Sports & Marketing

9 Apr


Last saturday I was watching a very viewed soccer game with a bunch of friends in TV. We got together at a bar to see the two soccer teams of Monterrey Mexico, playing against each other.

The stadium at which they play has a capacity for 35,000 people; and when this teams play, the stadium is at its full.

While we were watching it on  TV I realized just what a great business sports is. It depends on each region, for example, soccer or football in Mexico is the most popular sport. Let’s analyze the 4 P´s for these business:


In this case a service, football, or any sports for that matter offer entertainment and belonging. They are an escape route for those who watch it, its a place where everyone is allowed to scram, shout, curse, and its ok. Its a way in which people subconsciously release all stress from work, family, or every day life.

It gives a sense of belonging because one follows ones own team based on place of birth, place of living, place of education or simply by mere likeness, and it unites friends and family and also unites strangers for a same cause. So, sports is an entertainment business that has continuity, is a sane passion (as some reporters noted), and brings people together.


In this respect we refer to the place of gathering: sports exist in every culture in an array of different ways, some are more sophisticated in the sense of publicity and reach, and others are more local (kids playing football in remote areas). They can be carried out almost anywhere, but let’s take the example of soccer, the one I was watching on TV, the place is in a very big stadium were people come together in one colossal structure, that most of the times stadiums become icons in their cities, and emblems that distinguish them and show a sense of pride for their respective teams (the Azteca stadium in Mexico City with a capacity for 104,000 spectators!). The place for this service can be at the best of times, a real symbol of the place and people were it stands. So, again, we have a more intrinsic and deep meaning with this kind of entertainment.


Price for sports can be a little subjective and relative, since each different sport and place where the event takes place charges a different fee; and this is just taking into account the entrance ticket for a game. For a sports event can also take into account the pay-per-view through a TV channel, or simply the price you pay for gathering in a bar (as we did), and paying for beers and something to eat. But, also including what people pay for beers and snacks at a stadium, in general there are lots of cash inflow related to these events, since the selling of memorabilia, etc.. But we are also missing one of the most profitable inflows of money for this events: advertising.


This, for me personally, is the most exciting of the P’s for sports, specially for a sport like soccer; in which unlike baseball, a lot of sponsors are present specially in the player’s uniforms. Let’s just analyze the magnitude and scope of advertising.

First, the very first contact of a customer with the event: the purchase of the tickets.Whether its done over the internet or physically, the customer buys the ticket and the ticket itself, sometimes, has printed on it the official or official sponsors of the event, this is the firs contact with a brand.

Second, in the day of the event upon the customers arrival to the stadium there are a bunch of panoramic and outdoor advertising of official sponsors. For those of us that do not go to the stadium we have the myriad of TV spots in which everything is related or directed to the kind of person likely to be watching the game (beer, banks, retail stores, cars) , where it is obvious the ad is related to the game that is playing on TV.

Thirdly, this is all related to whatever people buy at the event. Food, drinks, snacks, are all there to remind you that you are having a good time because of the sports event and because you are having something that they have to offer that really complements the experience.

Last, all the advertising throughout the game: the uniform of the soccer player, with more than 10 different sponsors printed on their uniform, the ads we see around the field and that change every 30 seconds, the announcements the TV spokesperson says about sponsors. We are truly bombarded everywhere with advertising in sports.

So, in the end, one team wins, people release all their stress and energy at the game, have a good time, and really got embedded in their minds and subconscious a great number of brands that they will relate to the team, the players, the event, when they go out. Sports are such a good business and such an entertainment that carries with it a lot of value for those aficionados who watch it, that its such a great opportunity for brands to communicate and have a truly positive and big exposure.


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