Oakland Raiders’ Andy Rentmeester on Widgets
Widgets and brands with fan affinity are a match made in marketing heaven. These bits of code can be embedded on Web pages or computer desktops, allowing a company to feed brand news, entertainment and offers to its fans. And when this audience places these widgets on its personal pages on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, the brand’s exposure is magnified.
These benefits, plus the ability to track and measure user interaction, led the Oakland Raiders to Gydget. This San Francisco-based widget developer helped the franchise launch a news-driven widget in August 2007. Andy Rentmeester, the Oakland Raiders’ Web manager, shares insights on how the franchise’s widget performed in its rookie year, along with some plans for maximizing its value next season.
Target Marketing: What role does your widget play in your online marketing plans?
Andy Rentmeester: We’ve really done traditional marketing, and we’ve been e-marketing for about five years. We do a little bit of direct mail as well, and a couple of catalogs for our merchandising side. But really, in terms of the widget, this is something new. MySpace and Facebook were both on our radar of “we need to get in those spaces” so we can hit a younger demographic area. But not just that. Being in the Bay area, I would say the market penetration of those technologies is higher here than in probably most metro areas because we are near Silicon Valley. So, I would put this as a new, emerging opportunity for [the Raiders] to get out there.
TM: What kind of metrics are you tracking on the widget?
AR: You can look at views, how many people grabbed it, clickthroughs … just like any other marketing piece on the Web. Once you get those numbers and start presenting them to management, it’s great. It helps you make much better business decisions.