How to Start a Career in Sports Marketing – In this digital age, sports marketing has become one of the most profitable businesses, especially in the sports industry.
The advancement of technology made it possible for people from the four corners of the world to follow sports like football, cricket, and tennis, as well as country-specific sports like American football, baseball, rugby, etc.
Because of the love people have for sports, they are willing to spend their money watching sporting events. Besides this, they are willing to purchase any product that marketers recommend for them to buy.
Some products that are recommended by athletes and actors tend to have a broad consumption rate.
If you are a sports marketer, you must have noticed that advertising sports products during televised sporting are quite a good marketing technique.
One of the most popular ways of promoting sports-related products is by having them endorsed by athletes and sports teams.
Also, since athletes are mostly celebrities, if they intentionally started putting on a pair of sneakers just for advertisement, it will be certainly be purchased by lots of consumers.
In most cases, you must have seen how sponsors promote their products in the arena where the sporting event is taking place.
Over the years we have seen that major sports events like FIFA World Cup are mostly promoted in all most all the platforms in different regions of the world, just to ensure that thousands to millions of viewers are engaged in the sporting event.
Sports being one of the most engaging events in the world is being promoted to people to raise interest and participation in that particular sport through well-known people in that sports.
Brief concept of Sports Marketing
Sports marketing can be seen as the act of promoting goods and services by the use of sporting events or other sports marketing mediums.
These products that are being marketed during sports marketing can be endorsed by athletes and sports teams.
Sports marketing also involves the promotion of athletes, sports teams, and sporting events to generate revenue from the interested viewers.
When you hear about sports marketing, you should focus your mind on promoting sports as an event producer and then promoting other sports-related products through sports mediums.
Sports marketing emphasizes using sports to promote products other than using other available means to tell people about the product.
This advertising strategy is quite effective if there is a major interest in a particular sport.
Perhaps, sports marketing is being carried out on diverse platforms such as billboards, boards inside the stadium, television advertising, print media advertising as well as social media advertising platforms.
Today almost every athlete ensures that they promote certain brands and products alongside their professional career.
Competitors and sports groups are incredibly famous with a wide segment and by utilizing this ubiquity the two makers of labor and products that are being supported and the competitors and groups themselves can benefit.
The shopper turns out to be important for interaction by buying items supported through sports, the maker of which then supports competitors, groups, and occasions.
The concept of sports marketing focused on four marketing strategies which include Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.
Besides this, sports marketing also relies on another four sub-concepts which are Planning, Packaging, Positioning, and Perception.
Types of Sporting Marketing
The three major types of sports marketing include:
#1. Marketing of Sports
The Marketing of Sports includes the promotion of sports, sporting events, sporting associations, and sports teams.
This type of marketing is directly related to sports itself. It can be seen as the designing or developing a live activity that may be titled with a particular theme.
The main goal of this type of sports marketing is to advertise events, teams, and associations.
Some cool examples of events in this type of sports marketing include the Olympics, the Superbowl, etc.
Moreover, this type of sports marketing also focused on advertising sports to the viewing public.
#2. Marketing through Sports
This second sports marketing type is known as marketing through sports and it involves the promotion of different goods and services most especially through piggybacking on popular sports and athletes’ platforms.
This aspect of sports marketing deals with athletes and sports teams endorsing different products, and also it involves the use of sporting events through sponsors to get advertiser products to the targeted audience (which are the viewers).
Moreover, lots of advertising platforms are utilized in this type of sports marketing while promoting a product.
On the other hand, this marketing category is indeed responsible for sports associations and sports clubs.
Furthermore, sports marketers are permitted to approach viewers as licensed merchandise where they can easily interact with viewers as well as fans.
#3. Grassroots Sports Marketing
Grassroots sports marketing is related to promoting sports through diverse means.
One of the major goals of using this type of sports marketing is to increase the popularity of a sport; moreover not in the form of entertainment but as an exercise.
Perhaps, the reason for using this promoting medium is to increase the number of people that participates in sports.
This method is in turn seen as the social marketing method of sports marketing, because of its involvement and its benefit to the general public.
Moreover, this type of sports marketing is normally carried out by sports associations who wish to increase interest in their sport as well as governmental bodies and charitable organizations.
This type is also used to increase the participation of youths in sports and it can as well be used to reduce the cost of healthcare by promoting some related products through this medium.
Advantages of Sports Marketing
Sports marketing has lots of advantages for associations, athletes, teams, etc. who get involved in sponsoring and promoting sports.
Let’s examine in detail how the above-listed platforms benefit from sports marketing.
How sports marketing benefits sports personnel’s
Associations, Athletes, and teams earn huge revenue when they recommend deals in sports marketing.
When athletes become the face of a brand, it helps such brands to be accessible to the viewers who may not pick much interest in following sports.
In the real world, this can in turn motivate a lot of people to pick an interest in sports just because of the face of the athlete of the team that promotes a product that they have an interest in.
