Sports marketing examples to inspire your marketing strategy

Attention to the female public; increasing customization; new technological frontiers: these are some of the key areas in which sports marketing focuses. Here are some examples of sports marketing.

Sports are an increasingly important part of our lives. Leader a healthy and active life it is now a priority for a growing number of people around the world.

That’s not all. There is also a very related aspect of the sports industry entertainment: from classic matches in stadiums, arenas or any type of sports center, to sports, which take place in digital arenas. There is also a big change in this area: the ways of “watching sport” are changing at an ever-faster pace. The sports facilities themselves are becoming more technological and “more people-friendly”. first and foremost. Then there are the classic TV channels, which have multiplied. Streaming and on demand services have revolutionized the way we enjoy them. Not to mention Social Networks and new ways of communicating with stars, top-level influencers, but also influential “micro” and “nano”.

In short, the sports sector has changed and continues to do so at an ever-increasing pace, in all its complex and intertwined aspects. Field sellers are “doomed” to be dynamic, to be up to date and always looking to the future, towards what moves on the horizon, trying to see it before the competition.

In our blog, we have published a post that focuses on changes in marketing and communication in the sports sector, to which we refer you for all relevant statistics.

In another post, we focused on new trends, identifying the 10 most significant and promising ones.

Now we want to be even more specific and talk about successful sports marketing examples to inspire us.

We have chosen to divide them into three different sections, which will allow us to focus on three general topics, three different trends that these campaigns have tried to successfully intercept.

The first refers to the expansion of the target audience, with specialized attention the massive growth of the female audience.

The second is focus customization, which is perhaps the most incisive change that digital has made in marketing and communication.

In the third and final section, we will delve into the use of the most advanced technologies impacting on these successful examples of sports marketing, such as virtual reality and augmented reality. Today we are only at the beginning, but it is already clear that the future of sports marketing could come from here, with huge margins for development.

There are more and more women: “This girl can.”

Among the most notable and important aspects of change in the sports sector is without a doubt expansion of the target audience and the diversification of the goal itself.

This growth refers to both physical aspects and sportswear, and “sports shows” in general.

First of all, it is a geographical expansion. For example, today it is much more common for an Italian to follow any American championship (from the NBA, to the NFL, to the MLB). But just think about what it means to expand into the Asian market in terms of number …

There is also an age expansion: there are more elderly people who play sports or are interested in it (in this sense, see our publication dedicated to industry trends where we also focus on this aspect). Sport as a fundamental element of early childhood education is gaining ground even in those parts of the world and in societies that previously had little interest in it.

But decisive growth refers to gender; thus, approximately 50% of the population (… let’s think about it!).

Sports, for some time now, are no longer a “male affair” and are becoming less so. The increase in female audience is a trend that is continuously and solidly increasing. All the indicators point in that direction and all the big brands have noticed it.

Here is an example of huge success: the “This Girl Can” campaign, created by Sport England (a British government body, linked to the Sports Council). It was launched in 2015 with a dedicated website, a multichannel approach, with high quality video, and also the “cultivation” of a community around the project, especially in Social Networks (

The stated aim was to reduce the gender gap in sports participation in Britain.

The results?

In just one year, the main video of the campaign had been received 37 million views (considering only YouTube and Facebook).

In addition, according to independent researchers, around 2.8 million women between the ages of 14 and 40 have been influenced by the campaign, and has led them to change their habits and attitudes towards sports. Of these, up to 1.6 million reported that they had started playing sports or exercising (

The impact on social media has been profound – just write the hashtag #thisgirlcan on Twitter or Instagram to see for yourself.

In short, an overwhelming success, so much so the campaign has been played several times, trying – not surprisingly – to expand the target audience to a female audience over 60 (

Always more personal: Nike and Adidas

The digital transformation has radically revolutionized marketing in all industries, and certainly the sports industry is no exception.

The impact of digital has been huge and multifaceted. But the heart of this paradigm shift is the gigantic and unprecedented availability of data about the public, the goal of a.

In other words, it is possible today to know the own public, even when it is vast, following its digital footprints. As a result, it is possible to divide it into coherent segments to be intercepted with tailor-made marketing and communication actions.

This is what we mean when we talk about Big Data analysis and data-based marketing (and we devoted an entire publication to this topic on the sports industry. You can find it here: The role of Big Data in sports marketing .

But this is not all. For some time now, the key word that has been gaining momentum is “personalization.”

Tan, go beyond identifying audience clusters, to really target people. This is a personalized marketing, which deals with specialized companies such as Doxee: it is adapted to people, individually and in constant evolution.

Are there any examples of successful sports marketing that we can refer to?

Mike Parker, CEO of Nike, said the goal of the legendary sports brand is “be increasingly personal, on a scale.”(

And from the words came actions, on various fronts. First, the Nike + custom apps, for example, records an average expenditure per user three times that of the store (

Then there is the whole face of portable devices, another really valuable source of personal and specific data ( But personalization has also moved sponsorships of important events (see the case of FIFA World Cup 2018 here).

One of Nike’s first competitors comes to mind … Adidas.

Even this historic brand has decided to focus more on this customization (

For us, one thing seems very clear to us: if two industry giants, who have been competing for decades, coincide at one point, that point must be really important. And that point, we’ve seen, is called customization.

It is no longer science fiction: virtual reality, Manchester United and others

According to many experts, the future of marketing could come from some technologies that until yesterday seemed almost science fiction.

We are talking Virtual reality, augmented reality and hybrid reality.

Many brands in the sports industry have done or are doing interesting experiments in this direction.

Here, we point out the story Manchester United football team, which implemented for the first time (in 2017) virtual reality projects aimed at its fans and spectators at the stadium, in collaboration with Oculus, a Facebook division, all focused on RV projects (

From football to motors: the Read Bull Formula 1 team uses virtual reality to provide fans with the racetrack experience aboard one of their cars (see here).

Then there are the first experiments on the sports clothing sectoral: think about the possibility of “virtually testing” a pair of shoes to evaluate their aesthetics and functionality.

The fields that will open up these new technologies are yet to be explored.

What these examples of sports marketing success show us is that we need to do it keep your eyes open. You need to be bold, identify trends in advance, but also watch out numbers i data. It’s all about balance.

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