Just what is branding?
It’s obvious you may think – branding is the imagery associated with a company – the logo, name, font, colours. You’re not wrong here, it is definitely those things but encompasses so much more.
Branding is the impression and emotive associations created for your customers. Branding is not only for a company or business; it can be for anything from events to your own self. It incorporates different elements that range from all aspects of visual experience design, to the mission, vision and values your company represents. Good branding makes you stand out.
Essentially, branding is a memorable image of the expectations people ought to have of you. It is a way to influence the perception of your event. It works to reinforce customer loyalty, effectively target appropriate groups, and ensure you are remembered.
So what is sports branding?
Sports branding is exactly branding as described above, in the scope of and targeting sports and sport events. Think of all the famous and largely consumed sports events – NBA, UEFA Champions League, ICC Cricket World Cup, Super Bowl.
Consider the immense coverage they receive and the shared hype we all feel at the time of these events. The energizing aspect of sports branding is the immensely enthusiastic culture of sports fans. Understanding the love, support and loyalty of fans is extremely important to branding sport events and bringing value to your audience.
Branding and marketing
Now that we understand sports branding, let’s look into how it’s utilize with your marketing efforts. There are two definite ways to communicate your brand, and influence your target group, so that they thoroughly enjoying what you have to offer. Experiential marketing and event marketing.
It’s easy to get experiential and event marketing confused. However, event marketing is a method used by businesses and people to promote themselves personally to their consumers at an event.In contrast, experiential marketing utilizes experiences created for connections with consumers.
These two marketing methods are quite complimentary – often interlinked and very focused on a specific group of people. They’re very effective for organizers in increasing popularity in all senses and creating direct and long-lasting impressions. Post events – 86% of consumers turn into regular customers (study by the Event Marketing Institute in 2012). 70% of consumers turn into regular customers after experiential events, according to EventTrack. You should really consider these marketing methods in the execution of your sports event and branding to garner yourself passionate fans.
Great! Now what can I do?
You’ve learnt about sports branding. You can understand the ways consumers and sports fanatics respond to their beloved sports, teams and events. And now you know of two highly rewarding marketing methods. What next? Let’s amalgamate all this to guarantee a successful branding story for your sports event.
To successfully brand your sports event you need to be mindful of every aspect of the experience you create.
Firstly, focus on a target group, the people who would be interest already exist – you just need to go find them. Direct, genuine interactions are more likely to take place when you reach out to people where they are. Learn more about them, interact with them, and engage them into your brand and event. Consider their ideas, aspirations and the things they value. Think about why they would want to build associations with your brand and event. Keep this in mind when composing your event, brand and marketing designs and plans.
Secondly, be clear about what image of the brand you want communicated. What message do you want to get across? This can be something subtle about the vision you believe in. It can also be directly associated with the sports event of the day. Allow this to dictate the theme and design of your event as well.
thirdly, show your target group how they can benefit from your sports event. Visualizing and almost spelling out such objectives and rewards can get the point across simply and directly. This can allow you to control the impression you leave and control the perception of your brand.
Lastly, Give your consumers a takeaway – something that can further extend the memorable experience after the event. It may be goodies and freebies, or knowledge they gained about your brand, the sport and even themselves. Whatever the participant leaves with, will speak volumes about you as a brand and continue to tell your story. This will allow them to hold onto the connection between them and you.
Most important of all – remember to keep it FUN! Have fun yourselves! With something as exciting and heart racing as sports, there’s no way you don’t heighten the enjoyment of your participants. Remember, this is about the people you have attracted and the people you want to keep attracting. Make sure they’re having a good time. Make sure they leave thoroughly delighted with the event and happy with the key memories they take with them.
Share with us any impressive sports branding campaigns or any experiential and event marketing endeavors that have left you in awe!