No, the Pope has not taken up bull riding, but he has jumped on the mobile marketing bandwagon and so has the Professional Bull Riders Association. Both stories were reported in the May 12, 2008 issue of RCR Wireless News. (MOBULL RODEO, Inspired Messages)
According to the RCR Wireless story, the Pope will be sending out inspirational text messages during Catholic World Youth Day this summer in Australia. Even if it is a small toe-dipping in the pool of mobile marketing, I am happy to see the Church embrace mobile technology. Honestly, I’m happy when any group embraces mobile because it is such a powerful tool and I love to see it used.
I can’t help but wonder how interesting it would be if the Pope had a Twitter account and sent out daily inspiration there. I’m not joking; I think that Catholics might really enjoy getting daily inspiration from their spiritual leader. (Although it would be too weird if he was live Tweeted during a Mass.) On second thought maybe it is too informal of a communication channel for a world leader.
It is also very exciting, albeit much less surprising, to see the Pro Bull Riders Association (PBR) come on board with mobile. The PBR has built a comprehensive wireless site (mobull.pbrnow.com) giving fans access to bull riding news, standings, rider profiles and the official PBR blog. Fans can also take polls, shop and recommend the site to a friend.
The PBR site, powered by iLoop Mobile, is reaching the bull riding fan base that is rich with 18-34 year olds with a roughly 60/40 ratio of male to female audience members. The association is actively marketing their mobile site through in-arena signs, Internet promotions and on TV.
Accurately summing up the need for integrating mobile into your other marketing, Sean Gleason, COO of the Professional Bull Riders Association, said, “Nobody knows how to find you on a mobile device unless they’ve gotten the message from someplace else.”
It will be fun to see how the PBR association takes on mobile head on. I’m sure it is not that much different than bull riding. The tenacious, brave folks willing to jump on and take a bumpy ride will grab all the glory.
As Michael Ahearn, iLoop’s VP of marketing said in the article, “Any entertainment enterprise that isn’t really doing important work and development in the mobile channel and reaching an audience is missing the bus.”
At least we know the Pope is on the bus.
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