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Five Compelling Takeaways from SportsBusiness Journal’s Momentum Sports Marketing Symposium

By: Andy Cooper

The Momentum Sports Marketing Symposium has become a must-attend for anyone involved in sports marketing and sponsorship. Throughout the two-day event held there were dozens of insightful panels, presentations and discussions about the current and future state of sports marketing. We walked away with five compelling things that could have a big impact.

  1. Millennials are NOT anti-advertising when it comes to sports. If anything, they actively interact with advertising from brands when it feels authentic to them. The key is keeping to the brand’s core message and align with the correct type of content given the platform. For instance, a campaign on Twitter is going to drastically differ from a TV spot, or a video shared on YouTube.
  2. Reaching fans at an early age is crucial. When fans are exposed to sports at a young age – less than 10-years-old – they are more likely to have a deep affinity towards the teams, and the sports themselves. This is in contrast to fans who were first introduced as teenagers and are more casual fans for both their teams, and the leagues.
  3. Esports is the new frontier in sports. Esports continues to grow, both in viewership and advertising dollars, and it’s paving the way for new leagues like The Drone Racing League, which is starting to garner traction in the US and globally. This isn’t a new concept, as we’ve seen over the years with extreme sports, which recently has been leading the growth for the World Surf League and ToughMudder events.
  4. Teams are turning to brands for fan engagement.Teams and leagues are looking for ways to work with brands to create fully immersive and fan focused campaign activations. AmEx was referenced as a brand that successfully is able to make campaigns feel fan-centric due to unlocking specific team or league activations using their AmEx cards, while it simultaneously pushes the AmEx bottom line goals forward.
  5. Stadiums are just entering the digital revolution.As teams continue to build new arenas and stadiums, the fan-first concept is driving decisions. Venues are becoming more digitally connected, and integrating all aspects of the fan’s experience into their designs. The Minnesota Vikings have installed activities that are tracked around the stadium with RFID bracelets to see how their “combines” compare to other fans and athletes which can then also be pushed to social media. Meanwhile, New Era is looking to integrate more seamless retail opportunities within venues to drive in-person sales.