Sports fans love their teams, love their game, and love their favourite players. When it comes to brand loyalty, you can’t find a more passionate and engaged group of people than sports fans of all stripes.
Marketers who can connect with sports fans and build real emotional connections with these audiences will find a demographic that’s eager, enthusiastic, and devoted to the things they care about.
Sports Sponsorship Is Big Business
Sports sponsorship is growing rapidly. Global sports sponsorship revenues are expected to rise to $116 billion dollars by 2027, according to a recent report, with much of that growth attributed to the rising number of sports events, the rising popularity of emerging leagues, and increased traction among youth for established leagues.
The downside of sports sponsorship is that marketing in the big leagues comes with a high initial investment. But the focus on big, live events provides a massive opportunity for activations, one that McKinsey found many companies underutilize.
McKinsey found that activations had a bigger impact in increasing unaided awareness and brand recall than sponsorship rights alone. Sponsorship activations are key to unlocking the best results from sports sponsorships.
What Digital Billboards Can Do for Sports Marketing
When you want to run a successful activation at a sports event or venue, you need more than just a booth. Portable digital signage is the ace up your sleeve for sports event activations.
Portable digital billboards bring fresh capabilities to your in-person activations. Not only do they put your message and your brand front and centre, but they can do so much more, including gamification, augmented reality marketing, digital merch shops, on-site transactions, push-to-purchase QR codes, and product drops.
When you’re envisioning your next sports activation, make sure portable digital billboards are part of your plan. From interactive experiences to digital stores, portable digital billboards add a new dimension to any activation.
Game Night: Amping Up the Fan Experience
Experiential marketing is a great way to engage sports fans and match the energy of the moment. Live sports are big events for kids and adults alike. Events also have a lot of downtime, including the time between arriving at the venue and the start of the game, half-time, etc. Those are the perfect moments to seize the audience’s attention. Whether you’re in the arena, outside the arena, or at another special event, experiential marketing gives you a chance to amp up the fan experience.
In experiential marketing, your brand engages with a consumer directly. You can do this through brand ambassadors, interactive digital experiences, or a combination. It’s a way of involving customers in a way no other sponsorship can.
How to Make Lasting Memories with Sports Fans
Sports are all about the live experience: the playoff buzzer beater, the game-winning slapshot, the showdown between two incredible teammates. People love memorabilia and merch, but that’s not what gets them to the arena.
As you plan your sports activation, keep in mind what really makes sports fans tick. Do you want them to associate your brand with a free T-shirt, or do you want them to remember you as a part of one of the best days ever?
Brands are leaving opportunities on the table if they ignore experiential marketing at events like these. Thanks to innovative new technologies and advances in augmented reality, gesture control, and more, you can create an immersive, interactive experience that kids and adults alike will love.
If you’re investing in sports event sponsorship, make sure you give audiences something to remember you by. Merch and swag will always have a place near and dear to sports fans’ hearts, but a fun, surprising experience can also have a huge impact on brand loyalty and awareness.
Emergence of the Out-of-Stadium Experience: Capitalize with Tailgating Networks
The cost of sports fandom is on the rise. Ticket prices for live sports have surged in multiple North American markets across leagues. Demand for in-person, live events remains elevated after pandemic restrictions and high inflation is now hitting fans at the concession stand.
With a limited number of seats in stadiums, it seems like there’s always someone willing to fork over the extra money to see their favourite players face off, but where does that leave fans who’ve been priced out?
Many teams in expensive markets have introduced tailgate experiences outside their stadiums during the playoffs when demand and ticket prices are at their highest. Tailgate experiences have turned into a great way to engage the most passionate fans who can’t splurge for playoff prices.
BIG Digital has deployed our portable digital billboards and event networks at the biggest tailgate experiences in Toronto. Our digital billboards are used in sponsorship activations in Maple Leaf Square (nicknamed Jurassic Park for Toronto Raptors games) for NHL and NBA playoff games. The space is a 5,000-person-capacity public square outside Scotiabank Arena where fans can watch the action inside on huge video screens and enjoy the thrill of cheering their team on with a crowd.
Sports marketing agencies and venues can deploy portable digital billboards to create a visually-impactful, interactive tailgating network.
Product Drops and Limited Edition Merch
While experience is king at live sports, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to appeal to the superfans who love to collect limited edition merch and eagerly look forward to new product drops. Sports apparel and merch brands can make use of digital billboards as a way to offer exclusive access to product drops via digital stores. It’s the kind of activation that can turn a regular season game into a can’t-miss event.
BIG Digital vs. Competing Digital Billboards
What makes our portable digital billboards the better tool for activation marketing? Our portable digital billboards are a cut above the competition because they’re purpose-built for mobility and rentals. They’re battery-powered and don’t require access to an electrical outlet, and they’re designed to be moved around as needed. You can place our portable digital billboards anywhere you need them, whenever you need to move them.
Our billboards are also ideal for creating interactive experiences. Our indoor digital billboards are touch-enabled, while outdoor units are gesture-enabled. Talk to us about using portable digital billboards for live sports and your next sponsorship activation. We also offer our expertise in software and content to provide a true turnkey experience.
Open up new possibilities and bring innovative technology into your experiential sports marketing. Portable digital billboards connect your brand to the most passionate of sports fans.