16 Marketing Tools Every Sports Team Needs

Sports-related marketing tactics rely less on traditional ads and media buys and more on a passionate connection with the team, venue, and your brand. So how will you create an effective plan for your sports team when advertising at an upcoming event?

To effectively market at a sporting event you must leverage your committed base of fans and attendees to capture all available income streams and induce excitement in the crowd. Whether you’re the leader of a small-market team or sporting group, or you’re a major operator on the sports field, you’ll want to pay attention to the following effective marketing concepts to help drive awareness of your team and bolster bottom-line results. Keep in mind - creating personal connections through sports marketing is especially important when you’re involved in promoting a sporting event or team so get ready to shake hands and win over fans today!

To support your marketing efforts during an upcoming sports-related event or other promotional opportunity, consider the following effective marketing goods, tech and activities to take your team to the next level.

The Goods

1. Tents: If you’re looking to draw attention to your team while simultaneously providing an inviting and comfortable place to allow attendees to congregate, consider a customized tent! Tents or custom canopies are available today in a variety of sizes and configurations, and most are designed to be assembled and broken down in a matter of minutes. Order one that features your custom team logo or graphics to reinforce the sense of home team pride.

2. Custom tablecloths: Sporting venues tend to be quite large and spread out, so consider a colorful tablecloth that can attract attention from hundreds of yards away. Polyester tablecloths are durable, wrinkle-resistant, and can be printed in unlimited color or imagery. Several styles are generally available, from spandex table covers to more flowing, polyester designs. You can display all kinds of promotional, team-related wares on a folding table with a customized tablecloth.

3. Licensed merchandise: Create interest in your team by ordering licensed merchandise that pairs with the venue at hand. Small giveaways with the home team name and logo can help to promote your team and venue, while providing your fans with something tangible - and memorable, to take home.

4. Podiums: When addressing a group of sports fans or event attendees, it pays to speak from an authoritative position - a podium! This can be a standard perch featuring traditional wood or metal construction, or one that is more creatively designed - maybe a podium framed with baseball bats for an MLB-themed event. Go outside of the box to stand out.

5. Banners: Custom banners are a simple way to market your team with ease, regardless of the venue. If you create a banner that stands tall above your display table or booth, you’ll garner attention from all over the sporting venue. Durable vinyl or fabric mesh are often the way to go, as they are light-weight and will last your entire season.

6. Custom flags: These high-visibility marketing items can help your team to stand out from the crowd and attract the right kind of attention during a sporting event or outdoor gathering. Several base styles are available and you’ll have an option to customize your lightweight promotional flag with your choice of personalized image. Arrange them in the right pattern and you can actually guide potential clients to your booth or table, or to the seating area.

7. Promotional giveaway items: Regardless of the game you play, your team can target as many new fans and existing die-hard fanatics as possible by incorporating a batch of customized, promotional giveaway items into your marketing toolkit. Order sports-themed giveaways that deliver real-world utility to ensure maximum visibility for your team. A team magnet with the home and away schedules will provide an entire season’s worth of exposure for your team.

8. Print media: Customized flyers and mailers can help to attract attention and boost attendance at your event. Consider partnering with a local business to create a mutually beneficial promotion - i.e., attend the game and receive 20% off of your dinner bill at a partnering restaurant when you present your ticket stub.

The Technology

9. Team website: Create awareness of your team and provide a central hub for information related to your schedule, venue, key players and stats, and more. Though websites can be created using do-it-yourself programs, this step is best left to a professional internet marketing firm that can help you to create a compelling site with customized content.

10. Social media: To spotlight your team and convert fans into fanatics, you’ll want to extend your reach by engaging in social media marketing. Facebook is a given and Twitter is highly effective, too. Facebook allows fans to connect with players, coaches, and other like-minded individuals, while Twitter delivers a sense of immediacy that keeps fans engaged with the team - almost in real-time. Make sure that you take advantage of hashtags to maximize Twitter’s networking potential.

11. YouTube: Millions of individuals spend time watching YouTube videos each day, so create an account and upload highlight reels of your team’s greatest plays this season. Or, allow your players to create personalized content to more easily connect with their fan base. This is great content to share via your social media channels.

12. Invite local media: While social media is certainly one of the most powerful marketing tools available today, be careful that you don’t neglect the potency of local news teams to boost your team’s profile. You can get to know these reporters by hosting a light-hearted get together just for media personnel, then casually pitch them stories that might compel fans to listen more closely to what’s happening with their favorite team.

The Activities

13. Get Involved in the community: While you can certainly reach thousands of individuals in a matter of seconds through social media, there is no replacement for legitimate, local goodwill - like that demonstrated by community service projects and other local charitable events. Organize an event, create custom T-shirts that sport your team name, bring along team banners and other promotional marketing items, and then get to work. Inviting a local media member never hurts, either! And, don’t forget to tweet what you’re doing to draw in fan support!

14. Create/Find a celebrity fan: While the definition of a celebrity certainly varies from person to person, it is amazing how an endorsement from a prominent individual can boost the visibility of your team. A retired sports personality, local team broadcaster, or even a major celebrity who hails from your hometown can provide serious awareness of your organization.

15. Host school fundraisers: Looking to increase the visibility of your sports team while simultaneously doing good for your youngest fans? If so, consider a school fundraising night. You can sell tickets to your games that include a percentage that goes back to the school - the perfect way to not only earn new fans, but also to endear parents to your sports team.

16. Create a fan/fanatic contest: Sports marketers are keenly aware of the difference between fans and fanatics. Fans are generally defined as “enthusiasts who are devoted to their team,” while fanatics are often characterized as those who “demonstrate an unusual or extreme commitment to their team.” Create a contest to see who demonstrates the greatest commitment to your team during an upcoming game or match - then reward them with a prize!

If you’re looking to increase the attendance at your upcoming sporting event and create greater fanaticism around your team, you’ll want to approach the marketing elements listed above with open arms. From homegrown, local marketing activities to broader-reaching, technology-based approaches, you simply cannot go wrong when you focus on spotlighting your team, involving the community, and rewarding fans for their loyalty.

For more information on promotional marketing materials, products, and display items, contact us today! Our customer service team would be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

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