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NHL?s New York Rangers run $1M mobile sweepstakes

The National Hockey League?s New York Rangers and the MSG Network are teaming up to give fans the chance to text in to win up to $1 million.

To enter, fans need to watch for clues shown during select New York Rangers games on MSG and text the keyword to the short code 67469 for a chance to shoot pucks on the Madison Square Garden ice at a Rangers home game for cash prizes, $50,000 or the grand prize of $1 million.

Mobile Marketer?s Dan Butcher interviewed Scott Richman, senior vice president and general manager at Madison Square Garden Interactive, New York. Here is what he had to say:

What is the MSG?s strategy behind the launch of the Rangers' ?MSG Million Dollar Shoot Out? promotion?
Our goal is two-fold: to drive audience tune-in for Ranger games on MSG Network and to build the Ranger's mobile database.

By providing a great prize, and offering multiple times for people to enter during the broadcast, we're encouraging the audience to keep watching for the next chance to enter.

We hope to drive engagement with both the MSG Network and Rangers brand and to keep them both top of mind for our fans.

What is the target demographic?
Our main target demographic is adults ages 25-54, but we also feel that it?s a broad mobile-enabled demographic who enjoy interacting with the brand using new media platforms.

In essence we are using promotions like this to harvest new mobile consumers and bring them into our database so that we can establish a relationship and market to them.

With which agency/vendor(s) did MSG Sports partner with to power the Rangers mobile initiatives?
This initiative was a collaborative effort between Rangers marketing, MSG Network marketing and MSG Interactive.

We also worked with two mobile marketing agencies to execute this initiative: Vibes Media for platform and execution guidance, and Mella Media for branding and cross-channel marketing guidance.

Where does the SMS call-to-action appear asking fans to opt in to the text-messaging club and participate in the promotion?
The call-to-action occurs on MSG Network, during specific Ranger game broadcasts. See for dates.

The call-to-action consists of a special keyword, which is only revealed on-air, plus additional explanation regarding the prizing and mobile database opt-in.

This message is run in a violator during the game and receives additional mention by on-air talent.

Entry is also available via for those who cannot or opt not to use SMS to enter, which is mentioned in the violator call-to-action, with the keyword displayed on air.

The contest is being promoted across all of our assets: on MSG Network, online at and, the Rangers? Facebook, Twitter and MySpace pages, Blueshirts United?the Official Fan Community of the Rangers, email blasts to fans, on-air mentions from radio partner ESPN 1050 during games and on the Garden?s 7th and 8th Avenue digital marquees.

What types of SMS alerts, promotions or discounts will MSG offer to opted-in fans?
Opted-in fans that are a part of the Rangers mobile database receive breaking news on the team, tune-in reminders and special exclusive offers.

We are looking to provide fans with engaging content on the team, and then of course a variety of special offers or promotions related to tickets, merchandise, etcetera.

What role do you see the mobile channel playing in MSG and the Ranger?s overall marketing, database-building and customer relationship management initiatives?
Mobile offers us an immediate and intimate connection to the Rangers fan base. We're able to engage fans and provide interaction with the brand anywhere they have their mobile device.

This provides us with an invaluable connection to our fans anywhere and at anytime. It is also a great way to test action-oriented messaging and see what leads to the best results.

Do the Rangers have a mobile Web site or a mobile application?
The Rangers BlackBerry and iPhone mobile applications can be found at