Top 4 Trends in Sports Marketing

The estimated total revenue of the global sports market this year is $90.1 billion. (Source: Statista) Ever since the digital age, the sports market has grown rapidly, and that includes sports marketing.

With many different platforms to watch sports, fans can easily watch the game they love conveniently wherever they are. As the year is coming to an end, let’s take a look at the top 4 trends in sports marketing in 2017.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Ever since the NBA started streaming games on VR in 2016, many leagues have started to broadcast games on VR. About 300,000 people this year watched the Champions League Final where Juventus faced defending champions Real Madrid this year through a special VR app.

Many fans With the use of VR and AR, it allows sports marketing companies to think of original content that would appeal to their fans. With the use of data analytics, companies can put up AR advertisements which would only cater to their target audience, which will mean better response rate.

  1. Sports marketing on different platforms

The total number of users on Twitter as of the third quarter in 2017 is 330 million and the average number of active users on YouTube is 1 billion. People, especially millennials, are shifting their focus on mobile devices and social media applications instead of watching television.

In 2017, Ofcom reported that teenagers and children are watching 33% less television than in 2010.

As the number of users on these social media application rise, companies are spending more on advertising on these platforms. By the end of 2017, social network ad spending will hit $35.98 billion (Source: eMarketer).

Many sports clubs have also joined social media to engage with fans, provide live updates on games, and even market upcoming games or events.

  1. eSports is the future

Many people may not agree that eSports is a sport, but the truth is eSports is on the rise. The total revenue for eSports this year is $696 million, and it is estimated to reach the $1.5 billion mark by 2020. Through platforms such as YouTube and Twitch, many teenagers and young adults have become famous just by playing video games.

The NBA have announced that they will be starting a professional gaming competition, called the NBA 2K League, where each of the NBA teams have their own eSports squad. When they launch in 2018, only 18 out of the 30 NBA teams will be joining, but they are to have all 30 teams in the league eventually. To read more, click here.

This opens up an opportunity for companies to market their products and services through these professional eSports events, and clubs can also look into acquiring the assets of these eSports players to create digital content to market upcoming sports events or matches.

  1. Rise of Female Sports Fans

According to an NFL spokeswoman, 45% of the NFL fan base are women. (Source: Reuters) The campaign “This Girl Can” that was started by Sport England got 1.6 million women exercising in the UK alone. The number of female sports fans has increased, and it is about time to include them in sports marketing.

Over the years, we have seen many female athletes who are successful brand endorsers, it started with tennis stars like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, and it has gone on to sports like football like Alex Morgan with Nike.

Nike also released an advertisement that went viral this year that highlights the challenges Muslim women face when they become an athlete, to market their upcoming product line, the Hijab Pro, which is released in 2018.

With the rise of female sports fans, having marketing campaigns for both genders will certainly help business improve.

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