Why Your Brand Should Build A Relationship with Sports
Marketing, at its core, is an effort to develop, build and sustain a positive reputation so that it attracts support from a specific audience in the marketplace. In this industry, we go to insurmountable lengths to break through the clutter of messages brands send to reach our consumers and gain their support and their loyalty. The rationale as to why brands should partner with sports goes beyond the assessment of benefits based strictly on a return on investment. Sports are the perfect partner for brands looking to associate themselves with authenticity, passion and excellence. We want our brand to be associated with the spirit of sports, teams and athletes that the fans crave. If you are looking for a way to grow your brand and develop a loyal customer base, look no further than sports.
So who exactly is the audience of sports fans, and why do we want to connect with them? Exuberant is one of the best ways to describe the essence of a sports fan. Their favorite sports, teams and athletes are a constant source of emotions from inspiration to frustration. Fans of sports live and breathe everything surrounding their teams. Fans connect to particular teams for a variety of reasons. It may be the team of their Alma Mater, or they may have a personal connection to a player or coach. Fans also connect to teams and athletes because of their location. The team may be from their hometown or the team of the city in which they currently live. There are a variety of reasons as to why someone may associate with a particular team or player, but the connection is the same nonetheless. As marketers, we strive to connect with this demographic because they are some of the most loyal, passionate and vocal audiences we can find.
Additionally, sports are one of the few things that are still drawing people together to watch in real time. They are a cultural phenomenon that fans want to experience together. Watching that game winning shot the moment it happens is just as important as experiencing that moment together in a room full of people with common interests. This emotional connection is what brands are drawn to. The emotions of being surrounded by fans who share the same passion and can enjoy the sensations of a sporting event together. These are memorable, authentic and immersive experiences that, when tied to a brand, can foster a lasting and loyal connection.
At Knight Eady, we spend a good amount of time in amateur sports, focusing primarily in the college and high school space. This has become a popular realm of athletics for brands to connect with their audience. While collegiate athletics are seen as glamorous and popular, studies are showing an increase in attention on high school sports.
For brands, high schools sports are a great partnership opportunity, because they are one of most personal levels of athletic competition. For 95 percent of athletes, the last time they will play an organized sport is at the high school level. This means these are some of the most memorable experiences the high school student-athlete will experience. Not only are these the fondest and most personal memories in sports for the student-athletes, but also for the fans because their relationship with the student-athletes/coaches is way more personal at this level. To be associated with high school sports is a powerful thing for brands. It enables brands to develop a relationship with this audience earlier in their lives and on an even deeper level.
Additionally, high school sports are experiencing increased exposure and higher engagement from general sports fans. As the passion continues to grow in sports, fans are turning their attention to the high school realm because they want to be the first to know who will be the next big athlete. These raving fans are searching recruiting websites for the next big commitment and even traveling to see these athletes play, often times out of their market. Brands that can capitalize on this type of passion will set themselves apart in their industry. The opportunity to connect with this passionate of an audience is one that brands should not ignore.
With storytelling being one of the biggest buzzwords in the industry, every brand seeks an opportunity to tell their story in an authentic way and through a relevant medium that will reach their target audience. These stories must be raw, dramatic and stir emotions that resonate with the audience in order to make an impact. Sports are the key to the perfect dramatic and unpredictable story that captivates audiences through an emotional connection. Knight Eady prides itself on helping brands develop a relationship with sports. If your brand is interested in developing an emotional connection and being tied to an incredible story, contact us today!