Tap into the Passion of Sports Marketing

07.19.2017 Dan Glicksman

How do you want prospective customers to feel when they think of your business brand?

Excited? Passionate? Inspired? If those positive emotions are ones you’d like to tap into, then consider aligning your business with something almost every American feels passionate about—sports.

Advertising during sporting events allows your business to reach a diverse, loyal and highly engaged audience of sports fans. But if you think sports marketing means paying for a million-dollar ad during the Super Bowl, think again.

A whopping 87% of America’s live sporting events are broadcast on cable television, making them very affordable advertising options for small businesses. Even better, 18- to 49-year-olds watch 99% of their sports-related programming live, so your ads will be seen, not skipped.

If you want to tie your business brand into the inspirational nature of sports, here are some tips for doing so:

1. Choose your niche. With more than 7,000 live sporting events broadcast every year in the U.S., there’s something for every type of audience, no matter how niche. Want to reach women age 25-44? Did you know they’re huge college sports fans? Young men love football, of course, but they’re also avid hockey buffs: Adults 18 to 34 make up the majority of Stanley Cup viewers. Want to reach families? Soccer is a top sport for family viewing, since so many children play the game.

Targeted advertising is the most effective advertising, and sports programming offers the option to target your audience very narrowly. For instance, you can advertise with lesser-known sports like the U.S. ProMiniGolf Masters National Championships or the World’s Strongest Man competition.


2. Plan ahead. Worldwide events such as the World Cup and the Olympics offer a chance to capture sports fans at their most passionate. If you plan to advertise during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, focus on the events your customers care about — whether that’s women’s gymnastics or BMX biking.


3. Stay on top of trends. Following social media can give you a heads-up into what sporting events are hot (or about to start sizzling) so you can get in on the game. For instance, social media surged with posts about women’s soccer during the Women’s World Cup in 2015.


4. Go beyond the game. Passionate sports fans watch everything about their sport — not just the event or game, but the pre-game, the post-game wrap-up, awards shows and week-in-review shows. These are all opportunities to get your message in front of viewers and build affiliation with their favorite teams or athletes.


5. Think local. To reach a local customer base, advertising during local games or events can be a smart way to capture a crowd. Aligning your business with viewers’ passion for the home team can help you score sales.


6. Get social. Americans love to watch sporting events live and share their thoughts on social media. In fact, 49.7% of all television-related tweets are about sports! Enhance your advertising effort by getting on social media and engaging with users about the sporting events your ads are part of.  


The power of a highly engaged audience helps your brand go further, and there’s no audience more engaged and passionate than sports fans!


Cox’s interactive Sports Marketing Coach can help you determine which sports programming can best help your advertising hit a home run. 

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Dan Glicksman

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