When it comes to Sports and Athletics, no digital agency can compete with Gunner Technology
We’ve designed and built sites, applications and marketing strategies for companies, including ESPN, ABC Sports, ATLX and GatorsSports.
We’ve created mobile application solutions for professional sports teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Yankees and the Colorado Rockies.
We’ve created and managed brands for professional athletes, including C.C. Sabathia, Curtis Granderson, Barry Zito and Corey Mays.
We’re former athletes, rabid sports fans and love building strategies and products in our niche.
Simply put. We are #1 in the Sports and Athletics industry.
We help individuals and organizations build great brands by creating engaging experiences that represent our clients and speak to their audiences.
For more than a decade, we’ve designed innovating and engaging logos, websites and brands for our clients by submerging ourselves in their industry.
- Caribbean Golf Classic
- Gorilla Lacrosse
- Professional Baseball Strength & Conditioning Coaches Society
- CAA Sports
- Youth Basketball of Salt Lake
- Cheshire Junior Football
- Xtreme Wrestling Coalition
- Trinity Boxing Club
- Medina Gridiron Youth Football
- 400 Hitter
- Orlando Hudson – San Diego Padres
- Curtis Granderson – New York Yankees
- Anthony Fasano – Miami Dolphins
- Blake Geoffrion – Montreal Canadiens
- Corey Mays – Kansas City Chiefs
- Jake Peavy – Chicago White Sox
- Nick Swisher – New York Yankees
- Barry Zito – San Francisco Giants
- CC Sabathia – New York Yankees
- Vernon Wells – Toronto Blue Jays
- Johan Santana – New York Mets
- Roy Oswalt – Philadelphia Phillies
- Rick Ankiel – St. Louis Cardinals
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
- Josh Hamilton – Texas Rangers
- Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals
- Derrek Lee – Chicago Cubs
- Brian Schneider – New York Mets
- BJ Upton – Tampa Bay Rays
- Barry Sims – San Francisco 49ers
If you can dream it, we can build it.
Our developers and engineers specialize in building cloud-based iPad, mobile and website applications that will organize, streamline and innovate your organization.
We’re language and platform agnostic. Our developers and engineers have built applications in nearly every mainstream programming language around and hosted those applications on pretty much any server configuration you can imagine.
That said, we excel in the following proficiencies.
- Ruby on Rails
- We’ve been working with Rails since 2005 and have built more than 100 applications with the framework. Our showcase piece is ESPN where we migrated large portions of their Internet operations to Ruby on Rails, including ESPN Profiles – ESPN‘s social network, which is one of the most highly trafficked Ruby on Rails application on the web.
- Because of its ubiquitous and responsive nature on desktops, tablets and phones, HTML5/CSS3 is being hailed as the future of the web. Well, the we’ve been working with the future for quite some time now as we’ve built dozens of responsive, hybrid applications using HTML5 and CSS3. Throw in some PhoneGap and you’ve got a powerful combination.
- We’re all over Cocoa Touch and Objective-C. Starting with the iPhone and pushed more by the iPad and iTouch, the framework and language have taken off in popularity, but you won’t find an engineering team more familiar with the inter-workings of both. If you’re looking for the highest-quality work for your iOS application, you won’t find a better team.
- Cloud Computing
- Ever since we moved ESPN‘s infrastructure to Amazon Web Services, we’ve been sold on the cloud. We immediately saw cost savings of as much as 80% and productivity increase by orders of magnitude. From AWS, we moved ESPN to Heroku and saw even more gains. Since then, we’ve formed a partnership with Heroku and host the majority of our applications on their platform.
Common Problems We Solve
We need to cut costs from our hardware budget
Data centers are expensive. Paying staff to monitor tune and replace the hardware in these data centers are expensive. Such tools and tasks are not the core competencies of most companies, yet most companies maintain their own system administration team monitoring a growing array of web servers and other technology. This needless grows the budgetary requirements exponentially.
