Sports Marketing
Business How To

How Sports Marketing Works

Sports is known to elicit a burning passion, and this die-hard type of loyalty is the reason why reputable online gaming sites like the Casino Canada and sportsbook are thriving. But, really, to the sports enthusiast, sports are more than just a form of entertainment; it is a way of life. On top of giving birth to activities like sports betting, the popularity of sports has given rise to a form of marketing that many brands are taking advantage of every other day. And the best thing about it is that it cuts across all industries. 

So, thanks to the vast popularity of sports, brands have realized that you can use sports for marketing themselves successfully even if the brand itself has absolutely nothing to do with the sport. According to the NFL, the 2021 Super Bowl attracted a viewership of 96.4 million worldwide. Meanwhile, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia drew a viewership of 517 Million people worldwide. It is these record-breaking numbers that marketers want to tap into. 

As such, more and more brands are fighting to be at the forefront of sports marketing because they understand what it means for brand visibility. For example, per the Wall Street Journal, global beer manufacturer Budweiser spent $30.8 Million on Super Bowl ads! 

What is Sports Marketing?

Sports marketing essentially takes advantage of sports to help sell a product or service. It can take various forms: it may be marketing products in sports stadia, on the different team benches or even marketing the tournaments.

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With the Superbowl, for instance, through the Superbowl Half Time Show sponsorship, Pepsi has been marketing itself to close to 100M people at a go since the 2012 season. The soft drink company signed a 10-year contract worth over $2 billion. However, with the ten years lapsing this year, starting 2023, the Superbowl Half Time Show advertising rights could go to a different company.

Sports marketing may also include sponsoring individual athletes. For instance, brands such as Gillette associate themselves with Tiger Woods. Through this endorsement, the company yields significant proceeds as Tiger Woods is a widely adored name not only in golf but the sports industry as a whole. In addition, sports stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer, LeBron James and Odell Beckham Jr, among many others, also have lucrative deals with various organizations. 

Loyalty Targeting

One of the most effective sports marketing strategies is to capture the fan’s emotion. A fan often loves everything about an athlete or a team they support, and this translates into a form of brand loyalty. As a result, any direction taken by the team or athlete that a person supports will translate into the path a fan will most likely take. 

For instance, Team Viewer, the global remote access and remote-control computer software, has sponsored one of the biggest sports franchises, the Manchester United soccer club. The deal worth £235M over five years will ensure that the European software giant will receive a large following from Manchester United fans. 

A Win-Win for Sports and the Brands Involved

Suffice to say, sports would not be successful without sports marketing. Improvements on team facilities have a lot to do with sports marketing, as brands have been known to sponsor stadiums and re-innovations in training grounds. Organizations have also been known to offer official matchday kit sponsorships and training ground kits sponsorships in a win-win arrangement. 

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Some of the most prominent examples of sports marketing today include:


  • Nike- Nike, the global footwear and apparel manufacturer, regularly inks sponsorship deals with some of the biggest sports personalities. Moreover, Nike sports sponsorships take it a notch higher than other brands, with stars like Cristiano Ronaldo having lifetime contracts. The other influential Nike Sponsored sports stars include LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods, among many others.
  • Budweiser- Budweiser, the renowned American-style lager, has heavily invested in different sports to diversify its market reach, and this strategy works incredibly well for the company. The beer brand has had a partnership with the Chicago Bulls, sponsored the 2019-2020 NHL season, and was also the official beer of the 2018 FIFA world cup. 
  • Red Bull- The energy drink manufacturer is known for the diverse range of sports that it’s involved in. It is mainly engaged in extreme sports like BMX, cliff driving, skiing and motorsports to evoke the high octane feel the drink is supposed to give you. 


Boosting Brand Recognition by Winning Hearts of Sports Fans

Given that strong emotions of hard-core fans accompany sporting events, they become a rich breeding ground for the savviest marketers to sell their products and services. The feelings evoked here are the reason why brands will spend millions and billions to be part of the excitement involved, as they will likely lead to conversions.

For marketers, sports are a well that will never run dry provided they play their cards right. Considering that sports will always have fans, the sector will always be a hunting ground for businesses and organizations looking to expand their customer base and boost their brand awareness. 

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