Dr. Angela Lumpkin
17 March 2011
While a director of marketing for a sport team has many responsibilities, the two factors marketers must focus on the most are increasing viewing demand for their sport team and maintaining it. This is done by using various media sources to reach the target market for the sporting event. Using different media sources, a sport marketer sells the sporting event/team to the consumer in hopes of building fan loyalty; loyalty is defined as a strong feeling of support or allegiance. A great number of fans possessing loyalty for a team will have potential advertisers and television networks interested in investing and being associated with the team. There can be a lot of money involved with this and when demand for the sporting event goes up, ticket costs increase and more sponsorship opportunities will arise. A director of marketing tries to reach a large volume of fans so these opportunities become a reality. The marketer has to build the team brand equity and increase the popularity of the team.
The director of marketing must choose which media sources are most effective in order to attract fans to the sporting event. Using the right pieces of media will build team recognition and influence positive public perception of the organization. While television and radio are popular media forms of advertising, online sport marketing has become an essential tool for the director of marketers and their sport team. Multimedia and user interaction are two key factors to the success of marketing sports online. Audio files, video, and live streaming of sporting events can be accessed anywhere in the world; this greatly expands the number of people sport marketers reach. User interaction allows fans to blog about their team and also receive timely content specific information about their team of choice. Interactive websites also let users pick and choose the information presented; all the content is relevant to the fans' interests. Websites are also a convenient and cost effective way to sell tickets and team merchandise. As a director of marketing for a sport team, the marketer must embrace all the benefits online media offers. A well organized and interactive website can increase the fan footprint along with ticket sales and brand merchandise. This is a big step towards developing brand equity and a supporting fan base.
Creating a great game experience and increasing attendance can be done through different media forms as a marketer can shape how the fans view the team. Along with proper advertising, promotional efforts also play a large role and can increase attendance and team identity. Out of the various professional sports in the United States, Major League Baseball most widely uses promotional giveaways. Team branded caps, shirts, posters, etc. are given to fans along with fan appreciation days, college nights, fireworks, concession discounts and other promotional tools that are catering to fans. When a director of marketing incorporates various promotions, it's creating value to the fans and possibly setting the sporting event apart from competing events that might be occurring. Along with promotional events and giveaways, a sport marketer can also promote certain players on a team in order to increase the demand and hype for an event so that viewers will tune in. For example, in an upcoming football game, key position battles can be highlighted; such as a highly regarded wide receiver going against a lockdown corner or two high power football offenses battling it out in an inevitable high scoring game.
As a director of marketing, advertising is used to promote a team through ads in newspapers, radio, television, and other media outlets. Getting the necessary funds to support a healthy ad campaign can be found through sponsorships. Total money from sponsors going to various sport teams was valued at $11.3 billion in 2009. Selling the naming-rights for a sport venue is a great way to cut construction costs as several companies bid millions to have their name associated with a sport team. Sponsorship is key to funding a team and most teams will have a hard time running without money from sponsors. With a successful team and brand in place, sponsors will be motivated to pay the big dollars to have their name associated with these teams. The methods they utilize are ads for products, services, and goods are placed throughout sport venues and all those sponsors equal revenue to properly support a team. A director of sport marketing must utilize all sponsorship opportunities and find ways to attract new sponsors.
By reaching target markets through different forms of media, a director of sport marketing can increase attendance to games and build fan loyalty. Online sport marketing through interactive websites increase fan interaction and opens up global opportunities by way of online game streaming and radio broadcasts. Promotional efforts can also help increase attendance and give fans incentives to support the team. Sponsorship is essential to funding a team and the more successful the team, the more sponsorship opportunities available. As a director of sport marketing, it's essential to use all available marketing efforts to build a successful team, and a large, loyal fan base.