The growth of cloud computing has harkened in a new era for technology called Platform as a Service or PaaS.
PaaS allows companies to leverage the expertise of other companies whose core competencies are Hosting and maintaining hardware.
This allows companies to reduce physical storage capacity, staff while increasing their ability to scale to meet variably increasing levels of demand.
We need to build a prototype of an idea so we can show it to investors
Startups are the lifeblood of invention and the heart of the American dream. They represent the promise that anyone with a game-changing idea can build the next great company.
Unfortunately, many technology startups never get off the ground because they don’t have the expertise to be able to see their idea materialized.
We work with startups to build their minimal viable product. We know that startups almost always start off with nothing and their only chance at survival is to secure investment dollars.
Unfortunately, investors can’t visual ideas like their creators can. Investors need something tangible. This is the minimal viable product or the prototype.
We can build that for you.
Circle Street was recently acquired by Valassis, a multi-billion dollar company in Detroit, MI. Circle Street is well on its way to changing the way retailers do business online.
But early on, Circle Street needed investment.
We worked with them to stub out the functionality investors wanted nearly in real-time, buoying the application until the company secured financing and was eventually purchased.
I need a smartphone/tablet application built but don’t know where to look
Ten years ago, companies started to realize they needed a website to be viable. Now, mobile and tablet use grows daily and soon, smart devices will outnumber computers in terms of connectivity to the Internet.
The sector is hot right now, but still young and companies don’t know where to look when it’s time to build their smart device app or what platforms to build it on.
iPhone? iPad? Droid? Windows?
Hire in-house engineers? Outsource oversees?
We know the markets. We’ve built all kinds of applications and we don’t ship anything overseas, so you can rest assured you’re getting the highest quality, relevant application.
The Orlando Magic needed an application to keep their audience engaged during breaks in the action. They wanted an in-arena fantasy game that would enhance the fan experience while helping collect marketing data and up-sell patrons.
The idea wasn’t fully flushed out, so the stakeholders needed a company to help define the application – not just put together a recipe.
With our business acumen combine with our engineering expertise, we were able to give them more than they could have hoped for.
We don’t have the budget to hire more developers, but the work is piling up
Companies have specific budgets and once those budgets run out, there’s no more money. This often comes into play with staff. Often a company will have available budget but not to hire people.
Unfortunately, the works keeps coming and existing developers and engineers can’t keep up with the pace and the team falls behind, deadlines get missed and quality suffers.
Via staff augmentation with us, companies can boost the size of their staff without taking on additional heads. We have developers and engineers who can work side-by-side with your team or even lead your team through virtual collaboration.
Qualis didn’t have the engineering resources or expertise to build the next generation version of their application, so they turned to us to provide developers and leadership to build their next-generation application.
In the process of creating their product, we also trained their staff, increasing their productivity and capacity.
We don’t know if the application/website we built will be able to scale when we get a lot of users
An application or website may be great when a few people are using it, but can it handle success?
What happens when millions of people start using it every day?
Well, if it can’t handle that traffic, success will turn into failure pretty quickly.
We’ll help make sure that your success will turn into more success by reviewing your application from top to bottom with an exhaustive code review. We’ll load test your application to find performance bottlenecks and we’ll work with your developers to tune and tighten the app from the database to the font-end.
Qualis Management built an application to facility its business between Hospice client and vendors.
The MySQL database on which it was built had millions of rows. Projecting 12x growth over the next year, Qualis feared the application might not be able to handle the increased usage.
So they brought us in to evaluate the situation and it turned out their fears were more than justified.
The application, as it stood, would never have been able to withstand that kind of growth, and we took it down the the foundation and built it back up so it will be comfortable with that growth and more, saving Qualis and untold amount of money and problems.
From conceptualizing, auditing, tuning and measuring your presence on the Internet, we develop comprehensive Social Media, Search and Content strategies that help you meet your business goals, increase your engagement and surpass your peers.
