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How to Market to Your Sports Fans in 2015

Posted by Bryan Wang
Sports fans are passionate advocates and followers of your sports brand.

They are loyal in their support and enthusiastic in their devotion to their teams. However with the emergence of new media consumption models the way fans are interacting with their teams and their marketing outreach is changing. For example 45% of self-identified sports fans now prefer to watch their favorite sports team play online, while only 33% still opt for televised content. Also 64% of devoted fans go online at least once per day to consume sports related content.

Below we go over some top sports marketing tips for 2015.
Set Your Goals

It might be easy to get swayed by new social media or mobile platforms and think that you have to market your team or sports brand in a way that fits in with these platforms. While content can be tailored it is important to establish and know your goals early on, so that you can effectively reach them no matter what medium you are marketing on. Your entire strategy will be framed by these goals and will guide what steps you take next. For example your goal can be to raise awareness amongst Generation Z of your sports team. You would then use the online and offline platforms this target audience is using to publicize your brand. Throughout all your creation of messaging and tactics the goals of raising awareness amongst Generation Z would be kept in mind.

Venue Excitement

Another key element is marketing effectively to fans while they are at the venue to watch a game. If you can increase fan excitement at this time you can engender greater loyalty to your sports brand and drive purchases of merchandise and tickets.  Use tools like Uptix to enhance and drive fan excitement. For example the St. Louis Cardinals launched a special “Cards Cash” promotion honoring the team’s legendary former manager, Whitey Herzog-No. 24. For the promotion ticket-holders for every seat numbered 24 throughout the ballpark received $5 in “Cards Cash” value to spend on food, beverages, or merchandise during the game.

In the end 18% of Cardinals fans spent more than the loaded value of their tickets which generated 61% lift. Beyond this fans enjoyed the promotion and it generated excitement, adding to the fan experience and enhancing the St, Louis Cardinals’ image as generous with their fans.

Provide Valuable Content

Content is especially important in sports marketing. Your audience is likely already very knowledgeable about your team/brand. Providing them with facts or information they already know will have them searching for interesting content from a source other than you and then you lose the ability to control your brand story. Provide your audience via multiple sources with supplementary content such as analysis, insights and coverage which is fresh and original. This will enhance your audience’s fan experience and have them seeing you as an attractive source for team/sports info. Aim to tell your audience things they can’t get from television, curate live content online that isn’t available from other websites and provide informative and interesting content such as blog posts, infographics or unique video and Snapchat content on subjects that relate to your brand or sports team.

Get Fan Data Through Analytics

A key part of marketing is having the right data. Go beyond using analytics tools that tell you who visited your website. Instead try a tool like stored value tickets which can get you data about fan spending habits and preferences from right at the heart of your sports activities – the stadium. The type of information that can be gleaned from stored value tickets includes tracking fan spending patterns. So for example with fan analytics teams can track fan movement throughout the venue. This would allow a team or organization to know where to place promotions, advertisements and concessions in the venue increasing the likelihood of sales where previously there had been none. Uptix stored-value tickets provide these data capture functionalities and more.

Target All Your Audiences

The fan base for sports teams is more diverse than with other leisure activities. Therefore your target audience will be diverse and include different age groups, ethnicities, genders and even locations. The way each of these demographic groups access sports content will be different and as such your marketing efforts will have to be tailored to each group’s viewing habits. For example 50% of female sports fans ages 25-34 access sports content online while simultaneously watching non-sports related content on television.   In this case it would be wise to place content targeted to females online rather than on television and to make it concise as the audience’s attention is split between television and web content at the time of consumption. In regards to social media, 35% of 18-34 year old sports fans very frequently use social media to share sports content and sports videos. As such making your content easily shareable on the social media platforms this demographic is on or creating content which would specifically appeal to younger audiences would be good.

With these sports marketing tips in mind you can now conquer the world of sports marketing!

Topics: Event Ticketing