Sports marketing, which is a special case of marketing is not just limited to the promotion of sports products or services. It also focuses on the promotion of sports events and teams. Under sports marketing, the promotion or marketing is done for a sports product and also for a brand name. A Brand can be a Sports Event or a Sports team or a Sports player.
In the case of sports product, the approach followed during marketing is similar to that of a typical goods/services marketing but when it comes to sports events, sports teams and the sports players, sports marketing follow a different approach. Here, the target audience is not referred just as the customers who are buying the tickets to see a sports event of different sports teams or sports players. But it’s about the fanatics who are crazy and passionate for their favorite sports teams and sports players.
Let’s differentiate between the customers who are buying goods/service and the fanatics of a particular sports brand:
- Fanatics are those who are always ready to buy the tickets of their favorite sports team or player without thinking much about their previous performances. If the previous performance of their favorite team or player was below satisfactory, it won’t stop them from watching and supporting their favorite team or player again. They would still go and buy the tickets to watch their favorite team rather than going for any other game of a different team or player. While, in the case of customers who are buying a product or a particular brand can always change their brand if they aren’t satisfied with it. If customers realize that the brand performance is not up to the expectations, they would opt for a different brand. For a customer, satisfaction with a given product is a key requirement before choosing the same product again.
- Fanatics are loyal to their favorite sports team or player. It doesn’t make any difference to them if any other team or player performs better than their team, they would still support their favorite team. Similarly, it won’t matter to them if the match tickets of any other sports teams are cheaper. If I am a fan of “Team A” in cricket and “Team C” ticket prices are cheaper who is equally good in cricket as “Team A”, I would still go and watch the game of “Team A”. Also, if the ticket prices of Hockey match are cheaper, I would still go for a cricket match. My loyalty for a particular sport and sports team won’t change on the basis of ticket prices and that makes me a true fanatic. In the case of customers, they won’t mind switching “Brand A” product with a cheaper “Brand B” product if their attributes are similar. And if “Brand C” is providing a discount in their products, the customer would prefer buying that product. Their loyalty of a customer varies from time to time.
- Fanatics not just buy the tickets of their favorite sports event or sports team or player but also buy their merchandise and other sports products. They wear them during the games and also on the streets to show their support and loyalty towards their favorite brand (Sports event/Sports team/Sports player). They are also good in promoting their favorite sports event or sports team or player on social media and on other social platforms. They talk, discuss sports, post and tweet about it everywhere they go. By wearing the merchandise of their favorite Sports Event/team/player and by posting and tweeting about it on social networking sites further enhances the popularity and promotion of the brand. The customers of a sports product never do this kind of a promotion which a fanatic does.
- Fanatics are emotionally connected to their favorite sports event, team or player. Sometimes, there are no reasons of supporting them or choosing them over their competitors. Their performance becomes immaterial to them and they still support them from their heart. While customers always choose a product from their mind. They ensure that they select a quality product which is also pocket-friendly for them. They are not emotionally connected to them.
With all these factors involved, the main goal during sports marketing should be to create fanatics of the sports events, teams and players. The fanatics provides an extra edge and extremely beneficial for a sports brand. The fanatics boost the marketing and promotion of the brand on their own without asking for anything in return. Every company looks for those customers who will support them in their good and bad days. So fanatics are an extra advantage to a sports brand who believes in looking for loyalty and emotional connection from their customers.