We help you leverage Social Media, search and the Internet to build and strengthen your brand and engagement while tying marketing metrics from your digital marketing activities directly to goals and objectives — allowing for smoother expansion of digital growth and awareness.
Common Problems We Solve
We don’t know how to value our marketing activities
This is a fundamental problem with most companies. They want to increase their audience, but they have no idea what their audience is worth. This is a fundamental problem because companies can’t plan a budget if they can’t measure return on investment.
To help these companies, we show them how to calculate the incremental value of one new “user.” User is a catchall to account for viewers (media companies), clients (service companies) and customers (retail/ product companies).
When we were helping to implement ESPN’s digital strategy, ESPN had no clue how to value a new user. We worked with various departments (Marketing, Insider, Sales and Fantasy) to determine the likelihood of a new user:
- Becoming a Fantasy Player (and what that’s worth)
- Becoming an Insider (and what that’s worth)
- Clicking a sponsored ad (and what that’s worth)
- Buying something from ESPN’s Store
From there, we created a summary that looked something like this:
- 10% of new ESPN users become Fantasy players who are worth an average of $10/month.
- 5% of new ESPN users become Insiders who are worth an average of $15/month.
- The average ESPN user clicks 20 ads per month, which is worth $2/month.
- 1% of new ESPN users buy something from the store each much with an average purchase totaling $23.
From there we have a formula:
Um = (.1 * 10) + (.05 * 15) + 2 + (.01 * 23) Uy = Um * 12
Where Um equals the monthly revenue from one new user and Uy equals the the yearly revenue from one new user.
We don’t know how to tie marketing metrics to business goals
Companies often will come to us with a problem: Our company has very specific business goals, but we don’t know how to tie traditional digital metrics to those business goals.
To solve this, we help companies place values on certain activities. Some common business goals may include:
- Reduce burn rate by 12% by Q4
- Increase donations by 20% by December
- Increase our average margin on each widget sold by 5%
- Increase reader registrations by 40% month over month by the end of the year
- Sell 20,000 units of widgets by the end of the year
These are all valid business goals, but most of the time, companies have a hard time tying their digital marketing efforts to these goals. They may monitor page views and run a certain campaign and if page views (for example) increase, the department claims to be contributing to to goal. If not, management chastises them for not contributing.
But it’s much more complicated than that. We show companies how to track specific activities to drivers of these goals.
One of our clients was a mid-level retailer looking to decrease the number of returned items. The company provided online customer services, and were tracking how many people actually used it, but weren’t sure how effective it was at preventing returns.
The guess was that the more people who used the online customer service tool, the fewer returns there would be. To verify that guess, we set up a streamlined operation that would allow the company to check in on people who used the tool a week later to see if they had returned the item. This gave us a baseline measure of how effective it was and it also allowed the customer to provide feedback on what the company could have done to better satisfy them.
Furthermore, once we had a baseline measure, we were able to experiment and try being proactive. Instead of waiting for someone to come to customer service, what would happen the company could find these unsatisfied customers without them coming to the company?
To that end, we trained the company on how to monitor online conversations and find potentially unhappy customers and try to help them before they returned the items. These such clients were more than 15% less likely to return an item if they were proactively sought out and overall returns decreased by 6%. Within a year, the site tool and the proactive listening got better and better and contributed to an overall decrease in returns of nearly 20%.
We don’t know where to start
Companies feel pressured to have a digital marketing strategy. However, the breadth of what “digital marketing” covers grows daily. This causes some companies to try everything at once, spreading themselves too thin and destroying any effectiveness they might have.
For companies making their first serious entry into digital marketing, we take them through a Digital Marketing Academy – a three-to-five-week program custom tailored to the client with instruction, homework assignments and more.
At the end of the program, the company will have a focused process in which to start and grow their digital marketing strategy.
ATLX is a new 24-hour fitness and training network.
The company came on the scene, knowing it would need search and social as part of its digital strategy but had no idea where to start.
