30th September 2019

What digital marketing lessons can we learn from sports franchises?

This article is at least 4 years old. Views, opinions, or technology mentioned may have evolved since its publication.

Digital marketing has been allowing sports franchises to impact a much larger audience than ever before, so it’s no wonder it’s the talk of the marketing sector. Let’s take a look at several lessons that can be learned from already successful sports franchises:

Tell a story

The largest lesson that can be taught is that audiences are clued up to when they are being marketed to nowadays and will switch off to anything too ‘salesy,’ so instead, you should try to use your business or brand to tell a story.

Appeal to your audience by showing how your product, sport or service will improve their life, add to their entertainment, make their life happier and easier or bring them closer to their friends and family.

Most brands and companies are now also incorporating UGC (User Generated Content) into their digital marketing strategies, as the general public’s trust is speedily veering away from trusting or believing influencer marketing due to so many being paid to promote and hype up below-par products and services to their loyal followings.

User generated content, however, allows the prospective customers to see the product or service in action via an actual user or customer, so they can see the pros and cons for themselves. They also know that a genuine customer isn’t going to promote a product or service that they are unsatisfied with.

Use brands equally

The most successful sports franchises will be very careful with their sports marketing techniques and use any brand sponsors equally so that their trust rating and brand values aren’t watered down among too many different sponsors or with sponsors who have conflicting messages and morals.

Sports teams are a great one to look at here as they will have a kit sponsor in the form of a manufacturer, such as Nike or Adidas.

They will also have various sponsors around their stadiums, such as cryptocurrencies or digital companies, along with a main sponsor that appears on the front of their shirts. Examples include online casinos and betting online companies, or large technology companies like Samsung or Vodafone to mention just a couple of examples.

They balance all these brand sponsors beautifully, as each has its own place and value within the business, so none overpower any of the others as their sponsorship roles differ within the clubs.

Invest in star players

Although a team is made up of more than one player, and they all contribute to a team’s success, there can be no denying that investing in a hyped-up star player will increase a club’s popularity and media presence – all great things for any business digital marketing plan! Take Cristiano Ronaldo and Al-Nassr, or Lionel Messi and Inter Miami, for example.

Star players can bring a level of attraction and interest that not many other marketing tactics could, so they should always be considered to create a buzz and gain free media mentions.

This could also be applied to other businesses by getting a star relevant to that industry to come on board either as a promoter or a customer.

The future of digital marketing

Marketing is an ever-evolving sector. In the last decade alone, we’ve seen simple marketing expand into online marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing, and influencer marketing, and now we’re seeing user-generated content marketing venturing onto the scene too.

There are so many options and opportunities with marketing that it would be hard to predict precisely how the future of digital marketing will turn out, but one thing’s for sure: it won’t be slowing down any time soon.

Businesses will all need to keep a close eye on emerging trends and new marketing tactics to keep up with their competitors and not fall behind the times. Luckily marketing is usually a fun and modern industry to be in, so looking for new lessons to learn shouldn’t be too gruelling.

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