Technology and Sports Marketing
Sports’ marketing is a comparatively new field and dimension within the broad concept of marketing. It is continuously evolving and changing today as society combats the free market to decide the legal and ethical limitations of business today. It is significant to note that this discipline within marketing is not clearly defined. Sports today use corporate sponsorships and television money in order to contend and pay for top quality athletes. Those companies use teams, leagues, colleges, and individuals to make a distinction between their products in a very aggressive business environment. What makes up sports marketing to one person could be considered selling out to another. The business world keeps pushing to find a competitive advantage and the sports world has in general welcomed the money offered (Weikel, n.d.).
Every area of marketing communication is being greatly affected by advances in interactive communication (Sport Marketing on the Internet, n.d.). In 2005 digital sports marketing began to integrate thing like sms text messaging and community sites. Digital sports’ marketing has benefits for athletes, rights holders, sponsors and fans. In fact brand to fan communication is becoming easier everyday with tools like Facebook, Youtube, iPhone apps and more pervasive tools like sms text messaging. Digital is now a vital part of sports marketing and media. Sponsorship activation needs to comprise new media as a key mechanism to deliver sponsorship return on investment (ROI). Digital sports’ marketing includes: micro-sites and campaign websites, athlete and fan blogs, Twitter, Youtube channels, Flickr accounts, forums, mobile friendly websites and location-based service integration (Digital Sports Marketing, 2011).
Marketing has changed sports at the professional, collegiate and local levels into an Industry of Sports Entertainment that produces hundreds of billions of dollars, has global reach, and serves all types of customers and fans who anticipate content and interaction anytime and anywhere to satisfy their mounting and diverse needs. Sports and sports marketing will persist to evolve and advance in the next ten to fifteen years, adapting to shifts and changes in demographics, consumer behavior, the economy, technology and culture, and aligning to better serve a variety of stakeholders, such as customers, players, employees, partners, corporations, and communities, both local and larger (The Future of Marketing in Sports Entertainment, 2011).
The future of marketing in sports entertainment includes:
The altering consumer and sports business landscape
The significance and changing nature of content, media and communications
The impact and role of technology
Team/player/organization/league branding and strategy
Managing crisis, disagreement and negative word of mouth
Forging relationships and connections with consumers and key stakeholders
Winning customer satisfaction
Aiding organizations and managers learn about and adopt new, successful marketing tools and mindsets (The Future of Marketing in Sports Entertainment, 2011).
For sports properties to continue to attract sponsorship revenues sports marketers will need to adapt to meet the challenges of brands as they push into new media formats and seek increasingly personal relationships with their consumers. As the number and quality of opportunities for brands to connect by way of traditional TV diminish, their marketing dollars will transfer to those that can deliver what they need. Sports marketers need to understand how to tie together the powerful opportunities provided by the internet and mobile technologies in order to keep sport as part of this blend (The Future of Sports Marketing: Second Edition, 2008).
As well as become accustomed to changing media utilization patterns, sports marketers face other important challenges. The social and health costs of alcohol, fast food and gaming are leading some to question whether the relationship with sport can continue unchallenged. Additionally, environmental concerns are pushing brands to adopt green marketing strategies while shunning charges of green washing. The vital youth market is becoming harder than ever to target through marketing campaigns and there is some confirmation to suggest that kid’s interest in sport could also be declining. This would harm the long-term future of not only the sports marketing business but sports itself. There is a greater need for sponsors to engage in active sports marketing, most notably in the form of corporate social responsibility projects (The Future of Sports Marketing: Second Edition, 2008).
Sports’ marketing has made its way into the budgets of a lot of companies around the world. The stakes keep rising to get into this game and the returns may be thinning. The importance of sports and how the consumer perceives its association with business is very significant. Sports and athletes are extremely dependent on TV and support today. Those sources of capital will pull back if the consumer becomes disenchanted with sports and ratings drop. The most recent NFL TV contracts were for more money than it would cost to buy every team in the league. Player’s salaries will hit limits at some point and players will seek even more outside sources of income. Sports marketing cannot grow at the pace it has forever, but it still has room to expand. The sports marketing trend’s success or failure will hinge on sports’ role in society in the coming years. A lot of issues come up every day between fair play and big money. It’s important for a company to stay clear of the troubles sports can be a victim to, while it is significant for sports to keep their honesty to stay popular with the people. It is important for sports marketers to more and more police themselves in order not to damage an effective marketing tool and sports in general (Weikel, n.d.).
Digital Sports Marketing. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.pilotemedia.com/services/sports-marketing/digital-sports-marketing-brand-to-fan/
Sports Marketing on the Internet. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cbpp.uaa.alaska.edu/afef/sport_marketing_on_the_internet.htm
The Future of Marketing in Sports Entertainment. (2011). Retrieved from http://cmt.bentley.edu/future-marketing-sports-entertainment
The Future of Marketing in Sports Entertainment. (2011). Retrieved from https://register03.exgenex.com/Attendee/productdescription.aspx?C=70000087&S=1
Weikel, C. (n.d.). Sports Marketing: A Take on the History and the Future. Retrieved from http://www.unc.edu/~andrewsr/ints092/weikel.html
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