The most successful sports people and entertainment professionals enjoy unmatched popularity on the global level, which makes them powerful amplifiers of commercial messages. An endorsement from a famous person or a banner at the arena or concert venue can do wonders for a brand looking to gain prominence in the market. There are countless high-profile examples of this symbiosis that go to prove it’s possible to leverage pop star power for commercial endeavors.
This promotion method is undoubtedly effective, but the actual results depend on many factors. Not every brand has an organic connection with the world of sports and entertainment, and building one takes a lot of time and skill. Companies need all the help they can get to master sports and entertainment marketing techniques and make the most out of this model. This guide is intended to explain the basics and point the readers in the right direction.
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The most successful athletes, singers, actors, and other public figures derive a large portion of their income from promoting different products and companies. Organizations and events (i.e. sports clubs or festivals) also depend on sponsors to foot their bills and pay the performers. The partnership can be realized in many ways, from celebrity performers appearing in TV commercials for the brand to long-term partnerships, event naming deals, etc. Sports and entertainment marketing of this kind can be considered a subset of celebrity marketing, and in many cases, it brings immediate and obvious returns.
Companies that are able to find the right sports and entertainment partners stand to gain a lot of visibility in the market, leading to profits down the line. While it’s certainly not cheap to be the main sponsor of a sports event or a large music festival, free media coverage that inevitably includes mentions of the brand makes this a value proposition. Large corporations that already enjoy high visibility might have a different motive to support sports and culture, as this could help them improve their reputations and become associated with positive social goals.
Finally, sports and entertainment events represent a chance to come into direct contact with the consumers and understand their needs better. This marketing channel can be very useful for establishing more personal relationships based on shared values and interests, especially in the social media era. Skilful presentation of the main strengths of the company in this context can have a far reaching impact and open the doors for building a loyal customer base out of the sports or entertainment fans.
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To make the most out of their investment into sports and entertainment marketing, businesses need to carefully consider which potential customers they want to interact with. It’s typically not very hard to deduce the composition of the following for each famous person or high-profile event, and in case there is a demographic match with the main target groups that the brand wants to attract it makes sense for the brand to step up and offer a partnership.
For example, a brand that primarily sells to 40-50 year olds would be more inclined to support a rock concert, while one that aims at a much younger target audience might prefer to sponsor a younger hip hop artist. Enlisting a popular sports figure from a particular country is a great way to enter the said market and create some goodwill with the locals. The possibilities are nearly unlimited, but matching the overarching company objectives with the identity of the sponsored personality, organization, or event should be the guiding principle.
Once the partnership begins to bear fruit, brands can use it to start a casual conversation with the fans and learn more about their opinions, expectations, and behaviors. In a way, sports and entertainment are the perfect conduit for businesses to engage in informal chatter on topics of broad interest, which can be a valuable source of information. That’s why businesses should think beyond traditional product endorsements by athletes and entertainers and try to develop a unique strategy to leverage the publicity surrounding the sponsorship and recruit popular figures to be active ambassadors of the brand.
If a company enters the sports and entertainment promotion channel with clear goals and a reasonable strategy, it can gain a lot of attention and strengthen its position in the market. While the exact benefits that marketers can receive from a successful partnership of this kind vary from one case to another, there are some overall trends that can be analyzed.
Here is what you can expect if you manage to incorporate promotional activities related to sports and entertainment into your digital marketing agenda:
How to promote a sports or entertainment marketing deal on the internet?
Since sports and entertainment events tend to be visually attractive, companies sponsoring them can use images or videos on their social media pages. Engaging in casual interactions with fans and facilitating fan community conversations are also great ways to amplify the buzz surrounding the event.
Can small companies benefit from investing in sports and entertainment marketing?
While the costs of high-level partnerships with elite athletes and entertainers may preclude small and medium businesses from adopting this approach to a certain extent, there are less expensive ways to make sports and entertainment a big part of the marketing plan, i.e. by focusing on local performers.
How to ensure brand visibility when engaging in sports and entertainment sponsorships?
It’s common for the sponsor company to put its name and logo on all the promo materials related to a sports or entertainment event. Having the star mention the brand during media interviews may be even better, while the official website and social media channels should report live from the event.
Most companies tend to think about excursions into sports and entertainment as a pricey luxury, but this promotion method can actually be quite profitable. The key is to select the most optimal partners and to prepare a strategic approach that allows for the amplification of main corporate messages in a context where consumers are more open to new suggestions. There are countless examples of brands that built their reputations by supporting popular individuals and organizations from these niches, which is why this remains a viable channel for companies at any scale.