Through onsite and offsite meetings, we took them through our program, training them from the ground up on how to operate and grow a digital marketing strategy through content, search and more.
We don’t know who should do what
Most companies aren’t equipped with a dedicated digital strategy or Social Media department. Instead they expect their employees to “figure it out.” The problem is, without dedicating specific roles and performance measures to these responsibilities, employees can’t and won’t focus on them.
Any serious digital marketing strategy is going to need to following roles (these sometimes have different names)
- Community Manager: Monitors and directs conversation between and among users across the company’s digital channels
- Strategist: Sets the overall strategy
- Analyst: Researches trends and analyzes date
- Content Specialist: Creates content such as articles, videos and photos as well as status updates on Facebook, Twitter and more
- Editor: Plans specific topics for the content specialists to cover and edits the content
How many of each are needed varies on size and budget. Also, depending on size and budget, the company can create a department with these dedicated roles or assign these roles to existing employees. In either case, management must make these responsibilities part of the employees’ regular performance review.
Buzz Media had a plethora of editors and writers and all were trying to “do” digital marketing through Social Media.
However, because there were no formal delineation of responsibilities, their efforts were half-hearted and their success or failure unclear.
We worked with Buzz Media to assign these roles and create specific responsibilities which could be measured. Success on these responsibilities would result in bonuses and be taken into account during performance reviews.
We don’t know how much to spend on our digital marketing strategy
This is really a symptom of the problem: “We don’t know how to value our marketing activities” If a company knows how to value these activities, coming up with budget is easy.
If you know the incremental revenue from one user is $100/year, and you estimate that your strategy can capture 1,000 users each year, you will be willing to budget up to $100,000. If that budget is not enough to support that strategy, you must create a new strategy.
We don’t know what tools to use to augment our digital marketing strategy
Seemingly everyday a new tool promising the world pops up. Whether it’s a tool for CRM, engagement, monitoring, tracking, customer service or all over the above, companies are inundated with pitches from providers everyday and spend countless hours trying to figure out which is right for them.
Most of these tools are extremely useful — in certain situations for certain companies. However, with short trial periods, little instruction and small amounts of time to make decisions, companies often pick the wrong tool for the job.
We’ve evaluated hundreds of digital marketing tools. To name a few:
- Raven Tools
- Meltwater Buzz
- Viral Heat
- Raven Tools
- Open Site Explorer
- Market Samurai
Once we spend time examining a company’s digital strategy, we can easily recommend a tool or a suite of tools that will improve efficiency maximize effectiveness.
ESPN was wooed by so many vendors it would have made your head spin. We were in charge of evaluating all of these products and tools and creating a recommended toolset based on our research. Based on our research, ESPN signed four contracts with vendors and use their tools daily.
Our executives have said our company needs to become more social and we don’t know what that means let alone how to do it
Social, Digital, Community and Engagement are all hot buzzwords with companies right now, and many companies are placing high importance on them. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t expound on what they actually mean, leaving departments to fend for themselves to figure it out.
We can help departments work with upper management to pin down specifics and get commitments on specific goals and metrics.
While working with ESPN, upper management made “Community” a company priority but left each department to figure out how they could contribute to that priority.
We worked with several departments to pin down specific goals and present them to upper management for approval. For example:
“To support the community initiative, the sports department will focus on delivering real-time scores via Facebook and Twitter so that users will have access to our content on their social channels. This will create conversations on these networks and strengthen the ESPN brand by injecting itself into social conversations.”
We great ideas but can’t get in-house resources to build them
After a company has grown its digital marketing strategy for a while, it starts to uncover untapped opportunities. Whether it’s a better way to monitor its audience or a Facebook app that integrates with their business.
We are equipped with developer who can build software and tools to fill these voids.
A startup in the sports industry wanted a way to be able to provide regular updates through Facebook’s messaging system to its fans.
For example, if one of their users said they were a Florida Gators fan, the company wanted to send content (scores, news, etc) to that user’s Facebook inbox whenever it occurred.
