Sports marketing have been witnessing big changes and for a person to be well-versed with all these new aspects of sports marketing is not easy. A decade ago, the newest trends included the start of personalized athlete branding, real-time interactions, and online videos. E-sports had just started making its presence felt with Wii Games Summer 2010 and the 1st League of Legends World Championship in 2011. Here are some of the recent trends that are likely to dominate sports marketing in this decade:
- VR/AR: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality developments guarantee an immersive user experience, nothing like what they used to be ten years ago. The focus has changed to making these beneficial for companies and users. Earlier buyers would order different products to try these out at home and then return all but one. However, now with the help of AR technology, you can try out sports shoes virtually before buying these.
- OTT content: Prime Video and Netflix have shown you what OTT can offer. Now, platforms like Amazon and Facebook have literally overturned the sports market. The Primera Division, Spain’s finest professional soccer league, operates in India exclusively on Facebook. Watching sports broadcasts live is now possible anywhere; you no longer have to rely on the home TV. You can even access niche sports because of the new streaming possibilities. The biggest advantage of these streaming platforms is that they offer individual profiles for their users and know the kind of content that appeals to them. So, they engage in targeted advertising.
- Wearables: This market has grown from strength to strength and its presence in the sports world is unmistakable. Reports suggest that sales of wearables globally will cross $95 billion by the next year.
- Children in Sports: At a time when e-sports has been flourishing and consciousness about obesity amongst kids is being circulated widely, manufacturers of niche sports goods like climbing shoes and mountain bikes are selling their products online. Kids should ideally be introduced to sports at the earliest opportunity since motivating them later on becomes difficult. Losing interest in sports is not only detrimental for their health but it will also dry up revenues of companies who host sporting events and manufacture sports gear. Companies do not wish to lose their customers to other sports options or to sedentary options such as video games.
- AI or Artificial Intelligence is a ground breaking technology that is revolutionizing almost every industry and the sports world is no exception. Chatbots are exciting outputs of AI and they are being widely used for sports marketing. For instance, Robot Pires is a chatbots developed by FC Arsenal for communicating with their fans on Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Slack. This chatbots offers statistics, results, and news pertaining to this premier football club. A smart chatbots can be used for reaching out to new customer target groups and consolidate fan loyalty. They even collect data about what fans want.
- Sustainability is closely related to sports these days. Almost 80% of sports products are bought because of emotional reasons. Sports marketing techniques are mainly about offering customers the satisfaction that they are engaged in something constructive. For example, recycled plastic is used for manufacturing outdoor jackets and sports shoes; this new trend aligned with environmental consciousness has become quite the rage these days.