Sports marketing

Forbes India – 10 sports marketing trends modern marketers need to watch

The concept of creating shared value between sports teams, local communities and fan communities is stronger than ever. Image: Shutterstock

OWhether you’re an athlete or a sports fan, follow an individual team or player, or watch once in a while, sports will bring out your team spirit and give you inspiration and hope in untold ways.

Sports brands play a very important role in the lives of their fans, which means they need to think about how they run their business, how they engage fans and what kind of messages they convey. to the society. The concept of creating shared value between sports teams, local communities and fan communities is stronger than ever. While it’s hard to know what’s coming next, keep reading to see what’s happening in the world of sports marketing as I see it.

1. Experience it:

Sports marketing is increasingly about making customers feel like they’re part of something good, something that contributes to their lives in a meaningful way. As we slowly emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, we are all eager to experience life in all its glory and participate in or attend sporting events. And live events top the list. Brands will continue to drive authentic engagement through on-the-ground experiential marketing activities by delivering experiences that matter. At Hyperice, we take great pride in picking up athletes at the finish line.

2. Sanitize it:

Having access to the latest health technologies will become a competitive advantage. It is now evident that better physical fitness and better physical and mental health have a positive impact on an athlete’s performance. Athletes and sports/fitness facilities will continue to invest in health and recovery technologies.

3. Follow it

Among the emerging opportunities, wearable devices and internet-based services for fitness tracking, which incorporate social networking features, will continue to thrive amid an increased emphasis on individual activities such as running and cycling. Brands will continue to create, engage and inspire these communities. For example, the advent of Strava challenges by brands like Trek bikes is one of my favorites.

4. Invest in it

Despite the constraints of the pandemic, whether training in a restricted setting or not being on the field to play in front of thousands of people, the athletes saw it as an opportunity to focus on other things, including their businesses and investments. Most investments made by athletes have been driven by personal experience with the products they have used and come to love; or products that fuel their passion. Athletes will continue to attract investors in relevant startups and companies as they go. For example, Virat Kohli became the first Indian Hyperice athlete-investor to join the growing list of athlete-investors such as Naomi Osaka, Earling Haaland, Amanda Nunes, Daniel Riccardo, Rory McIlroy, Ja Morant and many more.

5. Merchandise it

The majority of products are purchased for emotional reasons and a smaller percentage for functional reasons. We are all collectors at heart, and we like to show our support for our choice of sport, team or player. And if you attend a sporting event in person, you want to celebrate and commemorate the experience. Licensed merchandise is the trend that will continue to grow in sports marketing. If you have a strong sports brand, it’s time to think about brand licensing, additional retail visibility and promotion, and reaping the royalties.

6. Publish it

Brands are leveraging their athletes and available fan base to further fuel a narrative through authentic social media content. We will see a continued rise in athlete voices on social media as they inspire their audience to stay active, get fit, and start taking care of their overall well-being. We will see more content collaboration with athletes, especially with Instagram’s new collaboration feature which allows brands to continue to leverage the athlete’s fan base and vice versa. Both brands and consumers place a high value on authenticity and relatability, which results in greater engagement, even with athletes seen as influencers or brand advocates who have fewer followers but who are aligned with brand values. Brands will continue to nurture innovative partnerships that deliver high engagement and authenticity through UGC content for social media.

7. Scan it

Digital content is more important today than ever. Younger fans continue to consume differently than older generations. Therefore, short and unique content and surrounding events/athletes will create huge prominence. Not to mention the importance of second-screen content. Of course, there is a substantial audience for live games, but the audience for secondary content on the second screen is equally appreciated. We are already seeing an increase in original content from professional and amateur athletes. Sports marketers will increase their focus on unique, platform-specific ancillary and non-live content through new and emerging content distribution channels.

8. Globalize it

Meeting the needs of international fans is a challenge – one of those challenges is that live streaming cannot happen at a convenient time for many fanbases internationally. Here, digital will be huge, not only for highlights and content, but also for other creative ways to tap into the momentum of sport besides watching it on TV. This will increase opportunities such as multi-viewing or collaborating with local influencers or athletes to create content around the experience in a locally relevant way for a particular market.

9. Esports

Video games are becoming more and more popular, especially after the pandemic. More and more gamers are finding their way into the world of esports. More emphasis will be placed on the development of casual/amateur and professional players as time goes on. There is an emerging trend among esports gamers who are now taking their fitness and recovery seriously to have longevity in their careers. We’ll also see more brands wanting to be part of the gameplay by being featured interactively in games, and we’ll see more live integrations with esports athletes.

10. Women in Sport

For decades, the sports business was a male domain. Thanks to changes in society, the sports industry is also highly mixed. We will see more brand support for women in sports and sports for women. This is also due to the fact that women are an increasingly financially strong buyer group.

Mayuri Pitale is Director, Business Development and Marketing (India), Hyperice.

Note to readers: Storyboard18’s new Month In Focus initiative shines a light on themes and topics that are driving marketers to reshape and rethink the way brands engage with customers today. Our first theme is Just Sports, a special sports marketing spotlight brought to you by Sports18. We bring you stories of how marketers are harnessing the power of technology, innovation and creativity in sports to create powerful storytelling in campaigns that increase audience affinity and loyalty. . From traditional sports platforms around cricket to emerging games and the rise of esports, we get leading voices from the worlds of marketing and sports to give us precise and timely insight into forward-looking marketing practices. . Plus, tune in for analysis that will surface insights and strategies that help brands improve experiences and storytelling with authentic collaborations. So watch this space for Just Sports.

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