What makes the sports industry different than any other industry? What do they have no other industry have? Well, the sports industry has fans. Without fans, stadiums would be empty, many companies would not exist, and professional sports would not be the way it is today. I doubt professional sports would have existed without these fans.
Let’s take some time to understand these sports fans. It has been proven that sports fans make different types of decisions before purchasing products. They would appeal to their emotion and loyalty towards a certain team and player and not make an economical decision.
This is what makes sports fans different to regular customers. Nobody points out at someone and say, “ Hey look, that guy is a converse fan.” However, you can see many fans wearing their favourite club’s jersey and you would know that they are a fan of that club.
Most club fans are loyal to their team. Unlike brands that are not associated to sports, fans do not usually change their loyalty to another brand or club.
Sports marketers can use that as an advantage, and advertise their products through player endorsement or collaboration with the clubs. However, this does not only apply to sports brands. We have seen non-sports brands such as Coca-Cola and Heineken advertisements in sports events.
Why do non-sports brands sponsor in these events? This is because they know that their products are used by these fans. If sports fans watched a commercial before a sporting event on TV and see Heineken as a sponsor, would it not entice fans to purchase Heineken beer for the game? This is why non-sports brands sponsor these events or collaborate with clubs to reach the club’s fans.
Sports marketing is also unique because sports events are not planned. This makes sports marketers always on their toes during sports events as unexpected moments can occur. We have talked about these unexpected events and how some of the brands like Oreo and Snickers have used it to their advantage and their advertisement went viral.
With the rise of the digital age, real-time marketing is easier as fans are always online, on their social media platforms. These fans use social media platforms to share their opinions, get live updates and see what others are saying about the club. This gives many brands a chance to use social media to do sports marketing.
However, sports marketers must understand which platform these sports fans are on. Just by knowing who they are would make a lot of difference as they would channel their resources on the right platform and not waste money.
Sports marketing is also unique because it involves having a relationship with your customers or fans. By having social media accounts to engage with these fans, and understand them even better can also go a long way. This is why many sports clubs have social media accounts and have players to interact with these fans, by posting funny gifs and having Q&A sessions.
In conclusion, sports marketing is unique because of these fans. That is something that no other industry could say they have. These fans enjoy engaging in conversation with sports clubs and share the opinions to them.
Sports marketers can also use that to engage in conversation with these fans when selling their products and services.