Sports marketing isn’t a new field, which makes it easy and challenging—easy because there are lots of past examples to learn from and challenging because it’s almost impossible to come up with unique ideas.
Over the years, we’ve seen marketers in this field recycle concepts by adding or omitting just a few minor details. Unfortunately, this has made most sports campaigns uninteresting, predictable, and way less effective.
This article looks into seven new sports marketing ideas to make your campaigns more vibrant and help you achieve better results.
1. Advertise events on physical ticket stock
Besides details of the main game, you can also print information about other upcoming events on your physical tickets. These include the dates, venues, prices, any available discounts, and where to grab tickets for the next game.
This strategy is quite effective because of the assurance that fans will keep their tickets until the day of the event, unlike flyers and posters, which they can easily misplace. So, whatever information you print on the tickets will be preserved for a longer time.
In addition, where you already have a loyal fanbase, attendees will want to be associated with you by posting snaps of the physical tickets in various sports groups. This further advertises your upcoming events to a broader audience.
2. Leverage buddy passes (bring a friend)
Everybody loves freebies.
A buddy pass is where you allow those who have bought tickets to bring a friend along for free. You can use this strategy to encourage bulk buying by only giving buddy passes to those who purchase season tickets.
However, this should only be a onetime thing and should be followed by well-structured email campaigns to encourage these friends to get their passes.
One significant advantage of this strategy is that it uses a word of mouth, which is one of the most effective marketing techniques. For example, it’s way easier for people to convince their friends to attend your events for free and buy tickets later than do it by yourself. Besides, subsequent email campaigns will be easier and more effective since you’ll target more qualified leads who have already attended your events.
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3. Give incentives to those who refer others (referrals)
As is with buddy passes, this strategy uses peer-to-peer referrals.
Encourage your current customers to tell their friends about your upcoming events by giving them free tickets or discounts when others list them as referrals.
A common, yet still practical, way of achieving this is by targeting institutions. If your target market is golf players, for example, you can give free tickets to a few active members of a selected golf club provided that they invite an agreed number of their friends to your event.
Besides helping you derive more sales, referral incentives are a great way to create a loyal clientele that knows you value and appreciate them.
4. Hand out flyers with game schedules at the event
Print out flyers and calendars of upcoming events and distribute them to your customers, either at the entrance or as the game continues.
Unlike most strategies, here you’ll be focussing on people who already know about your events and see value in attending them. You can even make public announcements during breaks to remind the attendees to pick their free calendars.
If the next game is at the same venue, you can distribute the printed material around the local community and take advantage of the current buzz. If possible, include incentives like snacks or discounts for locals to encourage them to buy the tickets.
5. Give attendees free, usable materials
Alongside calendars and game schedules, you can also give your customers free usable materials like shirts and mouse pads. If possible, customize the giveaways to include your brand or thank-you messages.
For the best results, use giveaways to enhance brand awareness rather than to increase sales. Brand them with your contact details, social media platforms, most famous games, or the most popular offerings.
Unlike the first four ideas, this is a more long-term marketing strategy. Depending on the duration you expect the giveaways to last, design marketing messages relevant across several months or even years. For instance, if you’re giving out free mouse pads, it’d be better to brand them with information on how to buy your events’ tickets rather than details of your next game.
6. Use online ticketing platforms
The online space is the new oil, and it’s not any different for sports marketers.
While some customers may find it challenging to visit your brick-and-mortar stores to purchase tickets every time there’s a game, buying passes online is a lot easier. It enables them to get the tickets faster and from the convenience of their homes or offices.
Pro Tip: Purplepass lets you build custom season passes or customers can select the games that work for them. Learn more about Purplepass' Flex passes here.
7. Take advantage of social Media
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but we still think it’s essential to emphasize it—social media should be at the center of your sports marketing campaign.
Develop a website, webpage, or catchy hashtag to promote the upcoming game. Encourage your loyal customers to share the event with their online communities by giving incentives like tickets or merchandise. You can also organize online contests before or after a game and capitalize on the buzz to promote your next event.
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