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  • Writer's pictureAbby Crescent

How Professional Teams Can Market Themselves in 2022

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Sports leagues mainly receive income by selling media rights for broadcasting, commercial and advertising, and match day revenue. However, event and game restrictions have dampened most sports teams’ sources of income. For example, sports teams mostly rely on broadcasting income, with 60% of their revenue coming from sports media rights. Because there are limited sports games broadcast over the past few years, their broadcasting income decreased. Now that restrictions are eased, more people are excited to attend sports events and participate in content related to their favourite sports in the new normal. But new trends in sports business mean looking for new ways to satisfy the interests of sports fans to remain relevant in the industry. With this, sports teams must adopt appropriate strategies to overcome and offset their previous revenue slump. Here are three ways sports teams can market themselves this year:

Offer Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to Fans One of the recent technological innovations in the past few years are NFTs. These are digital assets in the form of videos, photos, digital art, etc., which sports teams can sell to fans. Since they are mostly one of a kind, it offers exclusivity to its owner. Various sports clubs and athletes recognise the potential of these tokens in generating and increasing their revenue. Amrit Kumar shared that working with big names in the sports industry allowed them to sell 1.2 million to 1.3 million worth of NFTs in three days. An example of exclusive content for fans by athletes is NBA Top Shots. These are videos that highlight certain memorable scenes from NBA matches and are sold as cards in the market. Since they are rare and limited, avid NBA fans are willing to purchase these NFTs as collectables. This shows that there’s a significant demand for NFTs in the market since they offer access to exclusive content made by celebrities for their fans.

Adopt a 360° Digital Marketing Strategy Sports teams should not only rely on NFTs to generate revenue. Today’s digital landscape requires businesses to adopt a holistic marketing approach wherein they must also explore and maximise all available digital resources. The most common strategy in digital marketing is utilising search engine optimisation (SEO) to increase the brand’s web traffic and generate organic search results. SEO is also indispensable because knowing which keywords and topics are popular will allow sports teams to adjust their content marketing strategies accordingly and reach more viewers. Aside from SEO, brands can send personalised newsletters through emails, schedule consistent social media content, and spend on pay-per-click advertising to create a 360° digital marketing campaign. To make this possible, sports teams and marketing professionals must equip themselves with the necessary tools and knowledge to utilise these strategies in their marketing campaigns. Since everyone is online, there are a lot of audiences and potential customers to reach online. Businesses that don't adopt a 360° digital marketing strategy will later on fall behind in the industry.

Establish an Influencer Marketing Strategy Another popular trend this year is the use of influencers as a marketing strategy, and the perfect individual that can boost a sports team's online presence is the athletes themselves. According to an influencer marketing survey, there has been an exponential rise in athlete marketers in the past six months. The industry is predicted to become worth up to $15 billion this year, and there’s also a cumulative $579 million expected to be spent on name, image, and likeness (“NIL”) deals in 2022. This indicates that brands are willing to expend on the NIL of athletes as long as they align with their brand image, which is a huge source of potential revenue for sports teams. The National Collegiate Athletic Association recently declared that they now permit their college athletes to receive compensation for their NIL. With this, companies can appoint popular young athletes as their influencers, which will benefit both the company and the sports team.

Written exclusively for

by Abby Crescent

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