Anybody who has encountered any kind of sporting event, whether in person, or through media, has been subjected to sports marketing. However, despite its prevalence, many may not understand sports marketing and the benefits it can bring. Here, we shall define sports marketing and what makes it so important.
What is sports marketing?
Sports marketing is basically any form of marketing related to sports. One such example is how products are marketed through sports. This happens when a company promotes its products, causes, or services through sporting leagues, sports teams, and athletes. Some popular manifestations of this would be star athletes endorsing certain products, Superbowl advertisements, and teams being sponsored by popular brands. Sports marketing can also be seen in the sale of licensed merchandise of sporting events, teams, and athletes. Generally, this kind of sports marketing puts products at the forefront of the marketing campaign.
Sports marketing is also about the marketing of sports itself. Here, sports teams, sports associations, sporting event, and the actual sport or game itself can be the centerpiece of the marketing and not any particular products or services. It is usually done by hosting a “live” activity that has a certain theme. For example, the NFL organizes the Superbowl to promote the event itself, as well as the competing teams and the sport of American football.
Big companies that want to get involved in sports marketing would typically have their own teams handle the process. Though some sporting companies can have their own sports marketing team, this might be more common for private businesses that promote their products through sports. For smaller sporting bodies (such as teams, associations, or clubs), they may employ sports marketing firms to take care of the marketing side of events or audience engagement, so they can focus on handling the sports central to the operation.
Why sports marketing matters
Sports marketing is also a platform that for the promotion of humanitarian causes. Through their celebrity status, athletes could raise awareness about certain issues and generate aid for those in need. Since sports marketing can also be used to reach out to new participants in the sport, to increase interest and participation in it, thereby helping marginalized sectors and promoting personal health. At-risk youth, for one, are known to benefit a lot from grassroots sports marketing.
Huge sporting events may contribute a lot to the economy of the areas where they happen. The Olympics, for example, utilize sports marketing to showcase the city or country hosting it. These places receive direct revenue through taxes, ticket sales, and TV rights for the event. Most of the time, locales where major sporting events occur also see a surge in tourism brought about by the event. This could lead to increased revenue for local businesses as well.
Sports marketing is not only designed to help the business and sports entities that utilize it. By bringing sports to public awareness, it could help improve individual lives and be a platform for goodwill. Whether or not you are a sports fan, knowing about sports marketing and its importance may contribute to the appreciation of both the sports and marketing industries.