Sports Marketing has come off age, no longer it is just about product or inventory selling but it is much more than that. Building credibility, especially when there is an abundance of multi-channel communication sources and consumer has the option to choose, engagement and capturing eyeballs clubbed with innovation will be the only way to revolutionize the sector and create value-based properties.
With the influx of digital penetration, access to information, video, and content marketing are key touchpoints for understanding consumer behavior and creating a litmus for the product. The thrust for a Sports marketer is to utilize the emotion and passion of the sport and connect it with technology and innovation to create a real-life fan experience.
Engaged fan experience and innovative content integration to roll out the Brand Story is how brand experience is built. The world of sports is evolving rapidly, and, in the short and long term, advertisers will have to explore new landscapes.
Understanding Fans, Maximizing Possibilities: Sports has traditionally been an incredible, unifying forum for communities to come together and the pandemic showed us how Sports can make a difference. Sports-driven content has the upper hand to not only be a leveller in tough times but also has the power to bring respite or unite emotions with people beyond boundaries. It helps to connect with fans and the highest spike is witnessed when sports properties have seen successful engagement with the consumers thereby creating a successful advertising outlay. Content having engrossing, engaging, and nostalgic value will always go beyond sustaining short-term engagement, thereby providing versatility, and eliminating paywall on second screens. Also, to maintain the attention of fans especially in the pandemic when they are mostly still not allowed in the stadium, bringing the sporting heroes closer and creating excitement with engaging videos leads to engaging conversation for the Brand. According to a study by CISCO, 82% of the consumer engages more with video content and as a sports marketer such touchpoints, looping the broadcaster as well as the advertisers means yield maximum benefits for the BRAND.
AI & ML in Sports: Pandemic, as most people may agree, has been the trigger to engage technology to create spectacle through innovation under AI & ML. In a game like Kho Kho, our objective is to introduce AI & ML based On-court Contact Detection & enhances live and post-match performance analytics which has never been used in the history of tag sport before globally. Such innovations certainly help production output which in turn delivers an enriched on-air product to audiences with accurate data and multiple monetization opportunities.
Social Channels: In building the fan bases and capitalizing on brand opportunities, trust is critical to establish the bond between the consumer as well as the Brand. It is important that social channels and their power of engagement are optimized. While Social Channels help to create an organic fan base that can be leveraged for brand visibility, brand building without accountability is over. If you can’t measure it then you can’t justify it.
Sports League is now looking at creating unique brand assets across the mainstay league, grassroots, school contact programmes, and international expansion. Amongst all, connecting with the hinterland audience becomes a critical success factor for taking the brand story forward. With the expansion of second-screen viewing, sports technology in addition to successful activation of sport sponsorship will assist brands to identify a receptive goal in times to come.
Authored article Tenzing Niyogi, CEO, Ultimate Kho Kho.