Two Days Before AFC Title Game, Indianapolis Colts Takes Its Website Down
Brilliant? Stupid? Colts.com goes dark, but a call-to-action for mobile might be the real winner this weekend.
With their biggest game in five years just two days away, the Indianapolis Colts have come up with a … well, let’s call it unique … online marketing plan: They’ve taken their website offline.
Rather than seeing the team’s latest news and features, information about fan rallies or links to buy team gear, visitors to Colts.com today are greeted by a short video (about 1:20 long) with a variety of Colts players offering motivational and inspirational messages in advance of Sunday’s AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.
At the end of the video, viewers see a message that says “We’re sorry. Colts.com is currently experiencing a blue out. Colts Nation, please direct all focus to our game this coming Sunday. #BlueFriday”
Technically, the whole website isn’t down — just the home page. If you know, or search for, a link to a deeper page on the Colts website, like the season schedule, it’s still there. In the comments on Adam Schefter’s tweet — where I learned about the stunt — a couple fans point out that the team did the same thing last Friday before the Colts playoff game against Denver. (The Colts won that game, and with teams and fans often being superstitious, what works one week must be continued.)
A Mobile Call-To-Action
I’m not sure if this is brilliant or stupid, but it’s definitely a unique approach to serving your fans as their collective excitement peaks before a big game. Casual fans looking for game information or gear are likely to be turned off a bit by the inconvenience. Loyal fans will probably eat up the message about focusing on nothing but the game.
The home page is down, but don’t assume the Colts aren’t still marketing. Did you notice the small call-to-action at the bottom of the page? The team is pushing visitors to download the official Colts mobile apps, with links for iOS, Android and Windows Phone users.
This weekend is probably the busiest the Colts home page will be all season (unless they win on Sunday, of course), so if that call-to-action leads to significant new downloads and users for its mobile apps, I think we’ll be able to say that taking the home page offline for a couple days was brilliant, not stupid.