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    Sports Marketing 101

    A rapidly shifting media landscape has made sports sponsorships a more attractive investment for companies looking to retain or acquire customers. Rich in touch points and real-time ad delivery, live sports is a marketing asset that actually improved its position as others were compromised by the proliferation of content, time shifting and other fallout from the digital age we find ourselves in. Sports broadcasts were quick to improve their position by offering in-game assets that put your brand on screen with the action. It got even better as teams worked to significantly improve their digital capability with enhanced social media engagement, robust websites and interactive activation improvements.

    As companies shift marketing budgets to sports platforms, they risk engaging in a plan that readily creates an invoice but potentially has little to any impact on their bottom line. There are a number of reasons for this. The complexity of a live sporting event can leave some sponsors lost in the shadow of larger, more significant sponsors. More often it’s simply a matter of the consuming audience being emotionally stimulated in a game-time environment that is not conducive to changing or reinforcing consumer loyalty. Additionally, you get circumstances where the sponsorship message isn’t congruent with advertising efforts outside of the event leading to misalignment of brand perceptions and perhaps worse of all, no response. Often times the messaging efforts only take place in the 2-4 hour window that the event takes place; there is little or nothing taking the ad message beyond the event where consumer behavior has a much better chance to be influenced. The result is that sports sponsorships then fail to achieve measurable results they are so capable of delivering.

    All that being said and with all due respect to the stations, rights holders and teams benefiting from the share shifting that’s taking place, there is an enormous void in marketing firms that can competently assist you when planning, negotiating and ultimately purchasing sports assets. That void has now been filled with the formation of Line Drive Sports Marketing; a Phoenix-based sports marketing firm that specializes in assisting your company to find success with sports sponsorships, activations and TV buys.

    Having both knowledge and experience on your side can make the difference between money wasted and money well spent. As a local sales manager at Cox Media, I spearheaded efforts to sell televised sporting events on cable; as the General Sales Manager of Fox Sports Arizona I oversaw the sale of a wide array of television assets for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals; as General Manager of Arizona State University Athletics I oversaw all facets of the sponsorship experience including sales, activations, digital media and broadcasts; as President of ReThinc Advertising I gained valuable digital knowledge that will help you to maximize your sponsorship investment before, during and after the game.

    At Line Drive, we endeavor to maximize a return on your sports investment by working closely with you to create a sponsorship that will favorably impact consumer perceptions of your brand. We do this inside and outside the stadium or arena. If you are engaging in or considering a sports sponsorship for your company contact me today and put 20 years of sports marketing experience on your team.

    About the author: Ed Olsen is the CEO of Line Drive Sports Marketing. He is a former adjunct professor at Arizona State University and has lots of opinions on all things sports.

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