Your business needs to try new things to stand out and build brand awareness and recognition in a competitive market. Consider tapping into a bigger audience: people who watch sports. While the pandemic threw a wrench into the works of many live events, viewership for sports continues to grow overall.
This presents a huge opportunity for businesses of all sizes and types to market to a large and varied audience. Sports marketing can be tricky, though. You need to stand out and be creative to grab attention in a crowded arena.
Enter the Marketing Arena
One of the most obvious reasons to consider marketing during sporting events or alongside sports teams is the big reach. You can reach a vast audience this way, potentially building major brand awareness. You may not be in a position to create and pay for a Super Bowl ad, but smaller or more local events provide great exposure too.
Sports also offer a chance to target more specific audiences. Not all sports fans are the same. Different demographics watch college and NFL football, soccer and basketball, women’s and men’s teams. Get to know the demographics to benefit from big yet targeted reach.
There are less obvious reasons to use sports for marketing opportunities. In addition to significant exposure, you open your brand to new potential customers. If you already have a sports-loving audience, tying your product or service to sports teams and events can increase loyalty. It can also increase trust and authority in your brand when you link it to another well-known brand, like a sports team.
Now is a perfect time to begin sports marketing. As the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel finally begins to show, fans are returning to live events in droves. Tap into this enthusiasm to get back to the games by marketing and advertising at events.
Many businesses, especially big brands, use sporting events for advertising. There are plenty of benefits of sports marketing, but this strategy is not without challenges. The biggest is the risk of getting lost in the crowd. Businesses need to get creative to stand out.
If you look at sporting event advertising before the pandemic, many ads used wacky premises to get people talking. Some were even controversial, which is another type of risk in sports marketing. Many companies reverted to more serious ads during the pandemic, connecting viewers with empathy and support.
The lesson here is that you need to do something different but also in tune with the times in order to get reach during sporting events. Here are some tips that can be adapted to businesses of all sizes:
Provide a Giveaway
Get your logo on promotional items at sporting events. For example, buy stadium cups in bulk for a cost-effective way to present your brand to attendees, who will then take it back to their homes. Any kind of giveaway at a ballpark or arena will work, including pens, thunder sticks, team flags, and foam fingers.
Advertise in the Arena
Takeaways are great, but also consider placing more permanent ads in arenas and parks. An ad in the restroom is a creative way to get the attention of a captive audience. If you have a bigger budget, advertise on the stadium’s banners, monitors, hallways, or food service areas.
Work With Local Teams
If your business is local or regional, focus on the teams in the area—partner with those teams for more targeted exposure. You could offer to sponsor specific games or special events to get your brand and logo to a new audience.
Work With Athletes Too
A celebrity sponsor is great for building authority and trust, connecting with your audience, and spreading brand awareness. Depending on your budget, you may be able to get a minor local athlete to endorse your brand or work with someone with a national reach. They can make appearances in advertisements, marketing materials, and your social media pages.
Reach Sports Fans on Social Media
Social media is a valuable tool for all kinds of marketing, including in the world of sports. Fans follow and engage with their favorite teams, so you should too. Link up with local sports teams, and a whole world of potential new consumers opens up to your business. Post sports content to engage them.
Don’t Neglect This Major Market
It’s no secret that sports events are a big deal both in the U.S. and around the world. Any marketer that ignores this market is missing out on a huge opportunity. Sports marketing might not be the first advertising method one would think of, but it is a unique avenue at least worth exploring.
Especially when major competitions or matches are scheduled at certain times of the year and bring in an influx of attention and elevated exposure for the brands that are fortunate enough to be involved.