Within this paper, an examination will be provided of sports marketing. Included in this examination, information will be offered on sports advertising and promoting. Subsequently, the relationship between sports marketing and the media will be addressed. Trends that have emerged and continue to influence sports marketing will then be addressed.
As defined within the literature, sports marketing represents those activities intended to meet �the needs and wants of sports consumers through exchange processes� (Mullin, Hardy & Sutton, 2000, p. 5). Quick, Shilbury and Westerbeek (2003) clarified that sports marketing is a social and managerial process within sports by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others. As such, as noted by Quick et al., the identification of consumer needs and wants is a critical aspect of the marketer’s role, with marketing strategies based on known consumer needs.
Quick et al. (2003) explained that it has been assumed that in sports the original form of the game tends to be naturally attractive and therefore satisfies consumer needs. However, as emphasized by the authors, this is an outdated view, with many sports now having modified rules to make their games more attractive. Particularly, for younger consumers, many sports have been significantly modified to satisfy the desire of many more young people to participate in the game (Quick et al., 2003). According to the authors, this change has led to the recognition that younger consumers want to develop game skills through actual participation, to have fun, and in general to be with their friends through the sport setting. This awareness helps to further emphasize the importance of identifying the needs and wants that are to be satisfied when considering sports marketing activities. As noted by Quick et al., dentifying the needs of various segments of the population is the challenge inherent in the early phase of the marketing process. Obtaining this information offers the sports marketer the opportunity to communicate the benefits of the sport product as a means of defining the sport’s positioning to different segments of the market (Quick et al., 2003). Such exchange processes help to clarify the importance of using a mix of marketing strategies in order to influence different consumers to buy sport products, via either attendance or participation. Quick et al. indicated that these processes identify the four primary variables involved in sports marketing including product, price, promotion and place, otherwise known as the traditional four Ps of marketing.
According to Mullin et al., sports marketing has developed two major thrusts including the marketing of sports products and services directly to the consumers of sport, and the marketing of other consumer and industrial products or services though the use of sport promotions. As further explained by Mullin et al., sports marketing also involves the promotion of the game itself. For example, as noted by the authors, both professional leagues and member franchises are active in the promotion of their teams and sports through advertising and Web sites. Marketing through sports has become increasingly popular as companies outside of the sports industry recognize sports as a medium for marketing their own products and services (Mullin et al., 2000). The purchase of stadium naming rights by companies including Coors and America West Airlines and the sponsorship of NASCAR teams by Home Depot and Valvoline are but a few examples of marketing through sport.