Today, the sports industry is one of the most profitable industries in the world. Regardless to say, this industry is becoming vast here in Bangladesh as well.
In sports marketing, there’s a vicious circle that involves fans, brands, and athletes.
Fans are willing to spend money on sports events and merchandise. Companies and brands are willing to spend money to advertise via sporting events, sports teams, and athletes. Teams and athletes are willing to spend money to grow their fan base and sell more tickets and merch.
Since we are talking about Sports Marketing, I would like to introduce two aspects here:
- brands and companies using sports events and athletes to market their products and services
- sports teams and events marketing themselves.
This aspect of sports marketing deals with the promotion of various products, services or causes by taking advantage of the popularity of different sports, competitions, teams, or individual athletes.
Some of the most common ways brands and companies market through sports is by having athletes or teams endorse their products or by sponsoring sporting events so as to advertise their products or services to wider audiences. Other than that, brands and companies utilize sports marketing to sell licensed merchandise, organize special events for fans to hang out with their favorite athletes, and so on.
Here are 5 Best Marketing Strategies that you can follow:
1. Create Engaging Content
One trick that sports marketers can use to attract more customers is creating engaging content with the help of celebrity sports figures. Sports fans share content with their friends all the time, meaning that you are able to tap into the networks of people that your target audience knows. More than half of fans follow their favorite teams on social media, so you can digitally engage your customer base if they also happen to be sports fans.
2. Sports Contests
One example of a successful promotion is using contests. A contest can tap into the excitement that fans already have for the game as they are motivated to feel like winners although they might not be athletic. Contests get people excited about what you have to offer your customers, making these great tools for customer outreach and motivating your customer base.
3. Brand Partnerships
Brands often rely on partnerships in order to drive results. Sports teams and brands are looking to align with one another as businesses are focused on becoming more data-oriented. Brands are looking for new opportunities to invest in partnerships, so they are always looking for new avenues to make that happen. As an example, many are shocked to hear that McDonald’s is the official restaurant sponsor of the NFL.
4. Using the Right Tools
Sports marketing requires that you use a combination of different tools to reach the consumer. People watch sporting events on television, check scores on their mobile devices, attend live sporting events, listen to sports on the radio, and read about sports in the newspaper and online. This combination of different outlets means that you have many different ways to target your market. Remember that Google drives about 96% of the search traffic for mobile devices, and about 47% of sports fans are using mobile devices to check Facebook during a game.
5. Tell sports-inspired stories (like Nike does)
No conversation about sports marketing would make much sense if we didn’t mention one of the greatest sportswear brands in the world (and one of the greatest examples of quality marketing through sports).
Nike is a global brand known for high-quality shoes and other sports equipment, technical innovations, and collaboration with the world’s top sports teams and athletes (Roger Federer, LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt – to name a few).
Still, the heart of Nike’s marketing efforts, in fact, lies in storytelling.
Nike’s storytelling even inspired Steve Jobs to start Apple’s “Think Different” campaign. In one of the interviews, Jobs described the Nike marketing strategy as one of the “greatest jobs of marketing the universe has ever seen”. He explained:
“Remember, Nike sells a commodity. They sell shoes. And yet when you think of Nike, you feel something different than a shoe company. In their ads, they don’t ever talk about their products. They don’t ever tell you about their air soles and why they’re better than Reebok’s air soles. What does Nike do? They honor great athletes and they honor great athletics. That’s who they are, that’s what they are about.”
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