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Top 5 Sports Marketing Tips

The American consumer “consumes” food, electronics, clothes, collectibles, and sports marketing through Monday Night football. A smart sports marketer will understand that the consumables each American purchases can be emblazoned with the name and franchise image of a certain sports team or player.

Sports marketing is one of the hottest careers, but because of its obvious hotness, itʼs a career that has a lot of sports job seekers and not a whole lot of sports jobs available.

Here are 5 tips to help you become the best sports marketer and land all the best contracts.

1. Know the Sports Business

Its common sense that the more you know about something, the more successful you will be. This is especially true in any entertainment based marketing career. How could you possibly sell something to someone if you have no idea the who, what, where, and why of the product youʼre trying to sell? Know the teams, the owners, the managers, the venues, and even the gossip.

2. Be Free or In House

When it comes to the sports marketing business you can choose to be a freelance sports marketer, set your own rules, demand your own percentages and rates, and create your own schedule. Or you can choose to be an in-house marketer and have a little more job security and a great health insurance plan. Each choice comes with its own pros and cons.

3. Know the Consumer

A lot of marketers in the sports business spend millions of dollars a year on consumer surveys. These consumer surveys share important information about what people are buying, what they like, what they donʼt like, what they are likely to buy, and what they are willing to pay for. If you know the favorite teams, the fanʼs favorite sports memorabilia, and how much they are willing to pay for sports items, you are ahead of the game.

4. Cater to Everyone

Sports marketing is one of the few industries besides food that can cater to people of all ages. You can market to children by obtaining a contract to put tiny footballs emblazoned with a team logo in childrenʼs fast food meals. You can contract to have canes or mobility devices etched with a logo for a popular golf association.

5. Learn to Say No

One of the greatest tools in a sports marketerʼs bag of tricks is the ability to say ʻnoʼ. Believe it or not, there are sports business deals that you wouldnʼt want to touch with a mile long pole. As a marketer you need to take into account what the people want, the history and future of each franchise, and the amount of money you could lose on a deal if that deal goes from win to lose very quickly. Learning to pull out when the deal turns sour is a trick that will save you a lot of headaches and foul balls.

The sports business is a growing industry, but many more people are stepping up to take your place in the lineup. Use these tips to help keep yourself on the first string and far away from the bench. Sports marketing is an All-Star career, and you can be the MVP.

What are your best sports marketing strategies? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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4 Responses to Top 5 Sports Marketing Tips

  1. Vito_Nation November 29, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    I agree with most of what you said. However, one thing that should be accounted for is digital media. Because of the nature of the industry many fans are highly engaged in digital media. Fans follow there favorite athletes on Twitter, watch games and seek information about sports via their mobile devices and can now even access the internet through their TV while they watch their favorite teams. Additionally they track their fantasy teams on the web and play sports video games online.

    I think it is important for a sports marketer to have a firm grasp on digital media so all fans can be reached effectively.Your fourth tip is to cater to everyone and a growing demographic is the millennials who are very actively involved in digital media. I think the NHL does a good job with digital media and that other leagues should follow suit. For example, the NHL is the only one of the 4 major sports leagues to allow third party broadcasters to upload its content on YouTube.

  2. Vito_Nation November 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    I agree with most of what you said. However, one thing that should be accounted for is digital media. Because of the nature of the industry many fans are highly engaged in digital media. Fans follow there favorite athletes on Twitter, watch games and seek information about sports via their mobile devices and can now even access the internet through their TV while they watch their favorite teams. Additionally, they track their fantasy teams on the web and play sports video games online.

    I think it is important for a sports marketer to have a firm grasp on digital media so all fans can be reached effectively.Your fourth tip is to cater to everyone and a growing demographic is the millennials who are actively involved in digital media. I think the NHL does a good job with digital media and that other leagues should follow suit. For example, the NHL is the only one of the 4 major sports leagues to allow third party broadcasters to upload its content on YouTube.

  3. anothersamchan November 30, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    @Vito_Nation Absolutely! We’re proud to say that one of our contributing authors Steph Bagley works directly with the NHL on social media and has spearheaded many different campaigns!

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