Get a behind-the-scenes look at the strategic marketing partnership between Fuel Business Minded Creative and LakePoint Sports.
With eight Major League-sized baseball fields, three multi-purpose outdoor sports fields, two hotels, a wakeboarding park, and a 170,000 square foot state-of-art facility for indoor sports, LakePoint Sports is a truly premier travel and youth sports destination.
Situated on the edge of Lake Allatoona fifty minutes north of downtown, LakePoint Sports is the epicenter for youth sports in Atlanta. Every year, over two million guests visit LakePoint’s 1,300-acre campus to participate in tournaments, camps, or sports leagues, to support their athlete, or to enjoy one of the major events LakePoint hosts.
LakePoint Sports is a major tourism driver in Georgia and an economic juggernaut for Northwest Georgia, creating 26,000 jobs (direct and indirect) and driving an annual economic impact of nearly $100 million. Since prioritizing end-to-end brand and marketing initiatives across partnerships and internal teams, LakePoint Sports achieved a 117% increase in top-line growth and a 159% improvement in operating EBITDA between 2019 to 2022.
While LakePoint Sports is experiencing significant growth and momentum driven by a new business, branding, and marketing strategy, that wasn’t always the case.
Forming a Strategic Marketing Partnership
When Mark M. O’Brien took over as President and CEO of LakePoint Sports in April of 2019, the company’s marketing priorities shifted increasingly towards establishing a reputation as the premier travel and youth sports destination in the country.
O’Brien, who served as the president and CEO for Mizuno North America prior to joining LakePoint Sports, recruited and tasked Fuel BMC, an Atlanta-based marketing agency, with providing brand strategy and strategic marketing support for LakePoint Sports. Working in collaboration with LakePoint’s internal team and marketing partners, Fuel BMC set out to create and establish a more premier brand positioning and develop a strategic marketing plan to establish LakePoint’s industry-best guest experience, ultimately contributing to significantly improved financial performance.
According to Mark: “Our successful collaboration [with Fuel BMC] on a prior enterprise business initiative emboldened our trust in them to help us address the significant opportunity at LakePoint Sports.” Mark added, “Fuel’s expertise and support in helping the LakePoint team craft an immediate and actionable, short-, and longer-term business strategy, brand positioning, and consistent marketing, branding, and messaging initiatives, helped lead to significant revenue growth, cost efficiencies, improved ROI, and accelerated our ability to drive EBITDA.”
Developing a Strategic Marketing Approach
Fuel BMC utilizes a six-step “Business Minded Creative” process to help their clients maximize the ROI of their strategic marketing partnerships:
Learning challenges, goals, business dynamics, target demographics, and customer habits.
Setting goals and KPIs to target measurable ROI.
Ideating a tactical creative plan to execute against those goals.
Executing that plan and creating dynamic marketing assets and deliverables.
Tracking KPIs, measuring outcomes, and seeking client feedback.
Repeating the process from step one to expand or refine the initial strategy.
After a quick and extensive analysis of LakePoint Sports, Fuel BMC worked closely with LakePoint to design a strategic marketing plan to generate more revenue for the campus, which centered on branding, providing a more premier, memorable guest experience, and creating marketing campaigns and creative assets to drive sales for a number of LakePoint’s revenue generators, including food and beverage, merchandise, and livestreaming.
“When we started, we really wanted to understand LakePoint’s visitor demographics and their customer habits,” says John Petri, President and CEO of Fuel BMC. “We really took the time to learn their goals and to identify the biggest opportunities for growth. From there, we formulated a strategic approach and began to tactically execute against that plan.”
Brand Design for Improved Customer Experience
One of Fuel BMC’s first priorities after partnering with LakePoint was to refresh and reposition their brand to better appeal to their target market. LakePoint Sports had already established a reputation for featuring best-in-class sports venues and a comprehensive offering for travel and youth sports. But effective branding is an extremely powerful motivator of customer perception and behavior, and LakePoint’s branding prior to 2019 didn’t fully encompass the premier standards of the sports campus.
Taking LakePoint’s existing identity, Fuel BMC developed new brand standards to modernize the look and feel of all on- and off-line brand interactions to make them more engaging and relevant for each audience segment by sport, event, and venue.
Incorporating the new branding throughout the sprawling campus was no small feat. Fuel BMC developed branding and specific logos for each venue, event, and promotion on campus, as well as their general signage system, COVID safety signage package, event flyers, and much more. The emphasis was on making every touchpoint a premier, world-class experience that connected guests on campus with LakePoint’s brand.
This effort extended into the digital space, where Fuel BMC updated branding for LakePoint’s email and created social media templates that LakePoint could use to release more compelling content to their target audience. These included static templates, motion graphics, as well as video.
Fuel BMC also created logos and branding for the dozens of events LakePoint hosts, and filmed and edited promotional videos, teaser trailers, and sizzle reels to generate hype and build anticipation for guests, as well as prospective partners and sponsors.
The result was a campus that truly represented the refreshed premium LakePoint Sports brand, providing a cohesive, more exciting experience that brought the brand to life for LakePoint guests visiting campus or on-line. The organization and their guests loved the new branding, experiences, and the execution of the marketing plan, and the numbers supported it.
LakePoint Sports consistently receives a 4.8 out of 5 stars guest satisfaction score from each of the over 2 million visitors annually – a credit to the entire LakePoint Sports organization, their team members, and their commitment to the LakePoint Culture and the LakePoint Sports Mission, Vision, Purpose and Values, the LakePoint Sports Ten Business Operating Principles, and the “One Team. One Goal.” mantra and standard of “Excellence;” all amplified by Fuel BMC creative assets and support materials.
