Are you a sports enthusiast? If yes, then you must be aware of the importance of sports branding in today’s world. Sports brands have been at the forefront of advertising for decades and have evolved their advertising strategies over time. One of the latest trends in sports brand advertising is an omnichannel approach.
So, what exactly is an omnichannel approach to sports brand advertising? Well, in simple terms, it means using multiple channels to reach your target audience. These channels could include social media, email marketing, TV ads, billboards, etc.
Why is an omnichannel approach important for sports brands? Let’s take an example of a basketball shoe brand. If they advertise only on TV, they will reach a limited audience who are watching the specific program at that moment.
However, if they also have an active social media presence and email marketing campaigns, they can reach a much larger audience and potentially convert them into customers.
Another benefit of an omnichannel approach is that it allows sports brands to create a consistent message across all channels. By using the same tone, style, and visuals, they can ensure that their brand message is clear and memorable.
Now, let’s dive deeper into some of the channels that sports brands can use to reach their audience.
Sports brands have a variety of channels to reach their audience, from traditional mediums like TV ads and billboards to newer options like social media and email marketing. Each channel has its own strengths and target audience, and smart brands use a combination of these channels to create a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Social media is an obvious choice for sports brands looking to reach a wide audience. With billions of people using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, sports brands can create engaging content like videos, images, and stories to showcase their products and athletes. Social media also provides an opportunity for brands to connect with their audience through comments, direct messages, and other engagement features.
Email marketing is another effective way for sports brands to reach their customers. According to data from Campaign Monitor, email marketing has an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent, making it a highly cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience. Sports brands can use email marketing to send personalized messages with product recommendations, exclusive deals, and updates about new product releases. By segmenting their email lists based on customer preferences, purchase history, and other factors, sports brands can ensure that their messages are relevant and engaging.
TV ads are still a popular way for sports brands to reach a large audience. Although streaming services have disrupted traditional TV viewing habits, live sports events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics still draw massive audiences, making them prime advertising opportunities for sports brands. Brands can create engaging commercials that showcase their products and athletes in action, using memorable slogans and music to create a lasting impression.
Billboard advertising can offer several benefits for a sports brand. Firstly, billboards are large and eye-catching, making them an effective way to increase brand awareness and visibility. This is particularly important for sports brands that want to be noticed by a wide audience, as billboards are often placed in high-traffic areas such as busy streets or highways. This increased visibility can help to create a sense of familiarity and recognition among consumers, which can be crucial in building brand loyalty and trust.
In addition to this, billboards can also be used for targeted marketing. By placing billboards in strategic locations, sports brands can ensure that their message is reaching the right people. For example, a brand that sells running shoes might place billboards near popular running routes or in areas where fitness enthusiasts are likely to gather. This can help to increase the chances of their message being seen by people who are most likely to be interested in their products.
Another benefit of billboard advertising for sports brands is that it can be cost-effective. While the initial cost of designing and printing a billboard can be high, once the billboard is up and running, it can continue to attract attention for weeks or even months at a time. This means that the cost per impression is relatively low compared to other forms of advertising, such as television or radio commercials.
An omnichannel approach to sports brand advertising is essential in today’s world. Using multiple channels, sports brands can reach a larger audience, create a consistent brand message, and ultimately increase sales. So, if you are a sports brand looking to advertise, make sure to incorporate an omnichannel approach into your strategy.
Sports Brands Target Audience
Sports brands typically target a diverse range of audiences, depending on the products they offer and their marketing strategies.
Here are some common target audiences for sports brands:
Athletes: Sports brands often target athletes who are passionate about their sport and require high-performance gear and apparel to perform their best.
Fitness Enthusiasts: Brands targeting fitness enthusiasts typically offer a range of products that cater to their fitness goals, such as running shoes, gym wear, and accessories.
Outdoor Adventurers: Brands targeting outdoor adventurers offer gear and apparel for activities such as hiking, camping, and mountaineering.
