The digital era demands everything from the people in charge of marketing in sports companies. It is unlikely that an individual will be completely familiar with all the facets of sports marketing. Take a look at an overview of the ten biggest sports marketing trends, with exciting examples. Check them out just below.
OTT (Over the Top) Content
Netflix, Amazon Prime or Facebook are prime examples of OTT offers. OTT stands for “Over the top” and means that the content can essentially be received regardless of the end device.
What does this have to do with sport? Platforms like Facebook or Amazon are turning the sports rights market upside down, as it has been known for decades. For example, the Primera Division, Spain’s top professional football league, works exclusively on Facebook in India. And the short message service Twitter interferes with sports rights. “Anyone who wanted to watch football beforehand turned on the television”, explains Daniel Macaulay. “Now you can watch live sports anywhere, on any device.”
Older niche sports also benefit from streaming options. “Facebook got the rights to the World Surf League and is paying $30 million for two years,” Macaulay said. Surfing is very suitable for the digital target group. Internet competition is challenging traditional media companies. And the platforms have another big advantage: “They build profiles of their users so they know exactly who sees their content and when — and can then display targeted ads,” Macaulay says.
This database takes sports marketing to a whole new level.
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. The world is changing, and there is no question about it that AI is a relevant factor. This does require three things however: data, data and data (and of course a fast internet connection).
Chatbots are an exciting form of artificial intelligence for sports marketing. Take marketing expert Daniel Macaulay thoughts for example: “FC Arsenal has partnered with GameOn specialists to develop a chatbot called Robot Pires, which communicates with fans via Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, Kik and Telegram “. And it’s a lot of fun. Robot Pires – named after Arsenal legend Robert Pires – provides users with partly exclusive Premier League club scores, stats, news and videos in humorous and simple language.
Using chatbots in sports marketing offers numerous advantages:
– A fun and intelligent chatbot can reach new audiences and strengthen fan loyalty by delivering amazing content.
– The company or sports club presents itself as an innovative thinking leader and thus strengthens its brand also in the B2B segment.
– Chatbots collect data that can provide important insights into the needs of fans or customers.
However, one can still question whether it is worth investing in AI for sports marketing. And – so the Arsenal FC chatbot is more of an experiment.
No sports marketer can simply afford not to take eSports seriously. Video games are becoming more and more popular, while more and more players are making their way into the world of eSports. The number of sports fans worldwide is forecast to rise to over 500 million by 2024. There is certainly huge potential for sports marketers here.
However, Brandwave’s CEO notes a different development: “Exciting that there are now sports fields at tech conferences.”
Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality
Developments in VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality) are impressive, says Daniel Macauly. “Virtual reality and augmented reality used to be expensive and uncomfortable, but now the focus is on the benefits,” says the sports marketer.
Online stores are struggling with high CPAs (costs per acquisition) as free shipping terms have led to awkward behavior: “Customers order every product in three different sizes and colors, try everything at home, and end – the if necessary – keep only one. The others go in.”
With the help of AR, for example, sports shoes can be tried on virtually beforehand. Using glasses or a smartphone, the customer can see what the shoe looks like on their own foot – and hopefully choose more precisely.
The wearables market has come out of its niche and has long since become one of the most important areas of the entire sports industry. Or as Daniel Macaulay said, “Wearable devices are common.”
According to a study, global wearable sales are expected to reach $95 billion by 2021. With its self-lacing Hyperadapt shoe, Nike has created an exciting example of a product of the future, Macaulay said.