Sports marketing

The 6 trends that will dominate the next decade of sports marketing

At a recent roundtable with some of the top sports marketers in the business, hosted by The Drum Network, our panel closed the show with a sports favourite: a little anticipation. For The Drum’s Sports Marketing Deep Dive, we’ve compiled their answers to the question: What trend will shape the next decade in this rapidly changing space?

Nick Addecott, Director of Sports and Entertainment, The Maverick Group: The era of proprietary data

We’ve already started to see a focus on first-party data ownership strategies. This is a real key for sites and rights holders – being able to have real and tangible access to global fanbases; to be able to create better and more impactful partnerships.

Look at the Spotify x Barcelona example. I’m not saying anything bad about them at all, but during the negotiations Spotify asked Barcelona: “How many fans do you have in the world?” Barcelona said: “We have 350 million fans.” Spotify said: ‘It’s awesome, we have 400 million unique monthly users; we can create something really special here!’

Then Spotify asked Barcelona: “How many of these fans can you actually communicate with?” How much do you have consent to talk to? And they said, “Well, it’s about 1%, about 3 million.” This caused the price to drop quite drastically.

It will be critical for rights holders to own this data, and for brands getting into these sports to try to bridge the gap between awareness and conversion: download apps, download websites and start getting real. , physical, tangible use of the products.

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Laura Randall, Creative Director, Iris – Adidas: Marketing to whom?

I hope we can stop prioritizing reach over impact.

We talk about the metaverse; personally, I have a slight aversion to the word “metaverse”, simply because in advertising, that’s all I hear a minute. But this is not the answer to all briefs. And I don’t think that should be the answer to every memoir. In some cases, we’re looking to respond to a brief in a cool, relevant way – rather than looking at the brief and thinking, “Is this the answer? »

I’m afraid we’re prioritizing 12 and 13 year olds who are in the metaverse on Roblox over people like me, a 33 year old pregnant mom. How are you going to get me into the sport? I’d like us to stop and look at memoirs for much more niche audiences and how we can truly impact those audiences that are often overlooked – especially in sports memoirs, which are aimed primarily at young people from 15 cool years.

Neil Hopkins, Global Head of Strategy, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment: The win-win of sustainability

It’s a question of sustainability. We’re going to have to use the unbridled power of technology to bring people closer to the action. Whether in sports, music or another passion, we will have to find a way to allow people to live their passions, but not necessarily by being there in real life. I don’t necessarily think linear TV is the answer to that either, because in the TV business everything is sliced ​​and diced to such an extent that you’re going to end up with about 1,000 different subscriptions to watch everything in your favorite sport.

There are real advantages to doing the technological part for rights holders. For brands that want to connect with these audiences, if you use technology, you reduce environmental impacts; you increase the sustainability of the sport. You also do it in a way, if you plan the channel correctly, that attracts new audiences. And because it uses technology, you’ll have the data capture back-end to do it, which makes the whole thing much more commercially advantageous for everyone. So I think, yes, we’re going to see a lot more focus in 10 years on being able to enjoy events from a greater distance.

Ryan Phillips, Senior Creative Director, DRPG: A longer conversation

We’re already seeing fan integration through things like “the metaverse.” Companies like Ray-Ban are already partnering with companies like Meta to create content that makes us feel more together, more interconnected.

It will involve the connection between fans around the world in the stadium (as well as sponsorship) and speak to people in a more human way. I think we’re going to start seeing people really communicating where it’s open and free. And we’re starting to see brands come to terms with the fact that you don’t always have to give a quick line. You can engage with people longer. While we used to think of seasons as three months, they can be continuous. We can start seeing things from drafts; we can start seeing things from player integration; we can start to see people really connected, much more than we see now.

Parisa Howard, Vice President, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Momentum Worldwide: work on purpose

I’ve given a lot of thought to the increased focus on targeted campaigns. Brands know they need to create an emotional connection with consumers, and aligning with initiatives that matter to them is a great way to do that, especially when we’re thinking about Millennials and Gen Z audiences.

It also allows for unique storytelling opportunities. We talk a lot about how content contributes to broader fan onboarding for properties and brands. It also appeals to these audiences.

Mina Mikhael, Artistic Director, Transmission: More action after the whistle

Over the next decade, I’m excited to see us focus more on sports entertainment. We’ve seen that through content and increased access, we have a way to interact with fans between games. Previously, your season was about three months, and that was it. But thanks to how brands and leagues have been able to embrace digital marketing, we now have that opportunity to continue engaging fans in the sport between the whistles.

I believe we are going to see increasing access to content, democratizing the sport so that wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever your age, you have an access point to the sport. Hopefully this continues to lean into finally enjoying the sport and embracing that fandom a bit more.

Check out The Drum’s latest Deep Dive, The New Sports Marketing Playbook, and learn the tactics employed by the world’s biggest sports organizations and their star athletes to stay at the top of their game.