Fashion-Forward Consumers: Some sports brands target consumers who value both style and functionality. These brands often offer products that are both fashionable and high-performance.
Kids and Teens: Many sports brands target kids and teens who are interested in sports, fitness, and active lifestyles. These brands offer products that are both functional and trendy.
Corporate Clients: Sports brands also target corporate clients who are interested in outfitting their employees with branded gear and apparel for team-building events, charity walks, and other activities.
Fans of Professional Sports Teams: Sports brands often partner with professional sports teams to offer branded gear and apparel to fans. These products allow fans to show support for their favorite teams while also promoting the brand.
Let’s look at a few examples to understand how sports brands market to their target audience-
This iconic brand is known for its “Just Do It” slogan and its swoosh logo that can be spotted on athletic shoes and apparel around the world. Nike’s target audience is primarily athletes and sports enthusiasts who value high-performance gear and cutting-edge technology. But Nike doesn’t stop there – the brand has also made a push in recent years to appeal to fashion-conscious consumers who want to look stylish while still feeling comfortable and supported during their workouts.
This German brand has a rich history in the world of sports, having outfitted athletes at the Olympic Games and in soccer tournaments for decades. Adidas’ target audience is similar to Nike’s – athletes and sports enthusiasts who want high-quality gear that can help them perform at their best. However, Adidas has also made a concerted effort to appeal to the streetwear crowd in recent years, with collaborations with designers and influencers to create stylish sneakers and apparel that can be worn both on and off the field.
This American brand is relatively new compared to Nike and Adidas, but it has quickly made a name for itself in the world of sports. Under Armour’s target audience is slightly different from the other two brands – while it still appeals to athletes and sports enthusiasts, its focus is on creating gear that can help athletes perform better by regulating body temperature and wicking away sweat. Under Armour’s products are also geared towards people who are serious about their fitness and want to track their progress through technology, such as its popular fitness app.
This German brand has been around for over 70 years and is known for its classic sneakers and athletic apparel. Puma’s target audience is similar to Adidas’ – athletes and sports enthusiasts who want high-quality gear that looks great and performs well. However, Puma has also made a push to appeal to younger consumers in recent years, with collaborations with pop culture icons and trendy influencers to create limited-edition collections that are both stylish and functional.
So there you have it – each sports brand has its own unique target audience, but they all share a common goal of creating high-quality, functional gear that can help athletes perform at their best. Whether you’re a serious athlete or just love to hit the gym, there’s a sports brand out there that has gear that’s perfect for you!
Marketing strategy that would work wonders for sports brand in the digital age
Marketing a sports brand can be a challenging but exciting task. With the growing popularity of sports and the athleisure trend, it is essential to develop a marketing strategy that effectively targets and engages with your audience. Whether you are an established brand or a new player in the market, a solid marketing strategy can help you stand out and connect with your customers. This may include defining your brand identity, identifying your target audience, creating compelling content, leveraging social media, and developing partnerships and collaborations with athletes or influencers. In this article, we will explore some effective marketing strategies for a sports brand to help you increase brand awareness, drive sales, and build a loyal customer base.
Create a brand story
In order to stand out in the competitive sports industry, the brand needs to have a compelling brand story that resonates with customers. For example, Nike’s brand story is centered around the idea of empowering athletes to achieve their full potential, which is reflected in their iconic “Just Do It” slogan.
In the 1980s, Reebok was gaining market share in the sneaker business through their success in the aerobics race. Nike responded with their “Just Do It” campaign, which tapped into the fitness craze of the time and motivated consumers to exercise in their shoes. The campaign also used celebrity endorsements from sports figures like Bo Jackson, John McEnroe, and Michael Jordan to reassure consumers of Nike’s quality and appeal to their sense of belonging and “hipness”. Nike was able to turn an exercise in their sneakers into something sexy and exciting, even for those who didn’t actually exercise in them. By focusing on the image conveyed by the fitness culture, Nike was able to attract consumers who wanted the image without the pain.
