8 Lessons From Sports Marketing Experts For Brands And Athletes Resisting Move to Digital

If there is any endeavor whose fruits are ripening, that endeavor is surely the new brand and athlete relationship in the digital age.  Statistically, according to Julie Frank of Navigation Research, sports fans that see a brand message on social media are 78% more likely to have a positive perception of them.  So brands are experimenting with the best approach to reach them through social channels.

Still, some barriers are slowing them down, so I asked 8 sports marketing experts about the state of social media and the brand / athlete relationship. Here’s what they told me:

1. Russell Scibetti, Founder of TheBusinessOfSports.com and VP of Product Strategy at KORE Software

“Social media has given athletes a very public and direct line of communication to their fans, so the brands endorsing

these athletes want to tap into that conversation more and more. The size of an athlete’s social following is incredibly valuable, and their marketing representatives know this, which impacts the interest level from more socially-engaged brands and the value of the endorsement itself.”

8 sports marketing experts


2. Eric Horstman, President – Sports Image

“We don’t directly deal with pro athletes but more on the amateur side.  However, we do know that  Brands do value the large followings that athletes possess but are also wary about the potential “PR disaster” of a high-profile athlete tweeting an unpopular thought/opinion or being shown in a picture that is not desirable for the Brands philosophy.  It’s a double-edged sword where they understand the value of the partnership but need to be prepared to distance themselves if something less desirable comes about.”

3. Cameron Wagner, Senior Vice President – GMR Marketing

“Brands are looking at social media differently as it relates to using athletes as spokespeople. If messaging isn’t authentic and relevant to an athlete’s existing social voice, it damages the integrity of the athlete’s communication with his or her fans. Knowing that, the smartest brands are looking for ways to support and be part of the conversation, rather than trying to drive it.

“Because of this, the guarantees that might have once been mandatory as part of a partnership look much different. In some cases they’ve fallen out completely. When done right, partnerships create mutual value for the brand and the athlete with each contributing to the power, reach and strength of the other,” Wagner said.

4. Julie Frank, Manager, Marketing and Public Relations at Navigate Research

“Fans are 164 percent more likely to be influenced to purchase a sponsor brand if recalled through social media.  This is a great opportunity for brands to leverage their athletes as opinion leaders in order to create a purchase lift effect through social media recall.

“So smart brands can associate with their portfolio of popular athletes in order to make the recall of their brand that much more likely and positive,” Frank told me.

 5. Allison Kelly, VP of Client Management – GMR Marketing

“Brands are continuing to take greater advantage of athletes’ social and digital followings. In fact, an athlete’s social and digital following has become one of the more important points of criteria for brands when considering potential endorsers. Partnering with a socially influential athlete allows brands to ride the wave of influence that an endorser already has over their following, create more meaningful engagements with consumers and reach a broader audience altogether.

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Posted by Grasshopper - July 28, 2014 at 11:12 am

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Exploring benefits of social media

The growing attraction of social media to people of all ages has immense benefits. IFE ADEDAPO writes on its usefulness outside the business world

Right from inception, the Internet has been favoured among researchers in Nigeria because they are able to access more information that most libraries are not been able to provide, coupled with its ability to act as the main engine for exchanging information and publishing.

Although the use of the Internet by teenagers has always been discouraged due to the its perceived negative effects in terms of exposure to sexual predators, possible addiction, increased isolation, reduced communication with family members and time loss, experts however say that for people who are always engaged with work with little time for themselves, socialising on the Internet has its unique benefits.

A report by blog.bufferapp shows that people between the ages 45 and 54 years are the fastest growing population on both Facebook and Google+. It also says social media has overtaken pornography as the number one activity on the web.

It is estimated that 93 per cent of marketers use it for business while 25 per cent of smartphone owners between ages 18 and 44 disclose that they can’t recall the last time their smartphones was not next to them.

Experts say these statistics show that the predominant population on social networks is not just young people, but older people are also learning how to use it more.

Businesses also are beginning to include social media as part of their overall marketing budget or strategy, as opposed to when it no one wanted to spend time or money on it.

Moreover, they say it was difficult to stay in touch with loved ones for business minded people but with the arrival of some social networking platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, communication has become easier.

According to experts, the time dedicated to chatting on these platforms can be fulfilling. Having a few close, mutually supportive friends can also be a key to staying healthy, not only are having friends more fun, these relationships may also help you.

The ability to do this is efficiently, according to professionals is because the Internet technology pays no attention to geographical boundaries and provides possibilities for interaction with various benefits.

Relax your brain

According to the Chief Executive Officer, Solvere Word Consult, Mr. Remi Dairo, spending time online socialising occasionally during working hours gives workers the needed brain breathers. He says the act of taking a few of minutes to check up on the people and organisations you follow online, helps your brain get a break from a tedious project.

He adds that people who are more social by nature and are connected to a variety of people through social networking sites are better ‘people-persons’ in workplaces, which means they are skilled at interacting with others and solving problems. Social networking can also help companies track consumer trends and explore marketing strategies.

It re-energises the mind

The life coach says surfing the Internet for personal reasons can increase productivity by as much as nine per cent.

According to him, web browsing can sharpen peoples’ concentration when they take short breaks, they can have rest of mind for a while, and when they return to the task at hand, their energy is likely to be refreshed and renewed.

He says they will be more efficient, generate more ideas and become creative because they are able to gain knowledge and come up with solutions to problems.

Develop retentive memory

Workplace consultants say social networking channels that allow chatting and meeting people coupled with registration on multiple social networks are likely to make people more technologically savvy and adept at their job.

This, according to Dairo, is because they get to meet so many people and keep an update on them, thereby expanding their mental capacity and ability to remember things.

He says they become more efficient in job-related social situations, through their interactions online, they can gather knowledge about how to manage their colleagues and customers; generate team building opportunities and become a part of the social networking culture.

Keep in touch with family

An Information Technology expert, Gregg Jackson says the fun derived from keeping in contact with family through the phone or even over email is comparable with seeing them physically.

He adds that social networking sites allow an individual to share their day-to-day life in a secure but public forum, which family can watch and experience.

He says Facebook, for example, allows people to share events, images, and thoughts in real time, during the course of the day.

According to him, family and friends can then experience all the things that someone does, and comment on them. This enables them to share in the experience, rather than just being informed about them during weekly phone calls.

Staying informed about the world

Jackson says people on social networking sites share what interests them, such as news on current events, therefore, people who share those interests, or who just want to stay informed, can read these stories and share them as well.

He says since stories are shared through “word of mouth” smaller news outlets such as blogs can get exposure, and social network users are overall connected to a larger pool of new information and opinion.

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Posted by Grasshopper - July 28, 2014 at 4:32 am

Categories: Social Media Marketing   Tags:

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