Every day you see advertisements on your phone about upcoming sports events, or receive emails on the latest sports products with pictures of famous athletes wearing them. Without these notifications or advertisements, how would you find out new products or latest events or matches? Sports marketing plays a big part in the sports industry right now.
This give many brands a chance to use real-time marketing based on sports events. For example, Snickers released an advertisement poster with the caption, “More satisfying than Italian” after Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini during the group stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Real-time marketing is not easy as events like these do not happen very frequently, but when the opportunity arises and the company successfully tells the story, it would surely make them visible on the internet.
In sports, every game is different, the outcome is unpredictable, and anything can happen during a game. During the superbowl in 2013, there was a blackout which lasted more than half an hour, Oreo’s marketing team took advantage of this and posted a picture on twitter, with the caption, ‘you can still dunk in the dark.’
Using emotions as leverage
Sports marketing gives companies the ability to leverage the emotions fans have towards the sport. However, this means that the companies must know exactly which sport to target as fans behavior differently in different sports. Beverage companies such as Coca Cola and Heineken are using sports marketing as a tool to sell their products, knowing that people will purchase them when watching a game.
If companies that are not related to sports, using sports marketing, it would be needless to say how important they are to sports brands like Nike and Adidas. Every year, these top sports brands spend millions of dollars for sponsorship with clubs and players. When they endorse these brands, it gives them to right to put up pictures and videos with these clubs and players.
Fans would purchase items from a specific brand for various reasons. First, they might choose that brand because they have been using it a long time. Secondly, they choose that brand because their favourite sports team are sponsored by that brand. Lastly, they choose that brand because their favourite player endorsed by that brand.
A wide range of audience
During the FIFA world cup in 2014, more than 3 billion people watched at least a minute of that global event, and the worth of the media rights was estimated to be about $1.7 billion. By using sports marketing, it allows brands to “piggyback on the sentiments and devotions of fans towards their favourite teams and athletes.” says Kiyoshi Tatani, president of Mizuno Singapore. This shows how powerful this events can be, and why many brands sponsor these events.
Not all organisations can use sports marketing
With all these reasons, one can only think that sports marketing will be very good for the brand for exposure. Yes, I do agree that this will be a very good platform to reach out to a larger audience, however, without proper research and finding out the needs of your target audience, it would do more harm than good to your company.
For example, in 2016, Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney was acting in a trailer for the latest X-Men film. The campaign was a failure, and the only thing it did was made many Manchester United fans upset as they felt that football was turning into a brand and not a sport.
To conclude, with the right idea and execution, sports marketing can help a brand get onto another level and gain recognition. Knowing exactly what the fans want and how their products or services can help the fans will certainly go a long way than just spending money and pray that people will be attracted to the brand.