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Sports Business

Marketing, Sports Business

How Sports [Marketing] Has Changed

December 30, 2014

The sports game has drastically changed. Yes, fans still root for their favorite teams and wear their lucky jersey on game day, but off-the-field, sports teams have shifted from traditional marketing strategies and advertising models toward more progressive and hands-on approaches.

With an ever growing demand by consumers for engagement and relevancy, the sports industry has responded by taking marketing and creativity to new levels. As a result, the sports industry has opened up new partnership opportunities and ways to connect with fans.

Reactive and Proactive

In 2010, the top 50 advertisers in sports spent a combined $6.6 billion on sports advertising, up 27 percent over what the top 50 companies spent in 2009 and 22 percent more than 2008 (SportsBusinessJournal.) So what changed? While we may not go so far as to say everything, a clear change was the way that the sports industry approached fan engagement and the creative process.

Although social networks Twitter and Facebook started in 2004, the sports industry only began catching up with it around 2008. Although ‘late to the party,’ sports teams quickly began to turn their attention toward the digital space and social networks because of the intriguing opportunity that they offered. Prior to the ‘new digital age,’ sports advertising and marketing online revolved around advertising opportunities where success had a clear definition. From traditional advertising campaigns that focused on the PPC/CPI/CPM model and standard sponsorship titlement of web assets, sports teams played it safe when it came to online marketing and advertising, with creativity often found only in offline opportunities.

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Business, Marketing, Sports Business

The Sports Executives Dream…

January 20, 2012

When it comes to sports, there are two points of views that it can be viewed from. The first is from a fans perspective and the second is from those who work on getting the actual sporting events to happen. From a fans perspective, sports is as close to an emotional roller-coaster as you can get. From your favorite team driving in the winning run to a buzzer beater shot that sends one team home and the other to the big dance, fans enjoy the luxury of being able to watch athletically gifted individuals come together on a grand stage.

On the flip side of things, sports executives that are involved with the marketing, sales, and organization as whole have a different perspective than that of the fan.  Past all the glitz and glamor, what it all comes down to is that it’s still a business. From the promotions that need to hit its’ numbers to the press release that needs to be done before deadline, the world of a sports executive is full of hurdles, surprises, and twists. Just how Alice entered the rabbit hole toward an unknown adventure, the sports world never ceases to surprise those who enter it.

With that said, we present the question of what a sports executive would ask for if they could have everything go the way they wanted? While everyone wants something different, here 5 ideas on what a sport executives dream might be:

1. Facebook Would Be Easy To Understand

Hate or love it, Facebook isn’t going anywhere. For sports executives, embracing Facebook can be difficult because of the simple fact that Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines cause so much friction because of their lack of clarity when it comes to determining what is and what isn’t a violation. For sports executives and teams, this is especially troublesome as the next level of engagement for teams when it comes to maximizing their digital fan base is through contests and promotions via social platforms like Facebook.

2. League Rules Would Be More Flexible

When it comes to great ideas, there isn’t a lack of them in sports. The problem though that so few of them see the light of day. For sports executives that are looking for ways to maximize their resources and talents, league rules can sometimes create barriers that impede progress. In the ideal world, leagues would work hand in hand with sports executives and teams, giving them more freedom to be creative and leniency to try new strategies.

3. A Mobile Marketing Strategy Would Be Easy

With an expected jump in the number of consumers with smartphones this year, finding a way into the mobile market will become a hot topic for sports teams. While few would make an argument against the viral nature of the  mobile space, what is up for debate is whether it’s worth it financially and also more importantly, if it’s even feasible given both league restrictions as well as the difficulty in creating a single application/mobile strategy that will appease all parts of an organization.

4. What’s A Lockout?

Eliminating the possibility of a lockout is an ideal situation not only for a sports executive, but for fans as well. While potential lockouts irk fans, sports organizations must tread lightly with decisions they make when a lockout is imminent, such as the case with the NBA lockout looming next season. These decisions include a multitude of areas including hiring personnel and budget cuts.

5. Digital Sponsorship Are Easy

One of the biggest question marks going into 2011 is the direction sports teams will take when it comes to digital sponsorships. While sponsorship teams have had mild success when it comes to selling CPM and standard sponsorship space on their team sites, sponsorships teams need to begin focusing their attention on social media assets and distribution as well as developing exclusive digital content that are sponsor eligible. For sports executives, educating and bringing in the right talent that know how to effectively sell digital sponsorship would be the perfect situation.