sports marketing definition

You know the feeling you get when you watch your sports team play? Mixed emotions before the game, the heartbreak when your team loses, and pure happiness when your team wins the game? To some, watching professional sports is a form of entertainment, while for others, it’s a way of life.

With so many sports events right now for millions of people to enjoy, sports marketing is one of the most important pillars for these major sporting events. Sports marketing is a powerful tool that many major sports brands have leveraged over the years to go viral. Best of all, it works across virtually every dynamic sports industry.

Why does it have such power? What is the sports marketing definition? In short, it comes from sports fans, but there’s a bit more to it than the popularity of sports.  

So what exactly are sports marketing campaigns?

sports marketing definition

To simply put it, there are two types of sports marketing: Marketing sports as a product and marketing through the promotion of sports. There are many ways people consume sports, hence, sports marketing can take on many forms.

Sports marketing is a product that involves organizations planning, executing, and advertising sporting events. On the other hand, marketing through sports is making use of sports to sell one’s products or services.

We have seen Coca-Cola use this form of marketing strategy through many different campaigns. And of course, how can we forget Procter and Gamble’s “Thank you, Mom!” campaign during the Olympics.  

Why Does Sports Marketing Matter?

The sporting industry wouldn’t be as successful as it is now without a sports marketing strategy. Amidst all the camaraderie, great games, and iconic players, the sporting industry is still a business. Sports teams, professional leagues, and clubs are able to pull off thrilling matches through ticket sales and sponsorships. Sports clubs are still here because of the loyalty of their fans.

But now that things have changed, a sports marketing program has never mattered more than it is today. The competition is fiercer than ever, leading companies constantly seeking the help of sports marketing experts. And players who want to get ahead should know the importance of sports marketing strategy to the success of the industry.  

Loyalty is sky high with sports fans

sports marketing industry sports participation
Engaging Fans

Do you have a specific team that you hold dear? Or do you have your favorite sports teams? Favorite athletes? Any particular sport you love? How do you feel about the sports products they endorse? As part of a fan base, you feel a kinship and a strong sense of loyalty towards the brands they promote. That is one power of sports over a sports fan.

Loyal customers are six times more likely to think better of your companies, are six times more likely to behave better toward your companies, are six times more likely to buy more of your products, are six times more likely to rebuff competitive offers, and are six times more likely to recommend your brand.

The loyalty fans have for their team and for their favorite professional athletes. If you have a favorite sport, club, team, or professional sports athlete, you’ve no doubt experienced this connection first-hand. When you see someone wearing a jersey that represents your people, whoever they may be, there’s a connection. A kinship.

This type of loyalty doesn’t exist in many industries. It’s unlikely you’ve ever seen someone sipping on tea and struck up a conversation, “Say, that’s my favorite brand too. I really like the undertones in this season’s collection,” yet that happens all the time amongst sports enthusiasts. Now, this is the power most sports marketing professionals and marketing managers are overlooking, the key to a successful sports marketing plan is the fans.  

Sports Brands can leverage this loyalty through athlete influencers and sports events

Not surprisingly, loyalty trickles over into things associated with a fan’s favorite club, team, or athlete, and of course, ticket sales. As people see these athletes wearing specific luxury timepieces, it enhances the visibility of the brands and helps cement them as world-class leaders. Obviously, not everyone can afford a Rolex or Richard Mille, but that’s the point of getting the watches on the wrists of elite athletes; to demonstrate the exclusivity of the brand. Conversely, Nike often pairs with everyday athletes. Sport management at its best.

The brand loves to showcase stars who came from traditional backgrounds and rose to greatness through talent and perseverance. By extension, the fans of athletes donning Nike brand apparel then associate the brand with triumph, and they also begin wearing it because it makes them feel like they’re part of the professional athlete’s team. They, too, are winners.

Whether it’s clothing they wear, phones they use, shoes they run in, or food they eat, fans want to emulate the athletes they feel a connection with. Sports organizations and companies know this. Quite simply, working with athlete influencers can achieve any number of goals, from increasing loyalty to generating more brand awareness, getting more website hits, moving into new markets, or appealing to a specific sports marketing audience. These things naturally result in greater sales and sports marketing profits.  

Impact of sports marketing strategies on companies and organizations

world cup sports marketing campaigns

Without sports marketers, sports would not have as much of a wide-range impact on the world today. Many sporting events rely heavily on the campaigns developed and implemented by their sports marketers. Otherwise, how can one support their favorite football club or attend games without a sports marketing strategy promoting these sports clubs or sporting events?

It would be impossible for sports to entice huge crowds to watch a game without a marketing strategy. How has sports marketing changed over time? Sports marketing is not something new. In fact, it has been going on for the past century since sports became a profession. Sports events all need sport management persons to take care of everything. From athletic administration to event marketing, a sports marketer would help even with your public relations.

Think along the lines of advertisements broadcasted through the radio, newspapers, and later, through television. Now, with the advancement of technology, there are many more channels where sports marketers can tap into. This includes the likes of the internet and social media.

One of the examples of an efficient sports marketing strategy would be how football clubs have embraced social media as a powerful tool to market their brand. From attracting new fans to promoting upcoming matches and also running campaigns, they’ve taken their marketing online on popular social media platforms.  

Conclusion: Athletes and Sports Teams Need Professional Marketing Strategy by Sports Marketers

This is essentially what sports marketing is. It is more than just fans watching their favorite sports teams, may that be a baseball game, a basketball game, the World Cup, or any other similar sporting events. It is what happens behind the scenes, what happens before the actual event itself. More so, it is about the power of sports to unite people of different backgrounds towards one common interest. Sports marketing has been in the market and will be in the market for a very long time.

If you are looking for an introduction to the fast-paced sports marketing industry, visit our website now, and let our sports marketing experts help you today!

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