COLUMBUS, OH – The Houston Texans have partnered with Brand Thunder LLC to launch an official Houston Texans browser theme for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. The themes are available for immediate download on HoustonTexans.com, the team’s official website.
A stunning addition to any Internet experience, the themes feature official logos, colors and a custom new-tab experience designed especially for Houston Texans fans. These interactive browser themes offer easy access to the team website, online team shop, Texans TV, Facebook, Twitter, breaking news and much more.
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When you have fans that are extraordinary, you reward them with something out of the ordinary. Buffalo Bills fans now have a way to keep up with their team whenever they’re online through the official Buffalo Bills browser themes for Firefox and Internet Explorer.
While the team has been struggling, the fans continue to pack the stadium each week. That’s a testament to a great fan base and a statement about the loyalty to the team. The browser theme will keep them up to the minute with team news and information, links to the team site and more. It’s a small thank you to some huge fans.
I’m sure most of us with affinity marketing products look at the fantastic brands, the audience they’ve created and see the power in that connection. And I’m not going to dispute that connection, but intend to elaborate on it.
So much of business is metrics driven. You want to have the necessary reporting in place to run your business, make your daily decisions and adjust your product based on that key data. You’ll find good discussions on key businss metrics from Fred Wilson on Business Insider.
You’ll also have access to more data that may not be necessary on a daily basis, but is useful for a regular high-level look at your business. This gives you the benefit of looking at longer-term trends and correlations across product lines. As an example, I’ve talked about our core product leveraging brand affinity, and in my last post talked about the value of our product extension into topical themes. It’s been interesting looking at the data that compares those versions of our interactive browser themes.
I’ve heard that for the NFL credit cards where football fans can get a card with their favorite team emblazoned on the credit card – in the top 5 of all cards is the straight NFL card (and I think it’s actually in the top 3, but can’t find this data referenced anywhere). That means of the 32 teams in the NFL, the NFL credit card does better than at least 85% of the teams. I would have bet, and lost, that most fans would tend toward their favorite team over the general category of “football.” Instead, the odds are in favor of people choosing the general “NFL” as their preferred logo for their credit card.
We’ve witnessed similar phenomenon with our own product. The success of our more general Football, Baseball or Basketball themes are in line with our most successful sports teams. There are interesting differences, though. Adoption is faster with the teams, but more stable with the category. Stable means we’ll keep a larger percentage of the topical-theme users in the off-season and that base gets built upon with the coming of a new season. I don’t know if that implies fans of the support are more loyal. It could imply that people who align with the team will find their “new” team for the current in-season sport. It does mean that we need a mix of offerings if we want to balance the seasonality effect of our sports team browser themes.
That’s good data to have and one that comes with continuing to review and analyze the data. It’s also helpful because as we look at the product we produce, we can create a product line up that creates steady growth, and lessens volatility.
Are there unique affinity marketing insights you have? Are there business metrics that have shaped your business overtime? We look forward to hearing.
The growth chart is text book. Brand Thunder’s doubling its size in half the time. It took us 18 months to reach the 500,000 download mark. Nine months later, we reached the million download mark. Four and a half months after that, we’re over two million downloads. Nice momentum.
It’s easy to see the caliber of brand that we’re fortunate enough to work with, our client list is full of great names from around the globe. Leveraging the power of the brand and their consumer touch points is common practice for affinity products. We try to bring a little more.
The web has splintered audiences. Think about how a sports fan may follow their favorite team. A fan may go to the team’s site, or they may go to a leading sports site, or they may participate in a blog or community focused on a team or sport. Limiting distribution through team channels limits the reach of the product. (As an aside, if you really want to learn about how teams can keep up with their fans, follow Sports Networker.)
Brand Thunder leverages distribution opportunities beyond the client site. We interact with communities where fans are gathering (always in a respectful way). We go through download sites where users are already looking for ways to personalize their experience. We look for other means to message the availability of the browser theme and get it to fans. We’ve seen a material benefit to our partners with this approach.
We love our client list and helping our clients connect with their fans is our biggest priority. But that’s not are only product. We also build interactive browser themes for the generalist or people that like stuff not represented by our client list. In the world of affinity credit cards, the NFL card is in the top 3 (don’t quote me on the exact number). Data accuracy aside, the illustration holds – most fans choose the NFL over their favorite team.
That’s why we have a Basketball theme, in addition to the NBA teams we work with like the Cavaliers, Magic, Sixers and Suns.
These product extensions help us reach the broader audience and grow our business. We continue to look for ways to meet the end user where they are and where their interests lie. We’ll continue to strive for that while we work our way toward the four million download mark.
As we kick-off Super Bowl week, I thought I’d take the less than humble approach of mentioning how, yet again, a team that has chosen an interactive browser theme from Brand Thunder is vying for the championship of its sport. The AFC champion Indianapolis Colts go for it all Sunday night. We’ve been here before.
During the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year, Brand Thunder clients had an outstanding representation. The Pittsburgh Penguins won a well played series and the Cup over a team that only offered their fans a toolbar. An interesting data point.
That celebration was extended to the MLS Cup where another Brand Thunder client, the Real Salt Lake, defeated the LA Galaxy – who also offer their fans an interactive browser theme. You might say we cheated, because we signed the entire MLS and we’d lay claim to any champion heralding from the soccer league. To that I’d say… you’re right.
Yet we also enjoyed having the Orlando Magic, the NBA Eastern Conference Champions, as a client. You see the trend here. It’s a pretty compelling story. Partner with Brand Thunder and find yourself competing among the elite of your league and playing for the championship.
That’s why on Super Bowl Sunday, we’ll be rooting for our favorite NFL client – the Indianapolis Colts. On Super Bowl Monday, we’ll be looking to help more teams. And for Major League Baseball teams getting geared up for Spring Training, we’d love to have our first MLB client. Give us a call.