sports marketing

Sports marketing: Techniques that work in 2024

Ever heard the sports marketing joke: Why did the basketball team hire a sports marketing expert?  Because their sales were dribbling Seriously though, advertising in sports is the creative storytelling cornerstone for unique products, like the New York Knicks’ oversized foam fingers or Dallas Cowboys-branded hammers. But it also involves more than just slapping a team logo on a T-shirt and toting it to fans. 

At Voice123, we understand the value of storytelling in sports marketing because people love to identify with their favorite athletes’ stories – it inspires them with hope and pride. So, whether you need a stellar marketing pitch or inspiration for your next project, we’ll walk you through the lineup of what is sports marketing, what is sports and entertainment marketing, what is a sports marketer, and how brands can use sports marketing.

Huddle up! It’s time to win sports marketing gold!

What is sports marketing?

Sports marketing is a specialized advertising field that uses detailed strategies to promote products, services, and events like branded merchandise through well-known sports events and teams. Sports marketers use activities like public relations, sponsorships, endorsements, and ads to help companies and organizations increase brand awareness by targeting specific audiences who are passionate, dedicated sports fans. 

For example, A brand like Nike could sponsor a major sporting event or team to gain brand exposure and visibility. Or an athlete could partner with a brand to create a limited edition product. So, sports marketing promotes sporting events, teams, and athletes while simultaneously using the emotional connection fans have with the teams or players to advertise various products or services. That’s the power of sports and entertainment marketing.

What is sports and entertainment marketing?

sports marketing

Sports and entertainment marketing involves promoting and selling products/services related to sports and entertainment, such as team equipment and merchandise, event tickets, and celebrity-endorsed products. Marketers leverage the popularity and excitement of sports and entertainment to connect consumers with the brands or products they are promoting through channels like advertising, sponsorships, and promotions. So, sports and marketing entertainment is most effective when combined with audience understanding and knowledge of changing sports trends. This could determine whether fans want to meet New England Patriots football star Tom Brady or the New York Knicks basketball hit Jalen Brunson.

But this and other tasks fall into the lap of a sports marketer, and to achieve the best results from audiences, they use 4 fundamental storytelling techniques that include 1) building emotional connections, 2) using event-based marketing, 3) sponsorships and endorsements, and 4) fan engagement.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each component.

Sports marketing components

1. Emotional connection

Ever hear someone scream, ‘We love you, Stephan Curry?’ That’s because sports lovers have strong emotional connections to their favorite teams and players. They’ve been there for the wins and losses, the highs and lows, and follow the players’ personal stories. The athlete’s joys and frustrations become the fuel that drives product sales because of the emotional connection between fans/audience and sports stars.

2. Event-based sports marketing

Over 113 million U.S. viewers tuned in to the 2023 Super Bowl. Making it the second most-watched Super Bowl in history since the 2015 performance. With such a massive audience, the reach is almost endless. But while the Super Bowl is the king of events, there are many other significant events and opportunities throughout the year to captivate audiences, such as the Kentucky Derby or the NBA All-Star Game.

3. Sponsorship and endorsement in sports marketing

Have you ever worked out in your Nike T-shirt while sipping a Gatorade energy drink? That’s because athlete endorsements have a powerful effect on consumer purchases. It’s why Lewis Hamilton fans would probably turn to Monster, but Kevin Durants’ fans prefer Gatorade. Sports endorsements are like recommendations that instill trust in fans. But since a sports star’s face on your company isn’t possible, why not partner with influencers to spread the word about your brand/product?

4. Fan engagement in sports marketing

Which sports autograph do you treasure the most? For fans, autographs aren’t just signatures on paper. These interactions create treasured memories, from a simple handshake with legend Shaquille O’Neal to a Stephen Curry selfie with your kids. Moments that are powerful enough to keep fans firmly rooted in your brand’s consumer base. But since meeting superstars isn’t an everyday occurrence, engaging social media posts and online meeting interactions also work to build fan engagement. 

So, how do sports marketers use these components to promote brands and products?

What is a sports marketer?

A sports marketer is a person who works for sports teams, leagues, agencies, or other sports organizations to promote sports-related products and boost a team’s brand and image. From ad placements to a positive social media image, sports marketers advertise an experience – one that lets consumers into the day-to-day lives of a team or athlete.
Another focus of a sports marketer is ensuring a steady stream of new customers and creating new marketing opportunities for the company. Some of the more prominent sports organizations a sports marketer represents are the NFL (National Football League), FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), and even the Olympics. Here’s more on what does a sports marketer do?

What does a sports marketer do?

A sports marketer promotes an organization’s critical mission through promotional campaigns by developing marketing strategies that generate awareness. They also conduct market research to understand audience expectations. Sports marketers must be tuned to the sports industry to adapt creatively to consumer preferences and evolving marketing trends. This could be knowing when to promote Lionel Messi’s soccer boots instead of Kevin Durant’s basketball arm sleeves.

Now that you’ve got the playbook on sports marketing, here’s how you can use these strategies in your own brand.

How to use sports advertising strategies

You can use sports advertising strategies to reach a highly engaged audience of sports fans using these five methods:

  • Sponsorships
  • Endorsements
  • Event Marketing 
  • Social Media
  • Broadcast Advertising 

1. Sponsorships

How recognizable is Nike’s swoosh? That’s because it’s on most sports uniforms. So, you can sponsor sports teams, leagues, events, uniforms, and signage to generate awareness. 

2. Endorsements

Remember when Air Jordan was first released? It was an instant success because of Michael Jordan. So consider partnering with popular athletes or teams to tell a story, promoting products in ads or social media.

3. Event marketing

Hundreds, if not thousands, of fans, gather at events because of sports passion. Try setting up engaging experiences at sports events like interactive exhibits, or giveaways to create positive brand associations and loyalty with your audience.

4. Social media

How often did you check your Facebook, Instagram, or other social media accounts today? Everyone has a favorite platform. So, research which platforms your audience uses the most and use it to engage with sports fans and promote products that create shareable content.

5. Broadcast advertising

From TV to online broadcasts, you can reach a large audience by using commercials, branded content, or product integrations to promote sports events or product launches. If you hire a professional voice actor from Voice123, you can add a voice to your broadcast advertising that captures your brand’s tone and message.

Final thoughts on sports marketing

sports marketing

Sports marketing is a versatile branding strategy that works at live sporting events, festivals, concerts, and sports matches. It can even help you reach international audiences through sponsorships, endorsements, social media, broadcast advertising, and event marketing. So, whichever sports marketing strategy you choose, the goal is to first establish an emotional connection with your audience to convey your brand’s message. 

And on that note, we wish you well in your next marketing strategy. Whether you’re looking for a voice to generate hype around the NBA finals or sports commercial, you’ll find the best voice actors on Voice123

What are you waiting for? The ball is in your court.


What is sports marketing?

Sports marketing is a specialized advertising field in which marketers create and implement detailed strategies designed to promote and sell sport-related products, services, and events.

What is sports and entertainment marketing?

Sports and entertainment marketing involves promoting and selling products/services related to sports and entertainment, such as team equipment and merchandise, event tickets, and celebrity-endorsed products.


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