What is Sport Marketing, How Does It Work in Football?

Surprisely, not many understand what sport marketing is all about. When I tell people that I am a sport marketing professional, they size me up and say, what's that? Are you a player's Agent or do you sell sporting equipment and wears. Not really.

My name is Benson Chukwueke, I am a Sport Marketing Professional at GreenHunters Sports International 

I feel the onus is on me to explain what this discipline is all about, along the line of my specialization in marketing football.

What is Sport Marketing?
Sports marketing is a subdivision of marketing which focuses both on the promotion of sports events, teams, individual athletes as well as the promotion of other products and services through sporting events, teams. and players.

In this write up, I will focus on football products and other goods and services seeking to relatively reach the same football fans as customers.

Football products like Fifa World Cup, Manchester United, Neymar Junior, Wembley Stadium... probably gets the highest global attention and interest than anything else in the world today. Other products that associate with them directly or indirectly also derives such global attention and it drives increasing sales as well as goodwill for their brand.

How Does Sport Marketing Work In Football?
Marketing football is subdivided into two integrated aspects. Marketing direct football products such as a team, individual player, merchandise, stadium, tournament or event. Marketing indirectly other products using association sponsorship of a team or tournament, endorsement of individual player, advertisement on team kits or Stadium bill boards...

It requires such creative skills in branding and brand positioning. How you want the millions of fans around the world and stakeholders to see an individual player, a team or tournament. Imagine such brand reputation tournament like UEFA Champions League invoke among football consumers across the world. It was a diligent implementation of dynamic strategies by sport marketers that positioned the competition as the preferred club tournament in the world today.

There are several strategic steps required to brand and promote a team or tournament/event to the point that it becomes attractive to fans, sponsors and investors alike. Team attracting world renowned star players and winning trophies are very crucial in attracting fans active followership, sponsorship and investment.

How Does Sport Marketing Work With An Individual Football Player?
Football is largely star players driven. "Cristano Ronaldo Vs Lionel Messi, which is better?" " What will Neymar Junior do in the next game" are all cconcoctions of sport marketers to keep aflame the interest, passion and followership associated with the sport alive.

Some players reputation have been created to become larger than life. Superstars like Lionel Messi are even ascribed as a deity; devotedly worshipped by millions, if not billions of fans across the earth. Sport marketers are responsible for creating and building such individual brand reputation.

From the begining, a sport marketer discovers a talent, a potential star player....He picks up the talent and groom him or her in a world-class football academy, then he begins to package the player with promotional video footages, media appearances and propaganda that could get the attention of clubs and national team to call the player up for trials.

The sport marketer also groom inside-the-field and off-the-field personality of the become a role model that could attract corporate brands asking for his endorsement or perhaps, the united nations using him or her to prosecute their humanitarian projects.

What Does a Job in Sport Marketing Entail?
The job of sports marketing helps to promote an athlete, a team or a particular brand. A successful sports marketer knows how to stir up the public’s enthusiasm so they will want to purchase a product or buy a ticket to watch an athlete play. Sports marketers have a variety of methods they use to get the word out to the public about an athlete, a team or a product.

A sport marketer is succeeding if his player signs for a top club or called up in his country's national team and has lots of lucrative endorsement deals. A sport marketer is succeeding if a lot of fans actively follows his their merchandize, attend their matches and other fan fest events... Therefore, attracting and brokering sponsorship and other investment deals for the club or tournament organizers.

What Are the Tools of a Sports Marketer?
A sports marketer uses the radio, television, social media and personal appearances to promote his or her client. .

A sports marketer uses the best method possible to advertise sponsorship or endorsement partnership deals.

Ideally, fans of the football player will start to purchase the sports drink because they know their favorite star player drinks it too.

Young men and women who aspire to become professional footballers drink the sports drink because of the endorsement of the successful football player. Consequently, the increased visibility of the sports drink, as well as the increased sales, are due in large part to the efforts of the sports marketer.

An Ideal Person
One of the biggest responsibilities of a sport marketing professional is to be a well-spring of ideas. There are a lot of sports teams, products and players all competing for the public’s attention as well as their money.

A sports marketer must be ready with fresh promotions that will get the public’s attention and persuade them that a specific team, player or product is worth their dollar.

A timid sports marketer who only uses well-known methods of promotion is not going to keep his or her job in this competitive career field.

What Does the Public Want?
A successful sports marketer is able to figure out the sort of promotion that will have an effect on the public. He or she becomes familiar with the athlete, team or product, then takes that information to come up with the most creative method of promotion. Would it be more effective to start an original promotional campaign on social media or on the radio? What would be the most efficient way to reach this player or team’s fans? These are questions that a sports marketer must find the right answers to in order to establish a reputation for great results in this field.

An interest in sports is a necessary part of being a sports marketer, but it is certainly not the only qualification. Imaginative, persuasive ideas and familiarity with sports culture are both useful requirements for someone interested in this profession.

It requires education in marketing. Some colleges and university offers such specialization in sport marketing as a professional course.

At GreenHunters Sports International we conduct short course or seminars on Sport marketing, especially as it relates to Nigeria to the rest of the wprld. If you are interested in sport marketing education call +234(0)8098772556 or email: for further inquiry.

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