As the world becomes more digital, the ability to engage consumers and drive sales has intensified. Compared to life at the turn of the 20th century, there are dozens of additional hobbies that the general public can choose to pursue. And getting people to watch now takes more skill than it did a generation ago.
Although sports marketing does not require the same level of attention as beer, cola, fast food or motor cars. Nevertheless, there are people who want to be part of the sport and are keen to promote clubs and games. Unfortunately, when it comes to marketing, there is less advice available. Instead, getting the word out about football relies on better knowledge of generic marketing tricks and methods.
But there are specialists and scholars who focus on football. These people earn their living through marketing clubs and think about how to get the attention of the general public. For example, Brandwave is a full-service sports-focused marketing agency. There are also academics who publish work comparing football marketing inside and outside Europe. For example, Michel Desbordes, professor at both the University of Paris-Sub, France and at Em Lyon, Business School, has published a book delving into the subject.
Those looking to marry a passion for gaming and marketing should seek to learn more about what is required for marketing, entry-level jobs. Of which there are a few areas that are worth learning more about.
There are several content platforms that make themselves known by being available, on demand, through particular platforms, such as Facebook or Amazon. In India, for example, to watch La Liga, the first Spanish league, we catch it on Facebook. This is a game changer because in the past you were at the mercy of local TV programming. It’s not like now, thanks to Facebook, you can choose when to watch and where.
This intensifies the competition as other content providers seek to promote their matches and leagues. Knowing how to profile potential viewers can give you an edge in marketing your team, whether to locals or fans away from home.
AI-powered chatbots are changing the way fans interact with their teams and the sports they follow. With these programs, working through platforms like Messenger, Slack, Kik, and Telegram can engage fans by sharing news, results, stats, and exclusive content that bolsters particular teams and personalities.
Chatbots, by tracking interaction with their targets, can create profiles and personalize shared content. And then, the use of casual language and humor can engage participation and consumption. Engagement, however, can also fuel how clubs themselves evolve to expand their audience.
This AI has become ubiquitous and easily accessible to marketing teams even if they are not computer scientists. For example, reported here on The Non League Football Paper, it’s no longer just ESPN r Sky Sports offering smart technology. Pixellot, for example, can produce automated streams that engage tens of thousands of people a month without anyone needing to operate a camera. It’s really a game-changer.
While gaming was once the domain of geeks, the growth of consumer participation, even virtually, has allowed thousands of people to become more involved in the sports they follow. Sports marketers today must use this avenue to reach more consumers and convert them into fans of particular teams.
This avenue turns out to be an offshoot of its real-life counterpart as there are now conferences and events that attract huge attendance. It also opens up access to fans around the world as they can participate in events remotely.
A growing aspect of the internet age is the number of statistics that are not as measurable as companies may have known before. One trend, called Dark Social, is the impact of person-to-person link sharing. Instead of seeing something posted on Facebook and being intrigued, researchers found that a significant amount of traffic to sites (like what sports marketers would like to encourage) comes from recommendations from online friends.
To be able to measure How? ‘Or’ What visitors are informed about a particular team or site would be useful in determining marketing spend. And yet, Dark Social makes it so difficult that reaching these individuals isn’t as easy. Right here, influencers are helpful – i.e. people on social media who have huge followers. However, the majority of this type of promotion comes from the masses and not just from influencers.
Mainstream sports, for generations, have been dominated by men. Even more so, White man. But over the past 80 years, the barriers of race, gender and now age have eroded. Like other industries, target groups have segmented what they want to consume and support. A franchise can no longer assume that it will appeal to residents of a specific geographic region. Today, they also need to think about the demographic that will identify with this team.
Likewise, the trend extends to the age of consumers. While esports attracts younger generations, the population as a whole is aging and they too are looking for clubs that reflect their common interests, values and memories.
Sports marketing trends are exciting and ever-changing. As in the past, as after the Second World War and at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, the playing field for those who wish to participate in the promotion of sport is changing. It creates opportunity on a scale that only happens once, it seems, in a lifetime. And although there are now hundreds of channels to choose from, there is no longer any question of having the same rate on all these channels. The only challenge is letting the audience know what new choices they have.