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    We had the opportunity to host a symposium with the University of East London and the chance to discuss everything about Sports Marketing with Dina Hassan of Sony's Sports Businesses, Nick Sacks of SPORTFIVE, and Tom Wright of Two Circles. In this article, we share the rich insights from these sports marketing experts to help those interested in building a career in sports marketing start on the journey to an exciting and rapidly evolving career path.

    Build your knowledge

    A degree in sports management, marketing, or a related field can be a great step if you are hoping for a career in sports marketing. As you will get to learn all the fundamentals of the industry and build core academic knowledge. If you don’t want to do a full degree, there are also plenty of relevant courses or certifications. Sports marketing requires a variety of skills, including marketing strategy, social media management, and event planning. Look for opportunities to develop these skills through online courses, workshops, or on-the-job training. Sports marketing is a constantly evolving field, and it's important to stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices. Follow industry blogs, attend conferences, and read trade publications to stay informed.

    “Sports Marketing is unique because there aren't that many companies in the world that have fanatical people who love their business that much.”

    - Nick Sacks Senior Partnership Sales Manager @ SPORTFIVE

    Gain experience

    Gain experience, seek out internships or entry-level positions in sports marketing, where you can gain hands-on experience and develop your skills. Look for opportunities to work with sports teams, leagues, or other organisations. Networking is important in any industry, and sports marketing is no exception. Attend industry events, join professional organisations, and connect with people in the industry through social media or LinkedIn. Building a career in sports marketing can take time and effort, but with persistence and hard work, you can achieve your goals. Keep seeking out new opportunities, developing your skills, and building your network.

    The growing importance of audiences and fans

    Audiences and fans have become increasingly important in sports marketing in recent years, for many reasons. Over the years, sports marketing has shifted from a product-centric approach to a fan-centric approach, where the focus is on building relationships with fans and engaging with them on a deeper level. This means understanding their interests, preferences, and behaviours, and tailoring marketing efforts accordingly.
    Furthermore, social media has become a powerful tool for sports marketing, allowing sports organisations to reach and engage with fans on a global scale. By growing a strong social media presence and creating shareable content, sports organisations can generate buzz and reach new audiences.


    Fans are a key source of revenue for sports organisations, through ticket sales, merchandise, and sponsorships. By building strong relationships with fans and creating compelling marketing campaigns, sports organizations can drive revenue growth and build a loyal fan base. Moreover, fans can be powerful advocates for sports organisations, spreading the word about their favourite teams and players and helping to build brand awareness. By engaging with fans and creating memorable experiences, sports organisations can build a strong brand that resonates with audiences around the world. 

    “So, it's a big market for, I would say youth audiences. How do you get younger kids who are changing their digital Habits involved in sports from an earlier.”

    - Dina Hassan Global Head of Marketing @ Sony’s Sports Businesses

    Overall, audiences and fans have become increasingly important in sports marketing, and sports organizations are investing more time and resources into understanding and engaging with their fan base. By building strong relationships with fans and creating compelling marketing campaigns, sports organizations can drive revenue growth, build brand awareness, and create a loyal fan base that will support them for years to come.

    What the future of sports marketing looks like?

    The future of sports marketing is likely to be shaped by technological advancements and the increasing demand for personalized experiences. Here are some potential trends and developments that could shape the future of sports marketing.
    Firstly, augmented and virtual reality technologies have the potential to revolutionize the sports fan experience, allowing fans to feel as though they are part of the action in a virtual stadium or arena. This could lead to increased engagement and revenue opportunities for sports marketers.

    More data-driven marketing

    Personalisation and data-driven marketing are closely related because personalisation requires access to data about individual customers to tailor marketing messages and experiences. This data can come from a variety of sources, including customer behaviour on websites and social media platforms, demographic information, and past purchase history. By analysing this data, marketers can identify patterns and trends in customer behaviour, preferences, and interests, and use this information to create targeted and personalized marketing messages and experiences.

    “Measurability is a challenging thing in sports marketing.”

    Nick Sacks Senior Partnership Sales Manager @ SPORTFIVE

     

    One of the key benefits of personalisation and data-driven marketing is that they can help increase customer engagement and loyalty by providing customers with more relevant and personalized experiences. For example, a retailer might use data analytics to identify customers who frequently purchase products in a specific category, and then use this information to send targeted promotions and recommendations for related products. However, it's important for marketers to use customer data ethically and transparently, and to provide customers with the option to opt out of data collection and personalized marketing messages if they choose to do so. As data collection and analysis technologies continue to advance, sports marketers will be able to create more personalised experiences for fans. This could include personalised content recommendations, targeted advertising, and customised experiences at live events.

    Rise of eSports

    The rise of esports and gaming presents an opportunity for sports marketers to reach a new audience and create new revenue streams. Brands are already partnering with esports teams and events to promote their products, and this trend is likely to continue as the esports industry grows. 

    Environmental and social issues

    With increasing awareness of environmental and social issues, sports marketers will need to take sustainability and social responsibility into account when promoting their products and experiences. This could include initiatives such as carbon-neutral events, social impact campaigns, and ethical sourcing of materials.

     “Whilst ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) has had some real EDI issues, as you're probably seeing this week with Yorkshire's racism scandal in the news. They have been at the forefront of creating new experiences and products for fans to try and tap into a new representative audience for the sport.”

    Tom Wright Client Services Director @ Two Circles

     

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