GET WITH THE WAVE OR GET WIPED OUT
The sports industry is one of the fastest growing business sectors today, worth over $1.3 trillion worldwide. With new teams cropping up in high-profit markets like Los Angeles and international teams getting more global play through universally compelling events like the World Cup and Olympics, the time is right for sports executives to update their marketing and capitalize on the potentially lucrative trends in this fast-changing business.
In recent years, technology and social media have become an integral part of the sports experience, and knowing how to navigate those spaces will be a key part of any successful marketing strategy.
We’ve seen many changes in sports organization, marketing, and fan interaction in recent years, as athletes have become more vocal as spokespeople for social and philanthropic causes and new stars have harnessed the power of social media to burnish and promote their brands.
The experience of going to a game has also changed as smart technology becomes integrated into almost every aspect of the fan experience. And the growing international reach of leagues and teams has led many franchises to establish intercontinental marketing strategies.
Any successful marketing executive will need to stay on top of the latest trends to effectively market their team or player. Here at Dynasty Innovation, we’ve assembled the three trends in sports marketing you must know to capitalize on these new opportunities.
I: Athlete-Fan Interaction
It used to be that athletes and fans interacted only in autograph lines and the occasional call-in interview. Now athletes are increasingly running their own social media accounts with active Twitter and Instagram feeds that chronicle their daily lives and training routines. Many also write their own content on personal blogs or websites like The Players’ Tribune.
Athletes are taking charge of their own narrative, reaching far larger audiences on social media than in print. This makes it possible to grow their brand and associated products with unconventional marketing. A post of an athlete wearing an endorsed product on a live Instagram story can have as much impact as a multi-million dollar television commercial at a fraction of the cost.
II. The Smart Arena Revolution
Mobile technology is changing the game day experience. More than seventy percent of fans bring a cell phone or tablet to the game, and forward-thinking teams have started to streamline arena features with the tech-savvy consumer in mind.
E-tickets allow for faster check-ins at the attendance gate, and growing cashless accessibility speeds up lines at concession stands and gift shops. Mobile technology can point guests to the shortest bathroom line, settle seating disputes, and even have snacks and drinks delivered to your seat. Fans can also enter online lotteries for seat upgrades and pre-game access to athletes. By having guests preregister accounts, teams now have the ability to customize fan incentives.
III: Hometown Team, Global Reach
Access to sporting events around the world has increased thanks to mobile technology, streaming services, and social media. International fans of just about any sport can follow their favorite teams virtually anywhere. This literally evens the playing field for sports that vary widely in popularity from country to country.
Soccer is now the second most-played youth sport in the United States, and top international players are becoming household names in America. On the flipside, leagues like the NFL are constantly making inroads into international markets.
Any effective online marketing strategy should consider the culture of the team’s international fans and target promotions towards them.
Sports marketing is an increasingly digital, global world. With athletes branding themselves through social media, mobile devices becoming an integral part of the game experience, and the impact of increasingly international fan bases, it’s essential to keep up with the trends and develop your marketing plan accordingly. For more information about marketing your organization on a digital and global scale, contact the experts at Dynasty Innovation.