- Marketing founder of the EA SPORTS brand.
- EA Sports brand grew from $0 to a global #1 position with $1B in sales
- Developed strategy resulting in the iconic "It's in the game" tag line
- Brand/product marketing responsible for developing over 200 brand-defining TV commercials.
- All 8 Best Practices
- Pre-Meeting Discovery Process
- One-on-One Call with Expert
- Meeting Summary Report
- Post-Meeting Engagement
Sports Marketing as a Brand Building Tool
- The traditional media model is disappearing.
- We are seeing incredible changes in the way people watch sports.
It used to be that there were a few games on broadcast television or games on the radio. Now, the traditional media model includes cable and satellite packages where every NFL or NBA or MLB game is available for the viewer. Add to that the fact that you can watch sports on your cell phone or your tablet.
Its' important to understand how that has changed the habits of fans and sports followers, how to optimize that change and involve new media and social media. These changes can make it easy to screw up the relationship you have with your customer if you are not careful and aware of the current landscape.
- People have a variety of new ways to "consume" sports.
- It used to be all TV. Now, even when people are watching TV, they’re not just watching TV. They're checking their smart phones, their tablets and their computers.
They are getting access to sports information that was never available before, and they are sharing that or commenting on that with friends and other fans who share their interests.
What this means for your sports marketing strategy is that you have to think about much more than just television advertising. To have the impact you want to have, you need to be thinking about smart phone apps and how you'll use social media.
- Fan engagement with fantasy sports is growing dynamically.
Fantasy sports is probably the most underestimated social sports medium today.
For example, it used to be that if you lived in San Francisco, you rooted for the 49ers, you were an NFC guy, and you cared about the teams in your conference. That was the world you lived in.
Now, you may be in three fantasy sports leagues: one with the guys at the office, one with the Little League coaches, one with your college buddies. You have a draft, and you have players from the entire league. There is a quarterback in Buffalo that all of a sudden becomes the most important person in your sports consumption world, because he’s dictating how many points you get and your social status with each of the three social groups that you are engaged in. Rather than just rooting for the 49ers and the NFC, you have a quarterback in Buffalo, you have a wide receiver in Seattle, you have a defense in Chicago, and all of a sudden the whole dynamics have changed.
That’s a huge opportunity for a company interested in sports marketing.
- The smart phone has changed how people engage in sports.
Consider the impact of the smart phone:
It used to be that you could get complete sports news and results once a day – from your local daily or USA Today. You had to wait until the evening news to get two minutes of live sports updates. You might get Sports Illustrated once a week.
Then came ESPN with Sports Center, and there were hours of sports news available all day and every night.
But now we have the smart phone, which never leaves our side. It’s streaming important information to us about the teams we root for and about our fantasy teams. The cellphone is at the center of the sports experience, whether you are watching it on TV or at the game, as fans share through texting or social media.
- The smart phone trend has led to the creation of sports apps.
Your marketing strategy must include a strategy for connecting to people with smart phones. You need an app that you create and integrate as a part of the marketing strategy. It’s a very personal connection to that audience. They’re ubiquitous, but done well, apps are devastatingly effective.
- The concept of sports itself is changing.
- The sports landscape and its hierarchy has never been locked in. It changes.
It used to be that team sports were dominant. Now, we are seeing more individual sports and more extreme sports. Women are the fastest growing demographic among sports fans and more women are participating in sports, so it is far from being a domain just for men.
Football has been king for a generation, but it is under pressure with the news and attention now being paid to concussions. Boxing was once one of the top three sports in America, but not only has its popularity declined, but has given way to mixed martial arts, which is more exciting and vibrant to a younger demographic. Indy Car racing has lost ground to NASCAR. And now there are sports that are just made up: They have the X Games on ESPN, which is a collection of made-for-TV extreme sports.
If you identify one of these emerging trends and it matches your brand strategy, you can attach your brand to it, get in early and make a profound commitment to the sport and those fans. That counts a lot with that audience.