Leverage Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for sports brands to connect with potential customers. The brand can collaborate with social media influencers who have a large following in the sports and fitness space.
For example, during the lockdown phase, sports brands implemented strategies to keep their followers engaged. Adidas, for example, started a HomeTeam campaign that aimed to encourage people to stay active even when at home. The campaign was designed for a wide audience, targeting not just fitness enthusiasts but people from all walks of life, including musicians and artists. One of the posts from the campaign is shown in the image below.
Develop a strong social media presence
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are essential for sports brands to connect with customers and showcase their products. The brand can create engaging social media content that showcases its products in action, such as videos of athletes wearing their shoes or apparel.
For example, Under Armour’s Instagram account features videos of athletes in action, along with motivational quotes and behind-the-scenes glimpses of their product development process.
Sponsor Sports Teams and Athletes
Sponsoring sports teams and athletes is a great way for sports brands to build brand awareness and loyalty. For example, Puma sponsors the Jamaican track and field team, which has helped them establish themselves as a top sports brand in the Caribbean. Similarly, Nike sponsors some of the biggest names in sports, such as Serena Williams, LeBron James, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Engage in experiential marketing
Experiential marketing allows sports brands to engage with potential customers in a more meaningful way. For example, Adidas created a pop-up store in London that allowed customers to design their own custom sneakers. Similarly, Nike created a virtual reality experience that allowed customers to experience what it’s like to be an Olympic athlete.
Offer personalized experiences
Personalization is becoming increasingly important in the sports industry, as customers are looking for products and experiences that are tailored to their specific needs. The brand can offer personalized products, such as customized jerseys or shoes, as well as personalized training programs that cater to the individual needs of customers.
For example, Peloton offers personalized fitness programs that are tailored to the individual needs of each customer.
In conclusion, by creating a compelling brand story, leveraging influencer marketing, developing a strong social media presence, sponsoring sports teams and athletes, engaging in experiential marketing, and offering personalized experiences, sports brands can connect with customers in a more meaningful way and build a loyal community around their brand.
Now that we have discussed the approach, target market, and strategies for a sports brand advertising campaign, let’s have a look at how to launch one.
How to launch a New Sports Brand in India
India is a growing market for sports brands, with an increasing number of people adopting a fitness and sports-oriented lifestyle but launching a new brand can be a daunting task. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to make your brand stand out in the Indian market.
RESEARCH THE MARKET
First things first, research the market. Understand the Indian sports industry, identify key players, and study consumer behavior. This will help you identify gaps in the market that your brand can fill. Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to create a unique brand identity. This includes your brand name, logo, color scheme, and messaging. Make sure it resonates with the Indian audience.
FOCUS ON MANUFACTURING
Next, focus on local manufacturing. Indian consumers prefer locally manufactured products, so it’s important to set up manufacturing units within the country. Not only will this reduce costs, but it will also create local employment opportunities. It’s a win-win situation!
Now it’s time to build relationships. Building strong relationships with key stakeholders in the Indian sports industry, such as sports associations, teams, and athletes can help you gain credibility and visibility within the industry. These relationships can also help you understand the needs of Indian consumers.
USE THE POWER OF DIGITAL MARKETING
Leverage digital marketing platforms to reach your target audience in India. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can help you reach a wider audience, and you can also leverage influencer marketing to promote your brand. Don’t forget to offer quality products.
Indian consumers are becoming increasingly discerning about quality, so it’s important to offer high-quality products that meet their expectations. Make sure that your products are durable, comfortable, and meet the needs of Indian consumers.
PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS
Finally, participate in events and sponsorships. This can help increase brand visibility and awareness. Consider sponsoring sports teams or athletes or participating in sports events to get your brand in front of a wider audience.