By all means, this will skyrocket the estimated revenue just from ticket sales alone and also for the athlete or team.
Sports marketing is constantly increasing people’s interest in sports and generally, this will surely be of a benefit to everyone that is associated with that sport.
Besides this, the media that promote these sports will benefit from this as well.
The benefits to sponsors
Business organizations can as well benefit from sponsoring sporting teams and events because they will eventually receive huge revenue in the long run.
On the other hand, these organizations can in turn use the event or team to recommend and promote their products in return.
By so doing, those who are called diehard fans as real followers will constantly see these products that are being recommended to them and they will be persuaded to proceed in purchasing those products.
Moreover, using the influence of celebrities on the athlete can be a favorable means of promoting products and increasing sales in return.
Over the years, we have seen how sports associations engage in a deal with sponsors, for those sponsors to promote major events and associate themselves with the event. This is quite a good advertising format that usually works regardless of the sports that are involved.
The benefits to viewers
Through sports marketing, sports viewers usually gain awareness of diverse sports as well as sporting events that are being promoted through diverse means.
The aspect of sports marketing usually allows fans or viewers to interact with their favorite teams, celebrities, or athletes through those promotional events.
One of the major advantages of sports marketing to the viewers is that it normally increases viewers’ participation in sports.
On the other hand, if the sports marketers are very good at their job, they can in turn open opportunities for fans to be employed and become athletes themselves.
In general, sports marketing is used to meet the needs of consumers through the means we have elucidated above.
Disadvantages of Sports Marketing
In the world, everything that has an advantage also has a disadvantage. Hereunder, let’s discuss some of the disadvantages of sports marketing.
Absence of uniqueness
The majority of sports marketers lack uniqueness because there are quite a good number of brands in the sports industry.
Also, viewers are most times exposed to numerous quantity of advertisements, including advertisements that are not related to the sports they are following, while they follow those sports teams.
The athlete behavior
The athletes that viewers are looking up to for the products they are recommending may sometimes fail to live up to standards of expectation and this will in turn have a negative impression on the viewers.
How to Start a Career in Sports Marketing
Having gained some useful knowledge on sports marketing, to start a career in sports marketing, follow the steps below:
#1. Explore Your Options
A lot of opportunities that one can find in sports marketing rely on its types. When planning to start a career in sports marketing, check out those opportunities that will be possible for you to excel easily.
The available positions in a sports marketing career include:
- Public Relations Specialist, Athletic Business Manager
- Sports Athletic Director, Account Coordinator
- Sports Agent, Vice President of Business Development, and others.
- When you have chosen a particular area, you can fully focus on it.
#2. Seek the Proper Education
If you intend to be an effective sports marketer, you will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in either sports-related course or otherwise.
Some areas of study that will help you to excel in your career as a sports marketer and that will make you the most competitive in this field are marketing and journalism.
On the other hand, some related degrees that will scale you through in this career include:
- Business Administration to help develop your business skills in sports marketing.
- Sports Management for marketing and other related opportunities in sports.
- Kinesiology; that is if you have a desire in the area of medicine.
Besides this, if you are opportune to attend a college that has a specialized program in sports marketing, it will be a plus for you.
We recommend that you also have some knowledge in courses like economics, business, sales management, etc.
#3. Strengthen Your Skill Set in Sports Marketing
To excel in your career as a sports marketer, you need to have excellent communication skills. Also, you need to be a lover of sports by default.
Besides this, there are several other qualities to consider while venturing into becoming a sports marketer.
Also, you will need to have good campaign management skills while starting a career in sports marketing.
Some other areas that will help you strengthen your skillset are strategic planning and vision.
#4. Proceed to Apply for jobs
When you have gained some useful knowledge in your process of starting a career in sports marketing, you should be aware that a lot of opportunities await every sports marketing candidate.
Regardless of the area, you are applying for positions, there are positions in public relations, event sales, promotions, and also in other areas.
Below are some opportunities where you can work as a sports marketer:
- College sports teams
- NFL, NBA, and NHL teams
- Sports venues
- Soccer clubs and teams
- Tennis associations, organizations, and teams
#5. Utilize internships opportunities
Since life cannot be predicted, most times when you are applying for jobs, the perfect ones might be unavailable at that moment.
By applying for a sports marketing internship, you can find a great job opportunity that you will pick interest in.
These internships will also add value to your resume and helps you stand out from thousands of other sports marketers who are interested in the same job you are applying for.
Other important merits of an internship include:
- Allows you an opportunity to investigate your vocation way
- Possibly get monetary remuneration
- Fantastic systems administration amazing open doors inside the business
- Advancing straightforwardly from different experts and expanding your range of abilities
- Enables you to progress all the more effectively into your profession
We hope that you gained a lot of information from this detailed guide, besides the steps that you should follow while starting a career in sports marketing.