Found: Most Effective Sports Marketing Of All Time

Apparently giving out a car, trip to the Pro Bowl and other prizes via impromptu Twitter trivia contests wasn’t enough for Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay.

Jim Irsay Twitter Gives Away Super Bowl Trip

(Sports Biz Guru Darren Rovell: Blown Away)

Today Irsay gave away a trip for two to the Super Bowl in Dallas to one of his Twitter “friends”.

The way-too-simple-there-has-to-be-a-catch-actually-there-isn’t contest to determine the winner of the Super Bowl trip started Sunday as Irsay Tweeted to his followers:

Contest time,be ready!!! 1rst on tweetwall wins and goes to Super Bowl with friend!!! T MINUS/free airfare,hotel and 2 tics!!!

Who was this former NFL player,who became a father at the same time I did? Are U winning this thing and headin 2 Dallas???

Irsay Twitter follower _BillRichardson was first to answer correctly in a Tweet addressed to Irsay, with the right response former Cowboys running back Robert Newhouse.

Richardson then Tweeted to Rovell:

@darrenrovell I just won Super Bowl trip. 4 many brands this wld be long mktg campaign, @JimIrsay just does it…on Twitter.. Love it.

None of Irsay’s Tweets included a sponsor message or anything that could be construed as an ulterior motive. Instead, the contest sounded more like something Irsay just did on a whim.

In my 20+ years covering sports, Irsay’s Twitter feed is the most impactful, effective sports marketing I’ve ever witnessed.

The reason: His Tweets clearly represent his genuine personality and his interaction with fans, and accompanying giveaways, don’t come off as staged or pre-packaged. (Probably because they aren’t.)

Reaction to Irsay’s delightfully goofy online personality also counters the relentless negative media coverage that Twitter seems to attract. The Colts Owner has proven that he can be himself in front of tens of thousands of followers, with zero outside influence or control, and have that experience be a positive, symbiotic exchange.

Yes, it can be done.

Irsay’s good will and willingness to open himself up to fans has done more for his personal image, and in engendering good will about his business, than anything a highly-paid marketing consultant could provide.

All this from the son of Robert Irsay, who as owner of the Baltimore Colts causes Art Modell to come off as man’s best friend.

Want Super Bowl tickets? Then don’t follow Brooks on Twitter.