The business of sports is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. All over the globe, many people participate as players and spectators in a variety of sporting activities, creating opportunities for the marketing of a company’s goods and services. An important part of the business of sports is sports marketing, which revolves around understanding consumer behaviour and motivating target markets to purchase goods and services. Sports marketing is simply any sales or publicity-related activity associated with an organised sporting event (or events), its personalities, or the celebrity lifestyle of its participants.
There are two components of sports marketing; the marketing of sport and marketing through sports. Marketing of sport consists of the actual marketing of a particular sport such as rugby league or basketball. This includes, but is not limited to, signage, endorsements, print media, broadcast media, billboards, and news media. Examples of marketing through endorsements are Michael Jordan wearing Nike shoes or ex-rugby league player turned commentator Peter “Sterlo” Sterling on the Blue Haven Pool commercials.
Any type of media that mentions a team or athletic organisations is an example of marketing through the use of media. WPT Enterprises, Inc. is a media and entertainment company engaged in the development, production, and marketing of gaming-themed, televised programming; the licensing and sale of branded consumer products; and the sale of corporate sponsorships. WPT Enterprises creates and produces the ? World Poker Tour’ which is a collection of poker tournaments featuring the world’s most professional and experienced players.
It airs Wednesday nights at 9pm on the Travel Channel and consists of 16 high stakes poker tournaments filmed at glamorous locations throughout the world. It continues to be a rating juggernaut on the network. Each time the show has been aired, it viewers have grown ? often doubling its ratings over the two hour time slot. This long term deal allows the World Poker Tour to be a popular weekly fixture on the network, and provides a great promotional platform for the network’s wide array of programs and series.
In sports (poker in this particular instance), competition is the name of the game, but this competition is not just limited to the playing field (or card table), as sports teams (professional card players) and foundations continually compete for the support of fans, sponsors and governmental agencies ? this opens up the need for sports marketing programs. Sports marketing programs assist sports marketer’s who coordinate big sporting events in evaluating the success of their marketing and communications activities as well as the potential economic impacts of facilities, construction and expansion.
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