Implementing Strategic Marketing to Drive Revenue
With branding in place, Fuel BMC and LakePoint had a solid foundation and direction to really kick things into gear. Fuel BMC places a major emphasis on ROI for their strategic marketing partnerships, and the biggest opportunities to drive revenue for LakePoint were through designing marketing campaigns for merchandise, food and beverage, and LakePoint Live (e.g. video livestreaming and on-demand services).
Beyond collaborating with the LakePoint Sports team on marketing strategy, Fuel BMC developed creative assets across multiple channels to target revenue growth in specific areas. From promotional videos, sizzle reels, and video campaigns, to print ads, digital signage, and social media campaigns, Fuel BMC built out everything LakePoint needed to ensure that their go-to-market plan was executed successfully with consistent branding and messaging.
Fuel BMC even designed promotions and incentive plans to further elevate the guest experience on campus and engage guests in ways to motivate behavior, guest satisfaction, and strategically drive revenue.
New Marketing Assets Help Increase Partnerships for LakePoint
When Fuel BMC began working with LakePoint in 2019, one of LakePoint Sports’ priorities was securing additional partnerships. Taking LakePoint’s refreshed brand, Fuel BMC designed investor presentations, pitch decks, and videos to help convey LakePoint’s value proposition as the premier travel and youth sports destination in the country.
LakePoint’s skilled partnership team, combined with these new marketing assets, helped the LakePoint team secure numerous new projects and partnership opportunities. By the end of 2022, LakePoint Sports had drastically increased its roster of official partners, each of them helping to elevate the guest experience and drive revenue and EBITDA.
LakePoint Sports Named 2021 Sports Facility of the Year Finalist by Sports Business Journal
A major win for the strategic marketing partnership between the two companies came in 2021, when LakePoint Sports was recognized by Sports Business Journal, the preeminent global sports industry publication, as a 2021 Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year finalist.
LakePoint Sports found itself in elite company, recognized alongside the Dallas Cowboy's ATT&T Stadium, ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex (owned by Disney), the newly opened GlobeLife Park (home to the Texas Rangers), and other world-renowned sports venues.
Below is the write up from the Sports Business Journal:
The 1,300-acre youth sports destination northwest of Atlanta made an impressive digital pivot, streaming the roughly 100 youth tournaments it sold out via 130 high-definition cameras positioned across the campus, resulting in a 5,155% increase in streaming service revenue. Other revenue lines saw significant increases despite the virus, including team registrations (36%), ticket sales (100%), merchandise (52%) and food and beverage (467%). The facility’s management hired 100 new full-or part-time employees, added 25 new corporate partners/sponsors and launched three esports initiatives.
The ROI of the Collaborative Marketing Efforts
ROI is the measure of the success of any strategic marketing plan. And although ROI for marketing is often difficult to quantify directly, Fuel BMC's collaboration with LakePoint on their creative and marketing strategy, combined with the success of LakePoint's overarching business strategy and the efforts of their internal teams and agency partners, helped LakePoint Sports achieve significant business growth between 2019 and 2022.
From 2019 to 2022, LakePoint Sports achieved a 117% increase in top-line growth and a 159% increase in operating EBITDA, as well as dramatically increasing their roster of official partners.
“Fuel BMC has been a key strategic partner in helping LakePoint Sports achieve significant growth and momentum in a very short period of time,” says LakePoint CEO Mark O’Brien. “I admire the passion, dedication, and commitment Fuel BMC demonstrates on any project they tackle. Their collaborative approach and disciplined process has led to their initiatives being completed on time, on budget, and on-point. Additionally, their enthusiasm to understand and deliver on the business, brand, and marketing goals has always led to quantifiable results that exceed expectations and creates lasting enterprise value. Fuel BMC has earned our trust and respect as a strategic and creative partner.”
Celebrating LakePoint's Success
Fuel BMC is a creative and marketing agency that specializes in sports and entertainment, having worked with organizations in the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, and the NCAA. Like the brands they work with, Fuel BMC emphasizes teamwork and collaboration – with a relentless competitive streak to go along with it!
John Petri, Fuel BMC’s President and CEO, is a former NCAA athlete and is unrelentingly passionate about youth sports and helping clients win. Fuel BMC’s strategic marketing partnership with LakePoint has been extremely rewarding for him: “Our favorite part about working with LakePoint has been engaging with the amazing people there and seeing their success. When we saw they were nominated for Sports Business Journal’s Facility of the year, that was a really big W, not just for us, but for LakePoint and the families who make memories as they enjoy their time at this world-class campus. We take a huge amount of pride in watching our partners’ businesses grow and to see people enjoy their experiences – that’s why we do what we do.
“I love being able to visit LakePoint during their “Champions Weekends” and the annual National Youth Sports Summit. There are thousands of people having a great time enjoying highly sponsored events. For some families, this is their only vacation of the year. It’s amazing to look around and see the hard work we’ve all done together and to see people enjoying the creative assets we’ve built. Whether it’s seeing them easily find their way around campus being guided by the signs we’ve made, being enticed to make purchases from the deals and visuals we’ve created, or best of all, seeing the kids with their parents competing and having the time of their lives... It’s an indescribable feeling of joy all the way around.”
To check out additional creative assets from Fuel BMC’s strategic marketing partnership with LakePoint Sports, go to https://www.fuelbmc.com/lakepoint.
Partner With Fuel BMC for Your Next Strategic Marketing and Creative Venture
Fuel BMC provides end-to-end strategic marketing, brand design, graphic design, video production, and premium image design, with an emphasis on targeted goals that generate ROI. While Fuel BMC specializes in working with brands in sports and entertainment, Fuel BMC also has extensive experience working with companies in apparel, B2B, tech, manufacturing, food and beverage, and more!
If you’re looking for a true strategic partner to drive measurable results for your marketing strategy or your next creative campaign, you can contact Fuel BMC here.