City of Gardena GTrans Introduction of New 7X Stadium Express Service

Target Audience: When the inaugural NFL football season at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA was held without fans in attendance in 2020 due to COVID-19, fans were overjoyed at the prospect of the new stadium opening at full capacity for the 2021 season in September 2021. GTrans was ready with its 7X Stadium Express, providing new service to the area on Sundays. The primary audience for the Line 7X Stadium Express was English and Spanish-speaking Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers ticket holders/fans, employees of the SoFi Stadium area, and existing and potential GTrans customers in the South Bay Communities of South Bay Los Angeles wishing to travel to the expanding entertainment district.

Strategy Objective:Despite our many constraints, GTrans wanted to establish Line 7X Stadium Express as foundational service for SoFi Stadium game goers, and to leverage SoFi Stadium's opening and unprecedented COVID re-entry along with its position as the 2022 Super Bowl host. GTrans developed an integrated campaign to drive awareness and ridership of the new express public transit line from Harbor Gateway Transit Center to the SoFi Stadium complex on Sundays using a robust social and digital media, radio and print media campaign. This was accompanied by an internal campaign for employees to get them excited about the new service and interested in helping with the customer campaign. To do this, we created custom jerseys, provided weekly food and snacks, held raffles and had a tail-gaiting BBQ.

Situation Challenge: With the 7X Stadium Express, GTrans leveraged its proximity to SoFi Stadium as a first step in developing ridership to support more frequent service to this major regional destination. A new football stadium, two new NFL teams, and no documented experience with the level of attendance/congestion was exciting and challenging. In addition to marketing to and beyond GTrans' traditional transit customers, deploying a new service during COVID created two key challenges. First, uncertainty predicting ridership because of the slow return to public transit usage. Second, rules on large gatherings were constantly changing. Restrictions were lifted only three months before the season started, leaving a short timeframe in which to develop/deploy the campaign.

Results Impact: The success of this campaign can be shown in how we generated a significant amount of awareness and web traffic for the Line 7X Stadium Express. Our social media efforts generated great awareness and drove efficient site traffic, which was shown via 2.7M+ impressions and a 0.99% CTR. From Sept. 1 – Nov. 17, our ad campaign directly generated the following website statistics: 45,130 website sessions (58% of total website sessions); Average time on landing page: 2 minutes, 39 seconds (59% higher than the website average); 38,608 users visited the landing page (64% of total website users). Most importantly, this campaign translated into a tangible increase in ridership. From mid-Sept. 2021 through Jan. 2022, the Line 7X Stadium Express saw an increase in boardings of nearly 150%!

Why Submit: Leveraging some new and existing resources and media channels, GTrans is delighted with the results from the campaign for the launch of its first new service in over 10 years. The campaign led to a nearly 150 percent increase in Line 7X Stadium Express boardings from the beginning of the service on September 17, 2021 until the end of the four-month campaign in January 2022. We feel this solidifies GTrans as a resource to get to existing events and attractions in this developing entertainment center, building a new customer base for potential usage of GTrans' current and future suite of services.