How Sports Teams Build Brands Through Community Involvement

March 23rd, 2017 by Brian Zinkel

fitness expoEven the most world-renowned sports team needs to focus on their branding. Marketing is one of the best ways to attract new fans, and the more fans the better, right?

However, developing sports branding can be quite complex if you don’t know where to start. After all, sports marketing not only determines who you are as a brand but also inspires your fans to become better versions of themselves. Sports marketing and branding is the message you send out to the world, and there are a few things every sports team owner should know before they head down this winding road of self-discovery. Here we’ll try to help you out a bit.

You might be asking “We’re a well-known sports brand, so why do we need to focus on branding our image?”

Well, like we mentioned before, branding is the epitome of how you are seen in the eyes of your fans. To grasp this idea, it is best to think of your sports team as a business. Your fans are customers, and you will want to do anything you can to please them. It is important to remember that the branding of the team is incredibly versatile and can range from something as simple as your team’s uniforms to a much bigger detail such as who chooses to sponsor you.

Besides these benefits, sports team branding has many different advantages such as:

  • Giving your team an identity all their own.
  • A consistent brand over all channels can make you look more credible and trustworthy.
  • Drives up loyalty with die-hard fans.

It is important to remember that an investment in your sports brand is a long term investment. When done correctly, branding will pay off in more ways than one.

But how?

The answer is simple: by involving the community.

Your fans are your biggest advocates and your biggest opportunities. Here are some of the best ways to market yourself to them that will benefit everyone in the long run.

Get involved with fitness expos

Fitness expos are one of the best marketing techniques out there considering the sheer number of people they attract. There are many different types of expos to choose from depending on your goal. Here are a few to keep in mind if you choose to become an exhibitor.

Health wellness expos: Your team can promote healthy living habits by bringing in nutritionists to discuss different diet options, chefs to create interesting meals, and even meditation experts to talk about mental well-being. Make sure you include your athletes in any classes that will be going on as a way to not only promote the event but encourage fans to step out of their comfort zones as well.

Fitness expos: The sky’s the limit when it comes to fitness expos. You can have some dedicated only to cardio, one for strength training, and others focused on overall personal training. Talk to your athletes and see if they would be willing to lead a session, so hearts can get pumping and fans can get up close and personal with some of their favorite players. Considering that less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and only one-third of all adults receive the recommended amount of physical therapy every day, having a fitness expo can inspire great amounts of change in the lives of your fans.

Fitness expos are so popular within the marketing community that the average company allocates 31.6% of their marketing budget to events and exhibiting. This amounts to $24 billion spent annually for trade show displays, but what’s most important is how you set yourself up at the fitness expo. Visuals are essential. What your message does not say is just as important as what it does say, so the overall rule of thumb for booth design graphics is that they should be 40% empty space. Don’t overwhelm your fans and you will have nothing to worry about!

Use social media to your advantage

Everyone nowadays has a social media account, and there is no better way to share information about the team, videos of the players, or upcoming events than with social media. But since every sports team has an online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you need to stand out. Here are some unique sports marketing strategies for social media.

Create a fresh approach

Look into creating a distinct story for your team. After all, stories are the best way to get fans interested and dedicated to the teams. Think of it this way — rivalries, underdogs, and hometown teams all stir up emotions in your fans. If you can create a distinct approach like this and write all of your content from that perspective, you are more likely to build an emotional connection with a fan.

Make what you share different

Sports videos are one in a million online, so make sure that what you share offers a different perspective than others. Don’t know where to start? Put your players front and center and go from there — most sports teams don’t showcase personal, intimate interviews with each player, so this is a great way to stand out among your rivals. Also, make sure to upload fresh content as often as possible!

Send and receive feedback

You don’t want to make it seem like your sports team is so far removed from the fans that you don’t listen to what they have to say. Feedback can be immensely valuable, and if your fans feel engaged with your brand, they will enjoy their overall experience even more.

Volunteer your time

No marketing trend is more powerful than simply volunteering in your local area. Going out and getting your hands dirty will literally put the community at your fingertips. Plus, hearing different fan stories can inspire you to do different community outreach programs, so take this as a learning opportunity.  Help out your fans in need, and you’ll quickly learn that there is much more available to you than just a marketing event.

As you can see, your sport’s brand is incredibly important to the longevity of your team. If you are looking for ideas on how to incorporate your brand into something bigger and better, contact our experts today.

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