At a young age, people are made to play sports through the Physical Education subject in school. The school is also where athletes have developed a liking for sports that would soon turn into a passion, which ultimately lead them to a professional career in their chosen field.
Playing sports and having an active lifestyle has got many benefits, including the prevention of obesity. Unfortunately, obesity rates are over 35% in seven states in America. With sports and other physical activities, this could be prevented and cured.
While the aim of marketing a sports brand isn’t always to get people to be athletes, it has produced various campaigns that have inspired people to switch into a more active lifestyle. Companies have also leveraged from athletes to promote their products and/or services.
Sports marketing is the promotion of sports events, brands, and teams, as well as other products and services through sporting events and athlete endorsements. Consumers could be influenced by their favorite athletes and teams into buying a particular product or supporting a brand.
That said, an effective sports marketing strategy could encourage more people, particularly the youth, to adopt an active lifestyle or buy the same products that a pro athlete uses or promotes.
Being overweight or obese affects not only physical health but psychological health as well. Being engaged in sports activities helps the youth keep their weight under control. Beginners might not feel confident enough when starting to learn a sport, so a marketing campaign that will motivate them to be confident with playing is required in this case.
One example would be Sport England’s “This Girl Can” in 2015. This campaign had aimed for women to be confident in being active despite their size, shape, and abilities. It tackled the issues that discourage women and girls from being active, such as judgement and emotional pressure. This campaign was inspired by the 40% of women aged 16 and over who couldn’t get the full benefits of sports and physical activities because they weren’t active enough.
In 2018, the campaign was on its third phase. They’ve called it “Fit Got Real” and it showcased the achievements of “This Girl Can”, which had successfully got no less than three million women and girls to be active. “Fit Got Real” aimed to reach out to women and girls of all backgrounds and ethnicity.
Considering this, it shows that a campaign that stimulates emotional behaviors rather than making a sale can bring more favorable results to brands.
Food and Beverage Industry Grows
Contrary to sports campaigns that promote an active lifestyle, companies sponsoring unhealthy food products to athletes seems to promote otherwise. While this isn’t the message, research has shown that food and drinks associated with sports resulted in feelings of positive self-image among adults and children.
A project carried out on the Children Consumer Behavior Field Lab has studied the effects of sponsoring healthy food to athletes. In the study, it was revealed that children aged 7-8 years begin to understand the persuasive intent of advertisements. While parents remain the most influential figures for children with regards to their meals, experts have still agreed that brand advertisements still have an impact on children’s diet. At an early age, they can associate brands to the food they eat.
The overall result of the study showed that sponsorship of healthy foods to athletes positively affect the knowledge of children about the food brand. 92.6% of children believe that eating healthy is important, though there isn’t sufficient evidence yet that sponsorship of healthy food to athletes will encourage them to adopt a healthy diet.
Nevertheless, sports marketing has been proven effective in building brand awareness. It has made both children and adults perceive their brand positively, which is a factor for business growth.
Since sports is such a popular activity and athletes are looked up to, incorporating their active lifestyle into brands has helped both individuals and businesses experience positive changes in their lives. With a continuous effort to keep these positive outcomes, more people may be encouraged to become active, and companies could experience even more growth.