Remember when I said that brands were going to start to dive into widgets? Well, the flood gates have opened. The Indianapolis Colts have created their first widget. This slideshow not only enables users to flip through pictures of their favorite players, but also enables them to check out news, videos, stats and more. Mashable wrote a post on the release. How Pete beat me to the punch on one of our own partners boggles the mind.
This widget is built, distributed, and tracked using Clearspring’s services. We are in preview mode and are working with partners to refine our offerings prior to a release early next year. Expect to see more widgets powered by Clearspring as we ramp up during the next couple weeks.
As an aside, these guys blow my socks off. Pat Coyle and AJ Macht from the Colts digital team really get what is going on with the web. Their efforts in widget syndication and social networking are positioning the Colts organization as leaders in digital innovation in the NFL. Pat has a really great post on why the Colts are moving forward with widgets. The top 5 reasons he cited for them developing a widget strategy are below:
1. Thought I – We need a “Myspace” strategy – Over 50% of the Colts fans who have pre-registered for the (soon to be launched) Colts Social Network already have built personal profile pages on myspace or other social net sites. And many of these fans are already grabbing our registered trademarks and photos and using them (illegally) to decorate their pages. So do we send them all cease and desist letters? Or do we go with the flow? We chose the latter…
2. Thought II – this has viral potential: Fans will be able to find the widget at colts.com/widgets or at myspace.com/colts. Once they grab it, fans can E mail the widget to friends, or their friends can simply grab the widget from them and put it their pages too.
3. Thought III – this could drive traffic: Embedded in the widget are several links for more Colts content which direct the user back to our Website. Widgets can be programmed to cause the content to pop up inside the widget, so that the viewer can stay on his own page, but we’re greedy about traffic, so we hope users won’t mind coming to our site. We’ll see.
4. Thought IV – Sponsors will love it: Depending on the content we put in the widget, we can include a sponsor tag, or even embed sponsor content into the widget. This makes it a money maker right out of the gate.
5 Thought V – this has enormous potential: there are so many ways to employ widgets that it’s tough to know where to start. Happily, other people – smarter than I – have already written extensively on the subject.
Look out for more stuff from these guys in 2007. They have quite a few tricks left up their sleeves…