By following these steps and staying consistent with your marketing efforts, you can establish your brand in the Indian market and attract customers who are passionate about sports and fitness. So, go ahead and launch your brand in India, and let the world know what you have to offer!
Athleisure Is Here to Stay, and Brands are Breaking Records
According to an article in the Economic Times, seven prominent sports companies will reach combined sales of $1 billion (about Rs 8,277 crore) in India in 2021-22, due to growing fitness awareness as well as demand for athleisure wear.
Puma, Decathlon, Adidas, Rebook, Skechers, Nike, and Asics saw a 30-68% year-on-year increase in sales, according to regulatory filings sourced from Altinfo. The sales of these brands taken together surged 52% to Rs 8950 crore from Rs 5871 crore in 2020-21.
According to industry leaders, demand for fitness clothing and sports equipment for sports other than cricket has increased as consumers prioritize health since the onset of Covid -19.
“People during the pandemic were focusing on health and fitness and they wanted to evolve their lifestyle. So, there was a huge transition around how people saw health and fitness, and that increased demand for us. Athleisure has become the go-to outfit”, said Abhishek Ganguly, managing director, of Puma India.
“Nearly half of the Indian population is below 25 years old and things such as fashion consciousness, per capita footwear consumption, and aspiration in tier-2 and tier-3 cities will only grow.”
With a population of 1.39 billion India is one of the fastest-growing and largest international markets for footwear companies.
Brands such as Reebok, Adidas, Nike, and Puma have been around for more than two decades in India and have grown by virtue of pushing their wares partnering with cricket and other sporting activities.
Companies have also signed Bollywood celebrities, including Deepika Padukone, Kriti Sanon, Anushka Sharma, Tiger Shroff, and Harrdy Sandhu as their brand ambassadors, hoping their social media influence will change their brand perception beyond sporting activities. During the pandemic, companies also got a boost from online sales, which helped brands reach small towns where they had no store presence.
“Some of the trends that emerged, from a fashion and e-commerce perspective, are actually here to stay. For example, athleisure, we thought, will die off, but that isn’t true. People are pairing up sneakers with all their outfits now, and that is here to stay. This started during the pandemic,” Myntra CEO Nandita Sinha told ET earlier this month.
Athleisure Top Trends for 2023
1. Making Use of Online Influencers
The average individual dresses like the most attractive, popular, and admired celebrities. Whether they are actresses, sportsmen, singers, models, or any other top entertainers, many people look up to them for fashion inspiration and ideas on the hottest and most fantastic things to wear. As a result, the top athletic gear brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reeboks, and Puma, as well as sports industry newcomers such as Under Armour, are attempting to promote their new athleisure apparel lines by utilizing fit, hip, young, attractive, internet influencers famous for attracting the masses to their brands.
2. Targeting Young People
The majority of athleisure products are purchased and worn by teens, young adults, and tweens. In order to break into this lucrative market, athletes are designing and promoting young people’s clothing. It is common for brands and companies that have never targeted this demographic to devote a large portion of their marketing budget to print, radio, and television ads designed to capture young people’s attention. Young consumers are often wooed by new ad campaigns that use hip-hop and other popular music and activities.
3. Promoting a healthy, active, and fitness-conscious lifestyle
Among companies looking to capitalize on 2023’s hot, burgeoning athleisure market, a popular trend is promoting their products as essentials for a healthy, active, fitness-conscious lifestyle. Many brands and companies use movement as a theme in advertisements for their newest hot athleisure fashion, ‘must-haves’. Suddenly, clothing brands promote jogging, hiking, biking, yoga, and sports, recommending people wear their clothing and apparel in order to look good, enjoy, and feel comfortable while doing these activities.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has become a popular strategy for brands and companies looking to reach out to younger audiences and promote their athleisure products. With an estimated 4 billion people set to use social media in 2023, it presents an ideal platform for such brands to connect with consumers and increase their online presence.
