What is Sports Marketing?

Sports marketing focuses on the promotion of products and services at sporting events or major athletic competitions. It can also consist of advertising sports teams. Marketing, through sports, gained prominence in the 1980’s, and this form of advertisement has steadily increased since that time. Price, Promotion, Place and Product are the four P’s of marketing, and they’re essential to sports sponsorship. Athletes often develop a rapport with companies, and they sponsor a variety of products. Brands develop visibility by their association with athletes who wear their shoes and clothing.

Tobacco companies were banned from the airwaves during the 1980’s, and many of these firms began to sponsor sporting events. The advertising budgets, of these firms, was freed, as they could no longer promote their products on the television air waves. They circumvented this law by promoting their products through the sponsorship of large scale sporting events. This was one of the first large scale sponsorships of sporting events by corporations.

This form of marketing accelerated in the 1980’s. The decade gained recognition for the large amounts of money that passed through various hands. Several athletes became famous during this time period, and many people are familiar with Michael Jordan and his relationship with Nike. This was one of the first major sponsorships, and it was fabulously successful. Since the 1980’s, sports marketing has increased, and now there are scores of athletes who are sponsored by a variety of companies.

The shoe wars quickly gained prominence during the 80’s as well. Most of the major tennis shoe manufacturers developed relationships with star athletes, and this was used in their quest for brand loyalty and recognition. There are many examples of this in sports advertising. Companies, at this time, also began to have their names on major stadiums. This was another first, and now nearly every stadium is named after the company that sponsors it.

Clothing is one of the main products that are advertised in this venue, but there are all types of goods and services that are promoted as well. Marketing is not relegated to clothing and health foods. All companies have realized the huge amount of visibility that sporting events offer their goods and services.

Sports sponsorship is a huge field for advertisers, and many of the world’s top athletes have contracts with several companies. They promote everything, and many of them have contracts for a variety of products. One would think that these stars would limit themselves to athletic apparael or health products, but this is not the case. Stadiums are also named after the corporations that provide money to teams, and nearly every major sporting organization has taken advantage of the benefits that sponsorship offers their club.


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