The most successful NBA coach in history, Phil Jackson, has based his career on strategy. Without the triangle offense, Jackson might not have won 11 rings. Off the court, sports marketing strategies are just as essential to promotional success. If your sports organization’s digital marketing strategy is trailing behind the competition, now is the time to get in the ball game.
7 Unbeatable Sports Marketing Strategies
Develop Your Target audience
Before diving into any sports marketing campaign, it’s best determine the target audience you are trying to reach. A target audience is a specific group of people at which a product or marketing message is pitched. For the New York Islanders, one target audience could be high school boys that live on Long Island. The New York Lizards, on the other hand, might target Long Island families. Every organization has different target audiences that it seeks to influence. A winning strategy is to research and analyze competitors instead of swinging at the first pitch.
Position Your Brand
A unique, distinct logo is a crucial player in marketing strategy. Some of the best sports logos are simple yet memorable (think: New York Yankees). Sports organizations use branding to occupy a distinct spot in fans’ minds. By differentiating your brand from the competition, your organization will become a more-recognizable entity. Sports organizations, like Shootout for Soldiers, a lacrosse tournament that raises money for wounded veterans, are remembered more easily by being affiliated with a specific cause.
Because there is no “I” in team, sports organizations are not likely to win over fans without creating partnerships. All winning sports marketing strategies involve partnerships with influencers or charities. Sports organizations often highlight their sponsorship of a charity within their community. This can raise the profile of both organizations and draw them new audiences.
Craft a Compelling Message
In sports marketing, messaging is the foundation of an organization’s public communication. From Facebook to press releases, a strong, consistent message should guide all of your public communication. It’s best to tailor your sports organization’s messaging to your target audiences. In content marketing, simple defeats complicated every time.
Select Distribution Channels
Once you have developed your sports organization’s message, it’s time to select the right distribution channels to reach your target audience. These could include social media marketing channels, like Facebook and Twitter, or content marketing options, such as blogs or email. What’s best is the best choice all depends on what is right for your target audience. Since social media marketing is ever-evolving, keep experimenting with different content on new channels and platforms. You can even encourage user-generated content. For example: the New York Lizards encouraged fan engagement by requesting fans post photos of their team pride on Instagram.
Plan Special Events
There’s nothing that can put fans in the stands like a special event. Special events such as promotional days are a mainstay of the sporting world. These special events can draw new audiences that might not normally be exposed to your sports organization. By merging new and old audiences, your organization can quickly increase its fan base.
Measure, Review and Revise
After completing each and every sports marketing campaign, the impact of strategies should be measured and reviewed. By benchmarking where the campaign begins, its progress can be tracked over time. Tools like HubSpot can monitor metrics like pages views and call-to-action clicks. Afterwards, your sports marketing strategies can be revised to outscore your next campaign.