To succeed in the sports industry, you need to understand marketing. However, not all marketing courses are designed equal. Some teach you the basics, while others will transform your knowledge of marketing.
If you’re looking to launch a career in sports marketing, look no further. Below you will discover a comprehensive course outline and details on what you’ll learn. We hope this course will help guide you on your journey to become a successful sports marketer.
The Basics Of Sports Marketing
To start things off, let’s cover the basics of sports marketing. First, you will learn the terminology used within the industry. Next, you will examine pricing models and how to select pricing for your events. After this, you will examine the unique role of digital marketing in the sports industry. Finally, you will learn how to construct a marketing plan and how to analyze the results of your plan.
To help you better understand the role of marketing in the sports industry, let’s take a moment and examine the difference between marketing and sports marketing. Marketing is a general field that applies to a variety of industries. It focuses on selling a product or service to consumers. In the case of sports marketing, it is the practice of promoting the sale and utilization of athletic goods and services. Therefore, if you’re a fresh graduate with an undergraduate marketing degree, you may not fully understand the specific differences between marketing and sports marketing. Don’t worry—a general understanding of the roles of marketing and sports marketing in the overall scheme of things will serve you well in your role as a sports marketer.
Role Of Marketing In The Sports Industry
Now that you’re equipped with the basics, let’s discuss the role of marketing in the sports industry. As a marketing major, you will study the marketing mix—the 4 Ps of Marketing (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion).
Product is probably the most important of the 4 Ps. It represents the tangible goods or services that your product is offering to the consumer. In the sports industry, this would include jerseys, caps, shoes, and other athletic gear. Next, you will learn about Price. This refers to the cost of the product. Typically, the cost of the product will reflect its demand in the market. For example, the more popular the product, the higher the price. Place is when you consider where your product is purchased and the Promotion methodologies that drive demand for your product. You will learn about these together in a later module.
In the case of marketing for sports teams or athletes, the Product will be the athletic gear named above. The Place will be the arena or stadium where the games are played. The Price will be the tickets for the games. Finally, the Promotion will be the collection of methods used to draw attention to your product, including but not limited to: advertising, public relations, and social media.
In the world of sports, marketing is incredibly vital to the overall success of a team or individual. An experienced sports marketer can assist with the search for sponsors, negotiate television rights, design custom t-shirts, and much more.
Above you will see a representation of the 4 Ps of Marketing. Each of these four components—product, price, place, and promotion—contributes to the overall success of a product or service in the marketplace. As a sports marketer, you must understand how each of these components work in tandem to produce results in your favor as an entrepreneur or coach.
Pricing Models In Sports
Pricing is an important aspect of any business. However, it is particularly crucial in the case of the sports industry. When it comes to pricing, there are a variety of models that you can choose from. Below you will discover some of the most common ones used in the sports industry.
Baseball is one of the most popular sports in North America, and in some parts of the world, including Japan and South Korea, it is popular enough to warrant professional leagues and international competitions. Baseball is played by five infielders, two outfielders, and a batting prince (pitcher) who stands in front of the batter and directly pitches the ball. Naturally, gear and equipment for this sport are in high demand. There are currently 16 professional baseball leagues, and the top five—along with their related entities—collectively control almost 70% of the sports market.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, “the average fan spends about $200 per year on baseball equipment and apparel.” That figure includes everything from the cost of the ticket to the merchandise purchased at the ballpark. In addition to this, fans will often drop thousands of dollars on gear and equipment specifically for their favorite player or team. For example, the average Joe Schmo who likes the Chicago Cubs might fork out $200 per year on baseball equipment and apparel. In the same way, an average fan who supports the Texas Rangers might spend $300 per year on their equipment and apparel. In either case, that’s a lot of money for a fan of a sport that many consider to be cheap. This proves that pricing is all about supply and demand in the case of baseball.
Basketball is another extremely popular sport in North America. In fact, the average American will spend $125 per year on basketball-related goods and services, whether it is a sport, a watch, shoes, or sunglasses. Like baseball, basketball is also played by 5 players on 2 teams who run around the court and toss the ball into the net to score points. The objective is to hit the ball through the net and into the opposing team’s court. There are currently 13 professional basketball leagues in the United States, and the top three—Associated Press, United States Basketball, and National Basketball Association—collectively hold about 77% of the market share.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, “the average consumer spends about $113 on basketball equipment and apparel each year.” Like baseball, there is a massive variance in price depending on which team or player you support. For example, the average fan who supports the Golden State Warriors might spend $125 per year on basketball equipment and apparel. However, one can assume that this is due to the popularity of the team and the desire to follow their every move.
Football is another sport that is enjoyed around the world. In fact, it is one of the most popular sports in the United States, where people enjoy watching professional athletes dominate on the field. The game itself is simple. Two teams of 25 players compete to advance the ball into their opponent’s end zone and score points. There are currently 16 professional football leagues, and the top four—National Football League, American Football League, Super Bowl, and World Football League—collectively control about 82% of the market share.
In the United States, the average consumer spends about $118 per year on football-related goods and services, such as tickets, jerseys, hoodies, and hats. Naturally, the cost of equipment varies depending on the type of player you are, with the most expensive equipment being those used by quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. It is important to note that the average American will spend more on football-related goods and services than on golf, tennis, and hockey combined. This proves that pricing is incredibly important in football, especially for teams that are lesser known or smaller in size. In order to be competitive, these teams will have to rely heavily on their marketing budgets to gain fan support.
Hockey is another sport that is quite popular in Canada and parts of Europe. It is also one of the most expensive sports to play and watch, due in large part to the expensive equipment that is required. The most common form of hockey is called “skate ball,” and it is played on a rink with up to 6 players on each team. These players use their hands and bodies to throw the puck around the rink and into the opposing team’s net to score points. There are currently 17 professional hockey leagues, and the top three—NHL, KHL, and CIS—collectively hold about 76% of the market share in Canada and parts of Europe.
Like football, hockey is another sport where the equipment can get quite expensive. This is mostly due to the fact that there are only a few manufacturers that produce the gear for this sport. This also means that you will pay more for your equipment than you would for most other sports. In fact, the average Canadian consumer spends about $150 per year on hockey-related goods and services, making it the second most expensive sport after football. Naturally, the price of equipment and apparel will vary depending on which team or player you support. Like football, hockey is also a large market that is often dominated by a few major brands. This presents interesting marketing opportunities as one of these brands might just be what your business needs to succeed.