Professional sports marketing is in a league all its own. There are few occupations where discussing and getting excited about sports is a requirement of the job. There are many qualities that are important to a marketer for a professional sports organization, but none is more important than a love for athletics. Having a passion for your chosen sport is important but being able to cover any sport with equal passion and zeal is the hallmark of a successful sports marketer.
- Facility Operations and Marketing Specialist
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Sports Internship - Southeast Region
What you need to be a professional sports marketer
Love of sports may be one of the most important aspects of being a professional sports marketer, but that isn’t all. Many of the skill sets that make a good product marketer are also possessed by those covering athletics. Regardless of the type of marketing you work with, there are key fundamental traits that all successful professionals possess.
Here’s a list of the top five qualities that every great sports marketer possesses. If you have these skills, you just might have what it takes to pursue a career in professional sports marketing.
1. Project management
The biggest skillset to have when embarking upon marketing activities is the ability to manage and lead projects. Nothing happens without people doing work, and you’ll find it difficult to get a group of people to work together without a sports marketing plan. You need to know what tasks every person must perform.
Likewise, no team goes onto the field without at least some framework of a plan in mind for the game.
2. Campaign management
Another foundational skill of a successful sports marketer is that of campaign management. This can be likened to a plane which takes off, maintains flight altitude as it travels, and then lands somewhere people want to go. This is how a campaign operates – with a plan in place, building and executing a campaign becomes nothing more than a set of problems to solve. During the campaign, you might broadcast or send out messages advertising an upcoming event.
In 2015, Reebok noticed that 74% of Korean office workers didn’t exercise, so they created an active game in subway stations. Bystanders were challenged to score the most points by hitting a button on two sides of the subway platform, with the winner receiving a free pair of Reebok shoes.
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Do you know why sports professionals and fans should care about your message? Sports marketing is not just the act of getting a set of messages out. It also revolves around a core set of ideas that tell you why something is important and why it has meaning for your brand.
Many sports teams that perform poorly during the season still command loyalty from their fan base, but why? Because a team’s identity or brand is shared with the fan. Those members of the public identify with their local team in a very real manner.
Knowing why a sports marketing message is meaningful can take you far, but do you know how you’re going to get to where you need to go? Strategy is where planning and management become tactical tools for broadcasting a message during a campaign. Where will your media buys happen and what channels will you use to communicate your message? Social media, television, and radio are just a few of the many ways to reach your target audience.
When the power went out at the NFL’s Super Bowl in 2013, Oreo took advantage of the opportunity with a timely tweet that assured we can still dunk in the dark. Thanks to quick strategizing, Oreo arguably had the best response of all advertisers that evening.
A good communicator is one who can succinctly define a message in just a few strong words. Communications is not just verbal – it’s also written, and anyone seeking a career in sports marketing must possess strong writing skills. By the time you reach this point, a great sports marketer is beyond grammar rules and sentence construction. Effective communication attracts fans, sponsors, and even players with powerful messaging.
Pursuing your marketing dreams
Whether you’ve been in the marketing game for a while or just starting out, Jobs In Sports has the most up-to-date sports marketing jobs fit for you. From internships and entry-level positions to professional level careers, we’ve got just what you’re looking for to pursue your sports marketing dreams.
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