For many Americans, being a fan of the local team is more of a way of life, not just a hobby. It’s about passion, commitment, intensity, and the relationships and memories that you share with your fellow fans. While most people look forward to cheering on their favorite team all week, there’s a billion-dollar industry working tirelessly behind the scenes.

While Super Bowl ads and athlete endorsements are well-known examples, sports marketing is much more than that.

Below, you’ll find 5 essential tips to run a successful sports marketing campaign:

1. Find Your Demographic

Like with all forms of marketing, it is critical to first determine and understand your target audience. It doesn’t matter if you have the most creative messaging in the world, if you are not hitting your target market you are throwing your ad dollars down the drain. In order to craft a successful sports marketing strategy, consider the following characteristics:

Keep in mind the market of your target audience. Are you targeting a regional or national level? Remember every place has different fandom and sports heroes.

Let’s face it, going to a sporting event can be costly. Having an idea of your target’s income allows you to ensure your product is priced properly and will likely affect your messaging.

Your marketing strategy will depend heavily on the age of your target. You may have more success hitting younger customers with online efforts. Conversely, a traditional campaign may be more successful with people over 50.

While some sports still heavily skew male, global sports fandom is approaching a 50:50 gender split. Women currently make up 47% of highly engaged sports fans.

2. Create Engaging Content

If there is one thing sports fans are consistently interested in, it’s engaging content with their favorite teams or athletes. Sports, in general, lends themselves to engaging video content. Whether you’re posting game highlights or an A-List athlete is promoting your brand, video content notoriously outperforms any other type of creative.

Sports fans also enjoy the ability to share content because it allows them to connect with other fans and the teams alike. Thus, in order for your content to be effective, it should be easily shareable.

3. Timing your Content 

With most sports marketing campaigns tied to seasonal sports and live events, it is vital to consider the most effective time to post your content. Example:

  • Ride the wave of the pre-game buzz by placing your marketing leading up to the start of an event 
  • Jump on opportunities to congratulate the winners or championship teams when your target audience is still watching

Many fans are using their mobile devices while watching an event, so this is a great opportunity to hit your market with your message. Timing is essential when scheduling content across all platforms.

4. Paid Digital Campaigns

While organic content is an important part of a successful sports marketing strategy, your message is limited to only your current following. In order to hit new potential customers, you should look into paid digital campaigns. Digital capabilities continue to expand, allowing for extremely targeted and cost-effective marketing efforts. Having a diverse mix of the following channels will lead to a complete and effective marketing strategy.

Paid Social Media
A cost-effective way to target your demographic with engaging branding messages. These act as digital billboards throughout social media platforms.

Paid Search
An effective way to push your website to the top of search platforms and target customers lower down the purchasing funnel

As social media campaigns, display and retargeting are great for branding. However, it allows you to go one step further, by targeting those who have visited your website. Allowing you to stay top of mind for these customers

Video Advertising
Video has always been an effective branding tool. But with the increased popularity of cord-cutters and streaming viewing, digital video has become an excellent alternative to the high costs of cable and broadcast media.

5. Traditional Media Campaign

Even with the world shifting to digital, traditional media still has its place in an effective sports marketing strategy.

While many people are cutting their cords, live sports remains one of the few appointment TV viewing options, allowing marketers to hit millions of viewers with their message. The Super Bowl is always the highest viewed live event each year, and while most companies don’t have 5+ million dollars to spend on an ad placement it shows the importance of live sports viewership. The following channels are still extremely viable for promoting your product: billboards, television, radio, and print.

Interested in taking your sports marketing campaign to the next level? Contact beMarketing, the best full-service agency for all of your digital and traditional marketing needs.

Taylor Wood, Account Manager