Sports Marketing: How Brand Association Can Impact Your Business

Sports MarketingThere’s something about a local sports team that gets any community excited, especially in a rabid sports city like St. Louis.

But what you might not realize is that tying your marketing efforts to a local team can pay huge dividends. Just take a look at the Cardinals, the winningest team in baseball history and a huge part of social culture in St. Louis. Associating your business with the Cardinals can be a great move for most companies, due to the increased visibility, and brand recognition.

But sports marketing in Missouri doesn’t have to be difficult. In this post we’ll discuss some ways you can leverage the power of sports marketing — radio ads in particular — to positively impact your brand:

1. Why Associate Your Business with a Sports Team?

Tying your business to a sports team, like the Cardinals, can positively impact your brand image in many ways.

  • Being associated with a winning organization or team creates positive brand equity in the minds of consumers. They’ll see your business as a winner as well.

  • Winning sports teams get consumers excited, particularly when there’s a big game or championship series. They’re engaged, in a good mood, and potentially more receptive to marketing messages.

  • You’ll also be able to run promotional campaigns in alignment with local sports teams. Central Bank of St. Louis, for example, sponsored a bobblehead giveaway night this past season with the Cardinals.

2. What About Radio?

Because people listen extensively to sports programming, you’re able to reach a wide audience by tying your business to a sports team on the radio. This is true for several reasons:

  • People Listen in Their Vehicles - Cardinals game coverage extends beyond just the game, and many fans tend to tune into pre- and post-game coverage. That’s a big block of time for your marketing to reach consumers.

  • Radio Reaches Across Generations - Radio has traditionally been a unique part of how fans experience baseball. Many of us were raised by our parents or grandparents who listened to the game on the radio, and even today if you look around the stands at a game, you’ll see many fans, with headsets, listening to a radio broadcast during the game. In St. Louis, many Cardinals fans would actually watch the games on television while listening to the radio, so they could hear famed announcer Jack Buck calling the game.

  • Radio Announcers Can Be Biased - Because viewers can actually see the action when watching the game on TV, announcers on those broadcasts are forced to be unbiased and neutral. The opposite is true for radio, as the announcer’s job is to paint a vivid picture in the mind of the listener as to what’s taking place with the community’s favorite team.

  • You'll Reach a Large Audience - Technology has only served to broaden the scope of radio. By advertising your business during Cardinals broadcasts, you’ll be able to reach people, not just in the St. Louis region, but potentially anywhere in the world.

3. How Can You Use This to Your Benefit?

Associating your business with a top-notch sports brand like the St. Louis Cardinals can have a positive impact in a few different areas:

  • Web Traffic - Simply advertising during a Cardinals radio broadcast is sure to generate some additional visitors to your website and social media pages. You can also engage influencers within the Cardinals organization and fan universe by interacting with them on social media and leverage them to share relevant content from your business that will help drive additional traffic.

  • Social Media Conversation - This is an area where it really pays to be creative when it comes to engaging with sports fans. Think about co-sponsoring charity events with the team or running contests on your Facebook or Twitter pages. These give your audience specific events, causes, or calls-to-action to make sure they not only visit your social media pages, but interact as well. Creating a specific hashtag for use on all your social media channels will also help to encourage people to share with their networks.

  • Tailored Messaging - By tailoring your message specifically to sports fans, they’ll perceive a connection with your brand on a more personal level. The demographic of sports radio listeners is between the ages of 25 and 54 (average age of 47), 86% male, and college educated. The average income of males with a bachelor’s degree ranges from $39,663 to $89,820.

  • Mobile Engagement - Nearly half of all sports fans in the US now follow their teams digitally. Sports fans love to engage on mobile devices, with a reported 60% of all mobile and tablet owners consuming sports-related content on their devices at least once a day. Fans also love using their devices to look up stats, player bios, and highlights. Mobile devices are now a crucial part of the experience even while watching a game live or on TV, so make sure to incorporate a plan for mobile engagement into your sports marketing strategy to reach your audience on this rapidly expanding channel.

By now you should have a good idea of how sports marketing can impact your business via brand association. Tying your business to a sports team, especially a winning one like the Cardinals, is a great way to reach new potential customers and turn YOUR advertising efforts into grand slams!



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