The sports industry is arguably one of the most lucrative sources of revenue for any marketer in the world. In this article, we view what ways the digital marketing analyst interacts with the industry. Let’s take a look at the five most profitable professional sports leagues in the U.S.A: The NFL (National Football Association), NBA (National Basketball Association), MLB (Major League Baseball), NHL (National Hockey League), and the MLS (Major League Soccer). According to the Athletic Panda, four of these leagues are amongst the 10 most profitable sports leagues in the world.
In its simplest terms, marketing is the ability to identify, reach and engage your target audience, to meet some objective. These days, with the proliferation of internet technologies (IoT) and social media, marketers have found a new arena to engage with their consumers: The digital space. This in turn has led to new ways to derive more value from their marketing strategies.
According to an article by SportyTell, here are the most popular sports leagues in the U.S.A (measured in the number of TV viewings):
- NFL – 111.9 million
- NBA – 50.4 million
- MLB, 40 million
- NHL – 27.6 million
- MLS – 27.3 million
From a marketing perspective, there are a plethora of opportunities to identify and engage with a potential target audience within the digital space.
Making The Most of Digitization
With digitization in the sports industry, and more generally around the world, comes more data available than ever before. Additionally, this data is coming at fast paces and in a variety of formats e.g audio, video, and text data being a few examples. But without the ability to utilize this data in productive ways, marketers are left “sports-watching”, a very interesting term from Dr. Augustine Fou’s article on Forbes, which is essentially taking data at face value, leading to incorrect predictions. Digital marketing requires data analysis to gain actionable insights from data and generate optimal value for marketing campaigns. Combining the digital economy, marketing, and data analysis gives birth to the digital marketing analyst, who can find patterns hidden in all that data that a traditional marketer might miss.
Social media is arguably the most influential digital platform in the sports industry (Penceo.com). This is because marketing in this industry has concentrated its focus on creating a complete, immersive experience for the user/fan. Focusing on experience allows a brand to put the user/fan at the center of their marketing strategy, thereby forming a relationship with their customers and increasing their chances of retention and longevity. From community outreach (e.g. player meet and greets) to cause-related campaigns (e.g environmental), brands continue to find ways to expose themselves to more people around the world!
Sports connects people by being:
- Advantageous for health and well-being
- Advantageous for fostering life skills like teamwork, communication, resilience, etc
These are just a few reasons why millions around the world gravitate to sporting activities– whether as fans, or active participants. The digitization of the industry is why it offers so much promise from a digital marketing perspective. However, it is also pertinent to be able to make sense of all that digital information in order to have a comprehensive and profitable marketing strategy today. Given the rapidly growing volume of data itself, it’s safe to say this will be just as important for years to come.