Sports clubs including the NHL's New Jersey Devils and NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves are among brands adopting social doodling app startup Doodle.ly. The startup is using the partnerships to gain traction among iPad users, additional teams and outside industries - all at zero cost to the startup, the app’s users and the brand partners.
Users of the Doodle.ly iPad app can publish their digital drawings in galleries, and in the future will be able to receive notifications when users like their doodles, follow favorite doodlers, browse galleries of most-liked images and receive rewards for doodles.
In late March, the Devils asked fans to create and submit a Devils-themed doodle in a contest to emotionally connect with fans as the NHL regular season drew to a close. Ten finalists were selected by fan votes. The top ten doodlers received tickets to the last game of the regular season, and the winning doodle will be screened on 17,000 rally towels at the Devils' first playoff game on April 17.
"We chose Doodle.ly because they were a unique company that gave our fans a creative way to express themselves," says William Carafello, director of marketing with the New Jersey Devils. "We see many signs and drawings brought into the arena and we thought this was something our fans would enjoy and a cool technology to share with them."
The Devils received more than 600 submissions and 20,000 votes over the course of the contest. The team also received 1,200 likes on Facebook.
The hockey team used the contest as a data collection tool. According to Doodle.ly co-founder Evan Vogel, the team received 200 fan email addresses as a result of the campaign.
Vogel did not think sports would be Doodle.ly's first sector, but a connection at the New Jersey Devils led to a playoffs contest, which, in turn, led to an NBA contest and talks with additional pro teams. The company has also inked its first band, The Indecent, and is in discussions with additional labels after two bands, Fictionist and Graffiti6, started their own independent Doodle.ly contests.
Doodle.ly's iPad app launched in February and has been downloaded about 40,000 times to date. Its target audience is 14-to-24-year-olds and skews 60 percent female.
The Timberwolves have been running their own Doodle.ly promotion to push star forward Kevin Love as the league MVP.
"Many national media members have already spoken out about (Love) going largely unrecognized in the MVP race, despite this monster season...so we decided to focus our Doodle.ly collaboration on an MVP push for Kevin," said Alex Conover, web editorial associate with the Timberwolves.
Unfortunately, Love's chances appear to be dashed by a concussion he sustained during a game Wednesday night.
On April 10, the Timberwolves asked their fans to draw Love and submit their entries with the hashtag #KLOVEMVP for a chance to win his autograph or tickets to a game. The contest ends April 15.
As of Friday, the team had received about 25 submissions on its Facebook page. Conover expects entry numbers to jump in-game advertisements run. The team's Interactive Services department will select the five winning entries based on artistic merit and creativity.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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