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What Is Sports Marketing? Guide on Marketing Sports

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What Is Sports Marketing? Guide on Marketing Sports

What is sports marketing?” It’s a question we get asked all the time. Simply put, sports marketing is about bringing sponsors and athletes together to create long-term and profitable relationships. But though it might sound relatively simple on the surface, it’s far more complex than you might think and, at Creatitive, we do things a bit differently.

What Sports Marketing Used to Be

Sports marketing companies have been around for a long time. And since their beginning, they’ve focused on helping businesses find athletes they can sponsor. This helps expand their target audience and helps increase brand awareness — the more people who learn about your brand the better.

The process worked because people across the world look up to sports stars with a reverence not often seen compared to other celebrities. For instance, if they wear a certain kind of shoe, someone will want to have those shoes too. And if they drink a certain sporty beverage, you can bet that their fans will suddenly start buying that same drink. It’s often known as sports advertising where brands and other businesses partner with athletes praised by their target market.

When marketing sports, strategies used to be as simple as that. Sponsors got connected with athletes that were interested or willing to promote their products. And in return, the athletes got something like an advertiser’s fee and got the chance to promote sports. This could either be money or goods depending on the agreement worked out by the sports marketing agencies.

Those old-school agencies also helped promote teams or athletes to increase attendance at specific events and grow their visibility in the community. This might involve creating a team website, updating events schedules, and monitoring social media accounts for trends or issues fans bring to their attention — but it’s relatively impersonal. The agency’s marketing strategies aren’t always interested in watching the team grow and reach a broader audience.

The Creatitive Approach

Unlike most marketing managers, Creatitive has chosen to take a less traditional road on marketing sports. As players in the field, we like to think it turns the industry upside down.

Our focus is on building strong relationships between sponsors and athletes as well as helping athletes grow their potential by making them visible to sports fans online. But before we dive into sponsorship, let’s discuss the athletes and teams.

We Build a Sports Brand

Every athlete and sports team is unique — and it’s that uniqueness that sells tickets to sports events like the World Cup and cultivates following. Unfortunately, not all teams and athletes are consistent when promoting themselves. Sports management who don’t have a clear vision of who they’re trying to promote often need a brand. 

Creatitive helps them figure out their brand whether they’re a full-time professional athlete or a community little league. We start athlete branding as well as sports team marketing with market research.  

Once we’ve established branding, we then create websites, social media accounts, and online content that stays true to who they are. Subsequently, this creates consistency across all platforms used for sports promotion.

We Focus on Performance of Every Sports Marketing Strategy

When sports branding has been successfully built, we start cultivating a solid online presence that will help that brand grow and reach new audiences year after year. This is accomplished through a combination of PPC campaigns, search engine optimization, and social media management.

When you’re active online and promote your brand consistently, you’ll start to see an increase in fan engagement, ticket sales, merchandise sales, and player recognition. This is the backbone to any successful sports promotion strategies and Creatitive ensures you’ll be in the loop every step of the way.

Communication is key and, unlike other agencies, we want your input, your concerns, and your feedback. For us, it’s a partnership.

Now, Let’s Look at Sponsorship

All the ticket sales in the world aren’t enough to bring consistent income to teams and athletes, especially during the off season. You need sponsorships, but finding the right sponsor isn’t as simple as it seems.

Athletes and teams need to partner with sponsors whose products they believe in, use, and can actively benefit from. Authenticity matters when marketing sports. If promotions start to feel too manipulative, audiences feel off. So, it’s must be remembered that your teams should support products that share the same morals and values they have. 

Marketing Products You Enjoy is Easier

Sponsorship all comes down to making money for the sponsor. The more your fans buy, the more money the sponsor makes and the longer they’re likely to maintain the sponsorship.

That’s why it’s vital to find sponsors you actively support. It’s easier to get excited about products when you already love them.

Yes, getting a check in exchange for ads will motivate you for a bit, but that motivation won’t last. And your fans will notice. When this happens, they’ll stop buying the products your sponsor sells and your sponsor might look for someone else.

Bringing Value to Sponsors & Partnerships

Getting sponsors requires more than just excelling on the field. It’s also about what you do off the field to build your brand and reputation. 

Sponsors want to invest in someone who can bring them money and recognition. They want players who know how to market and promote themselves. That means you’ve got to have a strong online presence, a decent amount of followers, and a brand that showcases your unique attributes as a player.

Creating a strong online presence makes you look like a more attractive investment — which can result to getting more sponsors!

Creatitive Helps You Market Your Sports Team

Once you find a sponsor, you don’t have to manage the relationship alone. We’ll help you with those sponsored ads, banner designs, and social media promotions so you can focus on doing what you do best: playing.

What Is the Value of Sports Marketing?

So, what is the value of sports marketing, you ask? Visibility. This is true for athletes and sponsors alike. When a sports marketing plan is successful, it increases visibility both in the community and online.

Ready to learn how you can market your sports team? Contact us today and set up a meeting with our sports marketers!

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