Customer Acquisition: Tommy Bahama Partners With Major League Baseball to Acquire New Customers
Lifestyle apparel retailer Tommy Bahama has leveraged its relationship with Major League Baseball (MLB) into a successful tool for introducing its brand to a new audience — and sell some limited-edition shirts in the process. Since 2009, Tommy Bahama has partnered with MLB for its exclusive "Collector's Edition" team shirts. Six teams are chosen each year, with only a couple hundred shirts made up for each team. This year's teams were the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers. Nearly all of this year's shirts have already been sold.
In addition to the limited-edition MLB shirts that it made available for purchase, Tommy Bahama launched an eight-week online social media contest, "Share Your Story," that allowed fans to share their favorite baseball moments involving that week's featured team. The person's story that received the most votes got a $500 gift card for Tommy Bahama and the collector's edition shirt of that week's featured team. Six winners were chosen in total, one for each team.
"We had an amazing level of engagement with this contest," says Rob Goldberg, senior vice president of marketing at Tommy Bahama. "Hundreds of stories were submitted and close to 12,000 people voted on those stories. People are passionate about baseball."
That passion for baseball and the Share Your Story contest resulted in a significant increase in Tommy Bahama's Facebook population, Goldberg notes. The benefits carried over to the retailer's bottom line as well. Visitors driven to Tommy Bahama's website by the social media contest had an average order size 11 percent higher than noncontest traffic.
"They were there to buy and they were there to spend more," Goldberg says of the Share Your Story contest traffic. "A good percentage of them were new buyers that we hadn't seen before."