4 questions sports marketers need to answer about new markets
In 2017, the global sports market is set to drive over $90 billion of revenue, as a billion people around the world are set to join the affluent middle class between 2009 and 2020. With the Olympics on the horizon, the new Premier League season kicking off, and Twitter broadcasting major US sports, the importance of strong global social analysis remains paramount for sports marketers who want to capture this revenue.
Ambitious sports brands should want to capitalise on these global possibilities, but new markets shouldn’t be jumped into carelessly. We’ve put together an eBook to show sports marketers how to use social media data in the planning and execution of campaigns across the globe. But in the meantime, here’s four questions that need to be answered to truly succeed in a new market:
1. How does the market currently look?
Your strategy in a new market will hinge on the quality of your research, and step one needs to be identifying what the market (both for your sport, and overall) currently looks like. Due to its open nature and sizeable bank of public data, we recommend Twitter as a cornerstone of your analysis into any market. Furthermore, it should be used to inform wider marketing strategy, not just social media. It’s an accurate representation of what people are actually engaging with, who they care about, and how you can reach them. Not only that, but it can be customised to tap into a segment of the market that you’re interested in reaching.
2. What’s your true audience in that region?
The amount of likes, followers, or engagers you have in an area is one set of metrics that you can use to gauge where your brand currently sits, but it only tells you part of the story. A thoughtful application of social data shows a much clearer (and larger) picture of who your brand is currently able to reach if utilised to its full potential. This can be leveraged when looking to make deals with sponsors, broadcast partners, and influencers in that market. Not just in terms of size, but also where that audience is, what they’re like, and how active they are.
In our new eBook, we identified how Southampton’s audience on Twitter is actually at least FIVE TIMES as large as their followers would suggest, where a more active section of those fans can be found, and show you how we discovered it.
3. What can you learn from previous attempts to reach that market?
Unless you’re planning on engaging with uncontacted tribes deep in some faraway jungle, there will be sports brands who have already ventured into the market you’re aiming at. There will be lessons here to pick up, as well as differentiations that it will be vital to consider. Things to look at include:
- How did they perform?
- When was this, and how has the market changed since then?
- Is it similar to your sport or brand?
- Have they kept the audience or lost it, why?
- What analysis is possible on past activity in the market?
A clearer answer to these questions can be gleaned from an intelligent analysis of social data. You will be able to see how large the current audience is for those past campaigns, what the overall appetite is for your sport, and who the people were who engaged with it if it was more recent.
4. How will you turn short-term activity into long-term success?
A solid strategy to mine that area continuously is how real growth will occur in that market. Making a splash in a new area is exciting, but what do you do when an event, tour, or visit has finished? Moreover, you need to know if you actually connected with new people or an existing audience. In our latest sports marketing eBook, we take a look at the Olympics, and identify how the NBA team Golden State Warriors will be able to use the event to measure the growth of their fan base in South America, and kickstart a sustainable presence in the region.
Answering these questions will put you in the strongest possible position to capitalise on your efforts in new areas. To ensure you have a clear, measurable strategy, we have put together an eBook specifically designed for sports brands who are pushing into new markets. It includes real life examples from the Premier League, UFC, and La Liga, as well as ideas for golf, basketball, rugby, and more.
If international growth is in your brand’s roadplan, download our eBook here for the strategies you need to make that growth a reality.