Location Is Everything: Geofencing in Sports Marketing

The sports industry is, by definition, a locally-centered endeavor. That means that marketing efforts by a team need to be directed to a regional audience, without wasting resources or paying for advertising outside of the target market boundaries. With out-of-home advertising, this is fairly self-explanatory. You wouldn’t buy space on a billboard promoting your team outside of the state in which it plays, for example. The Virtual Boundary But what about mobile marketing? This is where geofencing comes in. Salesforce defines geofencing within the context of marketing as that which “gives…

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Fan Acquisition

CAC in the sports industry You have to spend money to make money. As much as we wish that this wasn’t always the case, it is an almost constant reality in any industry. This is why marketing teams and departments exist in the first place; to determine the best way to invest in attracting business. In the sports industry, the marketing department’s success can to a large extent be measured by the average number of fans that attend each game or by the number of season ticket holders in any…

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Testing, Testing…

Illustrating an informal A/B test You’ve been granted a new NHL franchise. Well, you haven’t but pretend for a moment. How exciting! How daunting. There are so many choices to be made; expansion drafts to negotiate your way through, coaching staff to hire, and a management team to assemble. One crucial choice to make is the team’s name. As a purely hypothetical exercise, assume that you are torn between two names. I’ll just choose something at random like…. The Krakens and The Sockeyes. Every single person that is privy to this decision…

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Branding a Team by Integrating

Become a part of your fans’ stories In every single industry, determining what your brand will represent is an immeasurably crucial first step. The importance of it is highlighted in the sports industry, whether it be for a new team setting down roots in a market or for an existing team that needs to revamp its identity within its market. In this process, there is an initial impulse to design a brand that, when presented to the target audience, will motivate them to flock to it. In other words, this…

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Keep ‘em Coming Back

The importance of returning fans It’s almost that time of year in the NHL. You know the one. The time for the big season ticket renewal push. Emails going out, account reps calling, raffles happening, and a partridge in a pear tree. For fans, it’s the time of year when they weigh the opportunity cost of the expense, the benefits of being a ticket holder, and their level of investment in the team. For teams, the level of importance of this push can’t be overstated. In fact, there is a…

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United (With Our Fans) We Stand

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” Cheesy, I know. Cliché, of course. True? Absolutely. But let’s backtrack for a moment.  If you are in a business of any kind and have not yet read up on Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion, I urge you to do so. Without going into too much detail, they consist of reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and consensus. As you can imagine, being familiar with persuasion factors is particularly useful for marketing professionals, including sports marketing. As it happens, in more recent years Cialdini added a seventh…

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Don’t Hate the Game, Know the Players

If you’re going to play the game, you have to know the field. That’s true in every area in life in which you have to strategize to get ahead. Sports marketing is no different. If you are marketing for a team that operates in the same region as other professional teams, you are undoubtedly competing for fans to a certain extent. As in all areas of business, you have to know and plan for the competition to build a successful marketing plan. Yes, knowing the distribution of market share is…

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A Competitive Image – Brand Image in Sports

For Las Vegas residents, this logo evokes a very specific emotion whenever it’s seen; a sense of community.  The Las Vegas Golden Knights, a team still in its infancy, has already established a positive and successful brand image. It did so both by helping to bring the Vegas community together in unity amid tragedy and by embodying the feel of the city within its in-game entertainment. Forbes defined brand image in this day and age as “a mix of the associations consumers make based on every interaction they have with your…

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Lifetime Value (of a Fanatic)

“You gotta start them young.” This saying applies to a broad spectrum of things; dental hygiene, learning an instrument, or good manners. It also applies to a team that is encouraging fandom. This isn’t to say that older audiences shouldn’t be targeted by a marketing team that’s trying to bulk up a fanbase, but the fact remains that kids who become devoted fans from a young age have a higher potential lifetime value for the organization.  For a hockey team or any other sports team, considering lifetime value when deciding…

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Hockey? In South Florida? – The Panthers’ Marketing Communications Objectives

“Hockey? In South Florida?” I can’t begin to convey how often I get some variation of that as a response when I talk about what I like to do for fun (by do, I very much mean attending rather than playing since I don’t have an athletic bone in my body). A staggering percentage of new people I speak to are even completely unaware that there is a professional hockey team 20 minutes away from them. While this is decidedly a sign of the team’s lack of marketing success over…

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