Master of Science in Sport Management Online

4 Keys to Sports Branding

For sports teams around the nation, branding is key to establishing an identity, creating a fan base, and generating a substantial income. Without solid branding, many teams would fail to rally the support they need to succeed. Whether you’re approaching the topic as an experienced sport management professional or a newcomer to the field, pay attention to these four keys to sports branding.

Historical Connections

For many sports teams, one of the best way to connect with fans is to focus their brand identity on history and geography. After all, sharing a geographical location and a sense of history with a team tends to encourage fans to develop strong connections and a fierce sense of loyalty. As Chris Matyszczyk explains in Inc., 30 percent of sports brand loyalty can be attributed to history and tradition.

Further, fan loyalty is one of the biggest drivers of profitability, as Robert Passikoff expounds in Forbes. For many sports teams, loyalty is a direct indicator of sales and success, which means history couldn’t be more important.

Fan Engagement

Though specific methods vary slightly from sport to sport, using the most current technology is critical to building a brand and driving fan engagement. As Andrew Cave and Alex Miller explain in The Telegraph, social media opens the lines of communication between fans and teams in unprecedented ways.

Of course, simply creating social media channels won’t do much to help a team build its brand. Instead, truly engaging teams should have a plan in place to interact with fans, provide content fans want to consume, and offer ways to connect with players.

Smart Arenas

Teams that understand how important social media and digital technology are to their brand have begun to embrace smart arenas. Instead of asking ticket holders to keep their eyes on the game, teams like the Atlanta Falcons encourage fans to identify with the brand by sharing their game day experience. As Rich Esposito elaborates in Forbes, the Falcons’ new stadium boasts thousands of screens so fans won’t miss a moment of the game, as well as enhanced Wi-Fi connections so fans can post videos and photos in real time.

Team Globalization

Image via Flickr by mothabox

To establish a brand with a wide-reaching fan base and nearly limitless moneymaking potential, sports teams have to look far beyond their backyards. As the Bleacher Report explains, globalization among sports teams has taken hold rapidly in the 21st century, and it shows no signs of stopping. In fact, some teams may even develop franchises across multiple continents, providing a way for the brand to build a larger foothold with local appeal.

Real Madrid exemplifies a team that has embraced globalization, with fans all over the world clamoring to wear branded gear and share their team loyalty via social media. According to Forbes, this endeavor to globalize has paid off. Real Madrid boasts the world’s highest value for a sports franchise, at $3.26 billion.

From driving engagement to creating connections, sports teams continue to build their brands in innovative ways. With the right amount of knowledge and experience, sport management professionals can put the most lucrative methods to work to help their team’s brand grow.