.
- Provide event updates on your website – again, this one might be a bit of work so it may not fly. But its aim is to continue positioning your credit union as a go-to place for information. This time it happens to be a Olympic event results – all with the hopes of members possibly spotting something else that will pique their interest like a new loan to apply for, new product or service to sign up for, or a new piece of financial information that will help them out.
There are a myriad of ideas that can be applied to capitalizing your credit union on the sensationalism of the London Olympics – most of which can be really fun and effective if done right. Then you won’t have to look silly wearing a cape chasing down Usain Bolt (like you’re going to catch him) or negotiating with Her Majesty to wear your credit union’s neon T-shirt.
What has your credit union done this year to ride the Olympic wave?
Mike Lawson is the principal of the marketing firm, DML Communications, and host of the credit union industry’s only online video talk show, CUbroadcast; has more than 20 years of journalism, public relations, and marketing experience. Lawson leverages this three-tiered expertise to help credit union-related individuals and organizations increase their exposure. Lawson has an extensive background within the financial services industry stemming back to the mid-‘90s working for Symitar, establishing DML Communications in 2002, and starting CUbroadcast in 2010. He speaks on journalism, PR, marketing, and social media topics to credit union industry organizations nationwide. www.dmlcommunications.com www.CUbroadcast.com.