Everyone is incredibly excited about the return of sports, especially football this fall. People love to watch sports. They become deeply involved with their favorite teams and have an emotional connection to them. Many businesses are looking for ways to get their brands in front of sporting fans. Unfortunately, this often brings with it a hefty price tag that can make it difficult for small businesses, in particular, to take full advantage of everything that sports marketing has to offer. By utilizing creative sports marketing tactics, you can take advantage of sports marketing for your business without breaking your marketing budget.
1. Sponsor Weekly Segments
Connect with your local news station and sponsor a weekly segment affiliated with Connecticut sports. For example, you could sponsor injury reports, highlight reels, discussions of the team's capability, and more. By working with a local media partner, you can get a better idea of what sports segments are out there and how you can work with them. A hospital or physician, for example, might want to sponsor a weekly injury report. Choose a segment that reflects your business in some way, allowing you to connect with consumers who are interested in the services you have to offer. Through this strategy, you can connect your brand with local sports teams without paying the high price often associated with commercials during the game itself.
2. Cooking Segment
Host a cooking segment where you share recipes for tailgating at the game or watching from home. Wear your favorite sports gear and use dishes and decor to represent the sports team. Highlight dishes that reflect gameday favorites in Connecticut: the best recipe for slow cooker wings, for example. Keep in mind that if you aren't partnered directly with the sports team in a sponsorship relationship, you might not be able to refer to the team directly, but you can certainly build up the hype related to game day. Working with a media partner can help you make the most of your cooking segment without blurring those important lines.
3. Social Media Campaigns
Run a weekly campaign on social media that gets your audience excited for upcoming games. Chances are, sports fans are already eager to watch those upcoming games, especially this year. Connect that enthusiasm to your brand by putting together a weekly campaign that mentions the upcoming games and gets fans excited to watch. You can, for example, highlight your employees wearing their gameday gear or showcase the special dishes you're putting together to celebrate at your tailgating party. If you run a restaurant, you might highlight the best foods for game day or ask your fans to share what they're going to be cooking up--or if they're planning to order from you to celebrate, give them a cutoff time to order.
4. Run Ads on Game Days
Running ads on game days is a great way to get your brand in front of sports fans and connect with the community. If you're looking for a more affordable option for game day advertising, run an ad before or after the game, when consumers are likely watching pre-game or post-game coverage. Sometimes, those ads can provide more value to your business than advertising during the game itself.
For example, as a local sports bar, you might want to advertise that customers must order by a specific time in order to have the food delivered before kick-off. Car dealerships might put together a "keys to the game" raffle, where customers who buy a car throughout the week are entered into a raffle for tickets to the next home game. Be creative about using gameday ads to your advantage, in a way that can help you genuinely connect with your customers and take advantage of sports marketing opportunities.
5. Give Tips for Enjoying Game Day
Game days have the potential to look very different this year. Your business might partner with a lifestyle show like Better Connecticut to give tips for enjoying the "new normal" for game days. Whether that means enjoying the game at home or tailgating somewhere besides the stadium, there will be some adjustments this upcoming season. Help customers see the best opportunities in front of them as well as how your business can help make the most of it. Consider elements like gameday fashion, watch party tips, how to keep food warm and drinks cold at the next tailgate party, or how to host a social distancing friendly game day event. By making your segment current and relevant, you'll find that you can create an emotional connection with interested fans.
This year, the excitement generated by the return of sports can help take your business to new heights. By working closely with a media partner, you can take advantage of sports marketing opportunities to connect that excitement to your business, attracting more sports fans and building on their loyalty to their teams. Don't let this year's sports marketing opportunities pass your business by.