Marketing can be one of the most important, and challenging, aspects of running a business. It is essential for driving in new customers, building brand loyalty, and developing strong relationships with collaborative partners. In this day and age, often times what exactly you’re marketing and you you are marketing to are more important than how many ads are being aired for your product.
Sports marketing in particular has come a long ways in the last decade or so. They’ve adapted to a larger audience and have some of the most impressive customer loyalty around. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what makes sports marketing so powerful and unique.
Many sports marketers have taken a lot of heat for focusing marketing efforts so specifically upon men. One Gallup poll found that over 50 percent of women consider themselves fans of professional sports, meaning they are being ignored in most marketing strategies. This is a huge demographic that has frequently been left out of major sports marketing campaigns has the power to completely revamp the basic market.
Because of this, many sports marketers are beginning to work towards addressing this issue. It is actually one of the biggest trends in sports marketing right now. Nowadays, female targeted ads and other marketing strategies are working to become just as commonplace as the male-centric ads that used to dominate sports television. Recognizing an untapped market and shifting focus onto it is a major pointer for any marketing campaign.
Sports fans are some of the most loyal people on the planet. Diehards are dedicated to their team whether it is raining or shining, if the team is the last seed or the first. With this level of loyalty, many professional organizations and players are offered contracts with major brands that hope to gain some indirect fan loyalty and stadium advertising.
Determining which brands to sign with is a major factor in sports marketing. Certain brands have the power to change the face of a team (or player) for better or worse. For instance, most would have difficulty signing with companies in the adult entertainment industry for fear that their brand would no longer be family friendly. Building a brand that customers and fans alike feel as though they want to trust and support is important not only in sports marketing campaigns, but in any campaign from the grassroots level up.
Changes in Viewership
The majority of sports marketers are also recognizing a change in the age demographic of their audience. More and more frequently, they are finding that traditional marketing strategies are failing to engage millennial fans. Many sports teams are only broadcast through expensive cable packages that tie millennials to monthly bills, televisions, and a bunch of channels they simply aren’t interested in watching or paying for.
To address the situation, innovative sports marketers are trying new things such as social media and live streaming as options for viewing games without locking into large cable packages. Furthermore, some are working with cable companies to create both online and cable packages that are strictly tied to sports channels and marketed for a much lower rate than traditional cable. The bottom line for other marketers to take away here is to pay attention and be ready to adjust to changing times and customer preferences.
There are number of ways in which all marketers can learn from those involved in sports marketing. Since this industry is so large, it provides a unique trial and error ground that others can educate themselves from. Perhaps the biggest takeaways from sports marketing are to adjust to changing customer preferences in a timely manner, address untapped markets as soon as possible, and build a brand that customers want to support.