By utilizing social media marketing, brands can raise awareness and engagement with their products, convert hesitant consumers into loyal customers, and provide effective customer service. It also offers the chance to initiate conversations, expand brand exposure, drive website traffic and revenue, and promote sales and discounts.
5. Developing New Revenue Streams
As the demand for athleisure continues to grow in the coming years, businesses are looking to develop new revenue streams by expanding their product lines. For instance, sneaker companies are now designing athleisure clothing, while traditional dress clothing brands are creating sportswear and activewear divisions. Some clothing brands are also diversifying their product offerings to include shoes for various sports, such as running, track, tennis, golf, soccer, and basketball, in order to tap into the lucrative global athleisure market.
6. Promoting A Youth-Oriented Fashion Culture
Fashion culture is becoming more youth-oriented, with the idea that age is just a number and anyone can wear whatever they feel comfortable in. Women are now being encouraged to wear spandex tights to various events, including work and church, while men are being told that they can wear girdles and biker shorts to enhance their physique under athleisure outfits.
Some companies are creating clothes that cater to a wide range of age groups, promoting the idea that the style, cut, and fabric of the garments can make individuals look youthful and attractive. The marketing messages emphasize the benefits of lightweight, wrinkle-free, and moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics that can help people look and feel younger, fitter, and more beautiful.
7. Tapping Into The Growing Asian Athleisure Market
In the coming years, the athleisure market in Asia is predicted to become larger and more diverse than the current leading market in the United States. To tap into this emerging market, many brands and companies are preparing themselves to capture a share of the potential hundreds of billions of dollars in value. One trend in the athleisure wear industry is the focus on becoming a respected and in-demand source for premium-quality athleisure wear for men, women, teens, and young adults in Asia for the next decade and beyond.
Some stats to help you understand the sports brand market better
- Athleisure is a popular clothing segment worldwide, especially among young people. In some places, it accounts for over 65% of clothing purchased by people in their teens and 20s.
- Athleisure products, such as sneakers, t-shirts, shorts, pants, tops, blouses, dresses, and more, are popular due to their comfort, style, versatility, and social acceptability.
- The worldwide market for athleisure is valued at $348.95 billion, and it is forecasted to increase to over $517.48 billion in 2023 and beyond, with an annual growth rate of 8.1%.
- The U.S. is currently the largest market for athleisure products, accounting for about 30% of worldwide sales.
- However, a growing interest in physical fitness among young people in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to make it the world’s largest athleisure buyer soon, with a market value well over $500 billion a year.
- Many well-known brands, such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Under Armour, are competing with activewear brands like Lululemon, Athleta, Outdoor Voices, Patagonia, Rumi, Aerie, and Girlfriend Collective for dominance in the athleisure market.
In conclusion, marketing a sports brand requires a combination of creativity, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of your target audience. By implementing the right marketing strategies, you can build brand awareness, drive sales, and foster customer loyalty.
It is essential to keep up with the latest trends and technologies to stay ahead of the competition and connect with your customers in meaningful ways. Whether you are partnering with athletes, leveraging social media, creating compelling content, or engaging in experiential marketing, your efforts should focus on delivering an authentic and compelling brand message that resonates with your audience. With the right approach, a sports brand can become a powerful force in the market, inspiring and empowering athletes and sports enthusiasts around the world.
Best Advertising Agency for Sports Brand Advertising
The Media Ant is a leading advertising agency with a proven track record of delivering effective and impactful campaigns for clients across various industries. With their deep understanding of the sports industry, they are perfectly positioned to help brands maximize their reach and impact for your sports brand in 2023.
With their expertise in sports brand advertising, proven results, creative solutions, strategic planning, and data-driven approach, brands can be confident that they are in good hands with this agency. Whether you are looking to reach a large and diverse audience or connect with sports enthusiasts in a memorable way, The Media Ant has the expertise and experience to help you achieve your goals.