Introduction to Sports Marketing

by Dario Ravasio

Sports marketing is the marketing subdivision with the goal of promote sports teams and events, products and services through all the kinds of sports events or sports in general.
Using the general marketing mix 4 “P”’s (product, price, promotion and place) and the additional sport marketing 4 “P”’s (planning, packaging, positioning and perception) you can provide the client all the strategies are needed to promote sport.

The sport marketing field is divided in three sections

1- Advertising of sport and sport associations.
this kind of strategy is used as a way to promote, display or exhibit different things, such as a sports team, a sport association among others. Perfect examples are the UEFA Champions League or the Olympic Games.

2- The use of sporting events, sporting teams and individual athletes to promote various products.
Marketing through sport was born in the 80s but till then has increased in importance and has expanded in a lot of types of sports. This strategy can be supported by a particular sport by a sports club. Perfect examples are sponsorship of teams, tv commercials during sport events ecc.
In this case the product or service can be promoted even by a single athlete and it can but do not have to be directly related to sports.

3- Promotion of sport to the public in order to increase participation.

The most common benefits for the companies from sports marketing are memberships, sales and recognition.
But why sports marketing works? There are many answer for that questions but I will try to suggest you with some of them:
First, people are so passionate about sports that even in recession times they are willing to sacrifice other things to do the things they are passionate about.
Second, there are many ways to do sports marketing and it offers long-term branding messages.
Third, it allows to captive the audience of thousand.
Fourth, it offers the ability for branding messages with traffic-driving promotions.

The business of sports (or sports marketing) is made up of distinct segments. The major elements are as follows:

• Rights Holders:
include entities such as; the International Olympic Committee, NFL, NCAA, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, United States Olympic Committee and others. These organizations own and control events (competitions), which have value to television broadcasters.

• Broadcasters:
broadcasters then package and promote the events to a television audience.

• Facilities/Venues:
are required to stage the events and the host team or facility also needs to make a profit.

• Promoters:
they frequently create their own events.

• Buyers/Sponsors:
pay enormous amounts of money to advertise their messages on the air, in stadiums/venues, on radio and in hospitality at the various events.

• Agents/Athletes:
all of the professional athletes are represented by agents, who negotiate salaries, bonuses, deferred compensation packages, endorsements and other fees in return for a percentage of the total fees.

• Event Management/Operations:
management and operations of the sports venues is a business in itself. The sale of tickets, licensed merchandise, food and beverage and other operational tasks, generate revenue and create a sense of excitement around the events.


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