Marketing is, as defined by the American Marketing Association (AMA), “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. Companies use many different ways to promote its products or services and reach the consumers. Nowadays, some of the most common strategies that companies are using to pass knowledge of its products on to the consumer are through the use of advertisements put up in sports events, by signing the most outstanding athletes on the sport to promote their brand, and the use of advertising during the broadcast of sporting events.
Sports have a lot of fans and people who practice the sports as a hobby. Some fans attend the stadium every game to support and cheer up their teams or players in individual sports. Marketers have seen the popularity that sports have among people as an opportunity to advertise their brands and products. We can see this in events like Sony Ericsson Tennis Tournament, Spanish Soccer League BBVA Bank, and English Soccer Barclays Premier League. These companies support these events by sponsoring in exchange of the use of the company’s name on the event. This is a very good strategy because they are able to gain customer awareness; the people who attend the games will see mass advertisements of all the brands and names sponsoring the event surrounding them everywhere they go.
Another strategy that marketers use to promote their products is by contracting the most famous athletes. These athletes sign contracts for millions of dollars to use their products and give word-of-mouth to the customers; the brand or product does not necessarily need to be related to the sport. Some examples of this method of marketing are tennis player Roger Federer, some of his signings are with companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Nationale Suisse Bank, and Gillette; and the two most famous soccer players of the moment Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), some of their contracts include companies such as Adidas, Nike, Armani Exchange, and Herbalife. An advantage of having star athletes promote a product is the big credibility they create in the sports fans when they see their favorite athletes promote and give testimonials about a product or brand. This method of marketing also creates consumer awareness in the fans who regularly watch their favorite sports teams and players.
Finally, another well-known strategy used by marketers is the use of advertisements on television when sporting events are being broadcasted. Thanks to the advances in communication technology, sporting events can now be broadcasted and watched worldwide. This creates a win-win situation because now sports teams are now able to reach new fans anywhere in the world and marketers are able to reach more consumers for their products by the ads presented on television with both the ads placed on the fields and courts and the ads showed on television during breaks and time-outs.
The use of sports teams and professional athletes as means of marketing and advertising products continues on the rise. Today we see different brands and products being advertised in every sport we watch. Regardless of the brand being related or unrelated to the sport, companies are able to sell their products and improve the lives of its customers through the value its products provide. On the other hand, sports not only bring passion and emotions to people; they them together in harmony and improve the quality of life of the communities where they are present.