Sports Marketing and Sponsorship Trends for 2012

February 22, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Everyone in sports marketing and sponsorship knows who the key players are in the marketing of sports. Rights holders, broadcasters, owners of teams, events and facilities plus the athletes and fans all have their role to play. The marketing of sports has always been an adaptive art that requires constant adjustment to satisfy that insatiable demand by fans for more interactive contact and experiences with their beloved teams and athletes.

This year in 2012 there is the possibility that the area of broadcasting might find a breach in the wall of invulnerability which it has been enjoying for the last fifty years. For the first time, a new technology has emerged for broadcasting of sports for which broadcasters do not have a monopoly or first right of refusal on usage. This technology is live video streaming of events. This could signal the start of a race between other players in marketing of sports and sports sponsorship to see who can win the day and provide fans with a new and unique experience. Live video technology permits the transmission of any event, competition or game live to its fans via the internet, without the need of a third party between the event and the fan. That is correct, sports fans. This technology could cut out the broadcasters from this particular part of the marketing game. However, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Part of the immense value of sports is the revenue gained by competing broadcasters bidding against each other for rights to broadcast events. Would the sponsors that pay so dearly to the broadcasters to display their brands be willing to part company, albeit temporarily or simultaneously from the symbiotic relationship the sponsors have with the broadcasters? Imagine teams taking advantage to communicate directly with their fans. This is what live video streaming allows them to do. That means no broadcast media filtering, analysing and being paid for doing what they have done for more than fifty years. Imagine, sports organizations developing their own media companies, or having an internal media department to say the least. If you doubt the popularity of streaming video, you must have never heard of YouTube. Where in the world have you been? Online video has by far the most online daily traffic amongst anything on the Internet.

YouTube gets more unique daily traffic per day than Facebook. Websites with streaming video get extra link juice from Google because of the organic nature of visits verified by extra time on the site watching streaming video. The broadcast game might have a new gorilla in the booth as teams realize they can create broadcast experiences traditional broadcast media find impossible to put together. Look for this to be a trend that gets bigger and bigger throughout 2012 as teams provide real time interactive experiences with their teams during games. The question really is how the broadcast media react to this changing reality. The relationship between sports broadcasters and sports properties has had an ebb and flow history. Time will reveal if the broadcasters come up with a unique way to get involved, or even to manage this new technology for the teams.

Larry Lim delves into subjects of business and marketing, in particular sports marketing and sports sponsorship.

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