Lightning Marketing Genius or Cornball?

It's been only a matter of days since I posted a FanPost over at Buc'em regarding an unsolicited txt message sent to my cell phone by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that sought to sell me tickets.

from: 81292

Buccaneers season tix on sale now! Half season pkgs, youth prices & payment plans avail 877-653-2827 or for info. TextOUT2stop

Totally random.  I had not signed up for anything through the team web site, I had not wanted to sign up for anything with the Bucs to begin with, and was peeved that the opt-out options were befuddled at best (with no confirmation after I sent multiple message replies while trying to opt out).

Suffice it to say, this was a great example of how not to recruit ticket buyers for your sports franchise:  Forcing it down their throats and horrid implementation.

Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Lightning unveiled their own ticket recruitment plan which will help them harvest interested parties contact info, and it can either be looked at as genius in implementation or cornball (hockey players and acting do not mix ). The point that should be noted is that it's opt-in but it's entertaining. You have to sign up in order to partake in the true interactivity of the marketing and curiosity makes you want to take part in it.

Here's a brief summary from Damian Cristodero at the St. Pete Times:

The interactive piece is set after a period during a Lightning home game.  Smith and Malone are seen coming off the ice and sitting at their lockers.  They express their displeasure that the fan isn’t in his/her seat for the game and explain how they can’t win without them.

Greg Wyshynski went through the whole process in jest to show readers the campaign in it's entirety (spoiler warning for the curious).  But you've gotta give credit where it's due on the campaign -- this kicks the living crap out of what the Buccaneers franchise attempted to do.  For all the hell that OK Hockey gets thrown their way - they do have a record of interesting marketing attempts to build buzz around the brand.  This is no exception.