There is a sport for (almost) everyone – from NFL to NASCAR, NHL to MLB, Kentucky Derby to NBA. Sports are fun because they are always an experience for fans. And that experience goes beyond the touchdown or homerun. This Washington Post article says these sports “help fill the need we have to connect with others, the desire for a transient but thrilling moment.” That’s why event marketing and sports make a winning team.
It’s also why people now prefer to buy an experience over a product. We have a need to connect. We want to be a part of an exciting moment and we want to do so with others around us. Both event marketing and sports combine that need for connection with the desire for an experience. Experiences win our hearts (and wallets).
But if your brand is new to the experiential game, how do you guarantee a grand slam?
Here are 3 ways you can win with event marketing and sports:
1. Excitement – From the World Series to the World Cup, every sport has its “big game” that attracts immense attention. And companies with the budget to sponsor them are getting great exposure. Build on this excitement by traveling to different cities, upgrading seats, providing an experience fans otherwise wouldn’t have. Unite and excite fans by making an already memorable experience even better. It doesn’t matter the location of the sporting event, since fans will likely reside in every community. (Think viewing party!)
2. Creativity – Sports marketing isn’t what it used to be, which in the past was primarily directed to men watching men’s sports. Today, brands are tapping into other consumer markets and demographics. And, appealing to women is high on the list. In the case of the NFL, it’s reported male viewership has mostly “maxed out,” while women are “among their largest growing demographic” at 35%. This is in line with other sports leagues, including NASCAR (37%), PGA (35%), NBA (30%) and MLB (30%). Yet, it seems the predominant changes are in brands’ advertising and the gender of brand ambassadors. So, this leaves plenty of opportunity to reach women through sports event marketing.
On the other hand, alcohol brands are going all the way. They’re putting more resources into less traditional markets and building relationships on-site. Anheuser-Busch is one company pulling out all the stops. Marketers for its Natural Light brand used fun tactics to attract a younger generation to the classic Masters Golf Tournament. And, its Michelob ULTRA brand made a big appearance at select PGA Tour stops and running/cycling races nationwide. At these events, participants enjoyed beer samples, digital photo ops and a koozie-making station. These were great ways to build on its position as the beer for the active lifestyle. Now, it’ll be interesting to watch the brand as the official sponsor of the World Surf League.
3. Talent and Skills. The personality and skills of your event staff impact your ability to either bring home the gold or wind up in the penalty box. Choosing the right people and training them properly is top priority when planning sports event marketing activations. Your product or service activation will require that staff have certain capabilities. These may include technical or artistic skills or sales experience, but you’ll also need brand ambassadors who are approachable, flexible, and punctual, among other vital qualities. This helps ensure you have the right people for the job – the people who will make it happen when it counts the most.
If you are looking to get into the event marketing and sports world, we would love to chat. These results speak for themselves.