Major sports events present great opportunities for marketers. There are millions of viewers already tuned in. All you have to do is figure out a way to connect with them. What can you learn, as a marketer, from the NFL’s international expansion? How can you capitalize on these trends in your marketing efforts?
Expanding your brand’s global reach is a huge contributor to brand recognition and growth.
The Olympics and the World Cup are two examples of major global sports events that have presented marketers with a great platform for advertising their products and services to global consumers.
Global marketers can also learn a lot from the NFL’s recent international expansion. Through international games, the league has connected with the ideal audience – global sports fans.
Sports fans are engaged, social, and interactive. Choosing the right distribution channels is essential in marketing. These international NFL games on foreign soil provide a great vehicle to drive engagement and excitement about your brand.
The NFL and other professional sports leagues are recognized brands. Their logos can be seen on apparel worn all over the world. Posters of famous athletes hang on bedroom walls from Los Angeles to London to Tokyo.
These sports brands have decided to use the power of globalization to introduce themselves and appeal to a wider global audience. Your brand can, too!
Tips For Advertising During A Global Sports Event
Think about the Super Bowl. People either watch for the game, or the commercials.
Many of the commercials are football-centric. Some ads may even include a professional athlete. But for many brands, a Super Bowl ad is too expensive.
Instead, here are four tips for connecting with fans during sports events.
1. Connect With A Theme
One of your goals as a marketer is to relate what you do to your target audience. To reach global sports fans, try to connect your product to a sports-related theme.
Marketing is all about evoking emotion, and sports are full of them. Your sports theme could be:
- Winning or triumphing.
- Overcoming an obstacle.
- The thrill of victory.
- The agony of defeat.
Also, if your product or service can be used by athletes, demonstrate that! If your product or service can be used by fans on game day, highlight that!
These are just some of the possibilities.
2. Get Social
Sports fans are highly connected. The advent of the Internet and social media has made the world a smaller place. Fans all around the world communicate with one another and with athletes themselves.
Social media promotions can happen in the events leading up to, during, and after the game. Planning is key.
It’s also important to pay attention and watch the game in real time with your social media team. Platforms such as Twitter are immediate.
The 2015 Super Bowl gave us some great branded tweets. A favorite was Cheerios after New England’s Malcolm Butler picked off Seattle’s Russell Wilson to seal the game in dramatic fashion. The cereal brand tweeted a zoomed in photo of their circular product with the text “Everyone’s mouth right now.”
Everyone’s mouth right now: pic.twitter.com/cZjfD42kgK
— Cheerios (@cheerios) February 2, 2015
3. Make It Mobile
Global smartphone usage is on the rise. In fact, smartphones are becoming the preferred medium for accessing the Internet.
Earlier, we brought up distribution channels. Mobile is a key distribution channel. Make sure your global site is mobile friendly.
Why not try targeted advertising through mobile apps whether you use in-app ads or native ads? You can try these leading up to, before, and during the game.
4. Don’t Forget Language & Culture
When you think global, you think language. Language is a big part of cultural identity.
The NFL chose London, most likely for two reasons: because London and the UK are an English-speaking market and London can provide a perfect springboard into the rest of Europe.
It’s important to decide whether you want to concentrate on one market or multiple markets. It’s never smart to spread yourself too thin. Do some research and master one market first.
Research the culture and try to find ways to connect with that culture. Decide if your marketing materials need to be translated, localized, or even transcreated to reach a new target audience.
Reaching new markets is a goal of any brand. As you expand and look beyond domestic borders, it is important to find the proper channels to reach global consumers. Learn from other global brands. Start early and study the market. Once you find a focus, in this case, sports, find a way to creatively educate your potential new consumers on your brand and what it can offer them. Make sports fans a fan of your brand, too!