We built this integration for them.
We don’t know how use basic tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights
There are a lot of powerful, free tools out there for businesses and companies to use to track, measure and improve their digital marketing strategy. Unfortunately, these tools require some learning and are hard to get use to.
We provide onsite and remote training for all digital marketing tools, from the common like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to the more complex like Radian6, Tap11, Viral Heat, Hootsuite, Buffer and more.
We were working for a medium-sized B2B company that was trying to make a major push on Facebook to try and establish itself as domain experts in the legal field. They were trying to use Facebook Insights to correlate page likes to certain activities.
Over a two-day, remote training session, we showed the company’s Social Media analyst how this could be accomplished with Facebook Insights and a lot more benefits of the tool. This allowed the company to cut out activities that weren’t resonating and focus on those that were.
The net effect was an increase of nearly 10,000 Likes and four new clients.
We need a repeatable process for common business activities
Employees come and go. People move departments. Organizations change. People forget things. That causes problems because there are certain “must-do’s” for business activities. When the processes aren’t formalized and maintained, companies waste time, money and effort re-learning and re-implementing the process each time.
It’s impossible to script everything, however, most industries have predictable events that occur at regular or irregular intervals throughout the year.
Some examples include:
Planned Events: Election Night, Superbowl, Charity Golf Event, Sale, Important meeting with a new client
Unplanned Events: Celebrity death, Earthquake, Rainy Day, Unexpectedly large donation, Hiring a new employee.
All of these are ripe for digital marketing activity and there are boilerplate steps that can and should be taken for each.
Celebuzz and Buzz Media were constantly trying to figure out the best plan of attack from a digital marketing perspective whenever a major celebrity story broke. Because they didn’t have a plan in place, they often were slow to respond and their response wasn’t as effective as it could have been.
Through onsite meetings with executives, editors and writers we came up with a detailed plan of attack for major breaking news that included:
- A specific email distribution list that editors would email with the link to the main story for employees to:
- Getting the writer or someone else if the writer wasn’t immediately available to host an informal Facebook Wall Chat
- Tweeting informal polls about the topic
- Creating a specific Google Analytics campaign for this specific event and make sure all content was tagged appropriately for tracking
- A resource page with links (yes, even links to competitors), created and updated in realtime
- Holding a postmortem immediately after the event to discuss what worked and what didn’t
We don’t see how Digital Marketing can help our B2B/Service company
CPAs, Attorneys, Financial Advisors and B2B companies face a unique challenge in mining new customers and clients. They have to reach decision makers and convince them to trust themselves or their companies enough to do business with them.
The solution sounds simple: Become a Subject Matter Expert. The methodology is more complicated. You have to become a source of information, entertainment or value that people want to share. In essence, you have to think and act like a media company and produce content that will resonate online while gaining you credibility and reach until it reaches the decision makers.
Experts at your company need to be creating this content, or, you need to hire professional writers or journalists to create the content based on interviews and data collection from the experts at your company.
Keep in mind as well, that this content can’t be dry. Don’t regurgitate facts. Have an opinion. Disagree with a colleague. Be humorous. Think about what’s successful in traditional media and emulate that.
The toughest part about this solution is getting out of the mindset that “We don’t have anything interesting to say.”
That’s just not true. We were working with a mid-sized legal firm who thought that no one wanted to read about patent law. In truth, very few people do want to read about patent law.
But people are very interested to read things related to patent law. For example, we had this client create multimedia content including articles, videos, infographics, podcasts and more about patent law when Facebook IPOed. What patents did Facebook have? When did they get them? How much are they worth? Who did they buy their patents from? What’s with their patent war with Yahoo!?
People were interested in all aspects of the Facebook IPO, so our client took advantage of that and aligned themselves with that content. We must note, however, that this content can not be outsourced.
The content reached a few startups in San Francisco — five of whom ended up using the firm for their patent dealings.