Sports marketing has come of age. It is no longer just about product or inventory selling, but it is much more than that. Building credibility, especially when there is an abundance of multi-channel communication sources and the consumer has the option to choose, engagement, and capturing eyeballs clubbed with innovation will be the only way to revolutionise the sector and create value-based properties.
With the influx of digital penetration, access to information, video, and content marketing are key touchpoints for understanding consumer behaviour and creating a litmus for the product. The thrust for a sports marketer is to utilise the emotion and passion of the sport and connect it with technology and innovation to create a real-life fan experience.
Engaged fan experience and innovative content integration to roll out the ‘brand story’ is how brand experience is built. The world of sports is evolving rapidly, and, in the short and long term, advertisers will have to explore new landscapes.
Understanding fans, maximising possibilities
Sports has traditionally been an incredible, unifying forum for communities to come together, and the pandemic has showed us how sports can make a difference.
Sports-driven content has the upper hand to not only be a leveller in tough times, but also has the power to bring respite or unite emotions with people beyond boundaries. It helps to connect with fans and the highest spike is witnessed when sports properties have seen successful engagement with the consumers, thereby creating a successful advertising outlay.
Having content that is engrossing, engaging, and nostalgic value will always go beyond sustaining short-term engagement, thereby providing versatility and eliminating paywall on second screens.
Also, to maintain the attention of fans, especially during the pandemic when they are mostly still not allowed in the stadium, bringing the sporting heroes closer and creating excitement with engaging videos leads to engaging conversation for the brand.
According to a study by CISCO, 82 percent of consumers engage more with video content, and as a sports marketer such touchpoints, looping the broadcaster as well as the advertisers, means yield maximum benefits for the brand.
AI & ML in sports
Pandemic, as most people may agree, has been the trigger to engage technology to create spectacle through innovation under AI & ML. In a game like Kho Kho, our objective is to introduce AI & ML based on-court contact detection and enhance live and post-match performance analytics, which has never been used in the history of tag sport before globally.
Such innovations certainly help production output, which in turn delivers an enriched on-air product to audiences with accurate data and multiple monetisation opportunities.
In building the fan bases and capitalising on brand opportunities, trust is critical to establish the bond between the consumer as well as the brand. It is important that social channels and their power of engagement are optimised.
While social channels help create an organic fan base, which can be leveraged for brand visibility, brand building without accountability is over. If you can’t measure it then you can’t justify it.
Sports leagues are now looking at creating unique brand assets across the mainstay league, grassroots, school contact programmes, and international expansion. Amongst all, connecting with the hinterland audience becomes a critical success factor for taking the brand story forward.
With the expansion of second screen viewing, sports technology in addition to a successful activation of sport sponsorship will assist brands to identify a receptive goal in times to come.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)