The sports market in America is a pure powerhouse. With an over 100 billion dollar market value, it isn’t an area you want to skimp out on. However, sports marketing has it’s challenges.
Our guide is here to assist you in identifying those challenges, establishing trends, and formulating strategies to overcome them.
What is Sports Marketing?
To begin, what exactly is it in the first place?
Sports marketing is aimed at promoting sporting events, sporting equipment or products and services using an athlete or team. For instance, ads in a Super Bowl stadium, or athletic endorsements are some of the most common forms of sports-related marketing out there.
Current Industry Challenges
Now, for the hurdles. Every type of marketing comes with it’s challenges and for the sports industry, here are some of the biggies.
- People aren’t watching traditional media.
- It’s hard to persuade people to watch in-person events.
- Not all sports stars can effectively market.
2020 is bringing new sporting trends to the table.
For example, more women are becoming fans of the industry then ever before. Therefore, the target audience is continually changing.
Also, the entire target audience is wanting more interactive methods to engage with their favorite events and teams. (We’ll get into more detail about this later.)
Lastly, sports culture and marketing is shifting to be more inclusive and lifestyle-based.
Onto the good stuff! Listed below are some of the most important and innovative strategies when it comes to sports promotion.
Create Engaging Content Through Social Media
This can mean a variety of things.
Remember before when we said interaction was key? Well, here’s where you use it! Through social media, do your best to encourage the sharing of content through digital contests. By doing this, you give your fans a way to interact with your brand, while also spreading your message in an innovative way.
Another way to create engaging content is actually through fans and other sources. This is called user-generated content, and it can be quite the tool in helping your brand look personal and build trust. Encourage this type of practice through the tagging of Instagram photos and searching for relevant sources to follow and engage with.
Time Your Message Accordingly
Did you know 72% of fans are excited by pre-game content? This is vital to know in planning your marketing efforts as you’ll want to appeal to your audience at the proper moment in time.
In addition, it’s a good idea to “live post” during the game at stake, as many people are monitoring online sources at this time. You’ll have a better chance of updating and engaging at this point than nearly any other time.
Establish Your Target Audience
Without an establish target audience, your promotion means nothing! Think of what traits suit your audience best, such as proper location, age, and interests. This will help you determine the best method in which to reach them.
Be Open to Brand Partnerships
It’s wild to think that McDonalds is the official restaurant sponsor of the NFL. Yet, it’s true!
Unlikely brand partnerships happen all the time in the sports world, and it’s important to be open to partnering with a business that can provide the support you may need. This all comes down to numbers and being data-oriented. If you each have a common goal, and express it, than it’s a win-win situation for all.
This one should come as no surprise to most sports fans, as sponsorships have become a key method in generating brand awareness.
The main reason behind this is their visibility. A sponsorship can appear pretty much anywhere, from the back of a jersey, to a logo on a race car. Either way, the sponsored company is being seen due to the team or athlete it stands behind in exchange for compensation.
Don’t Forget eSports
eSports is estimated to reach a total revenue of $1.5 billion by the end of 2020. I don’t know about you, but we like those numbers. Below are some of the biggest reasons why you shouldn’t sell eSports too short;
- The League of Legends World Championship has reached 60 million online viewers.
- Overwatch League signed 12 teams to the first global city based eSporting league.
- Celebrities, brands, and athletes are all beginning to take part in the eSports world.
Consider Using a Digital Marketing Firm
As we stated in the introduction, sports marketing can be quite tricky. We’ve simplified it through this guide as much as possible, but it may just be best to leave the digital and/or traditional marketing strategies to the professionals. These are the people that will know the ins and outs of social media, forming partnerships, establishing industry contacts, developing productive advertising campaigns, and oh so much more. If you’re looking for a top-notch digital agency, click here!
While we could go on and on about sports marketing, and what can help make you the best in your industry, we hope our guide has helped give you the kick-start you need to get moving!
Have questions about our pointers? Drop them below in the comments section!