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The Influence of Social media in Sport Marketing

Brands in the world have adapted to changes in advertising and this has led to an increase in their general rate of conversions and achieving customer loyalty. More and more people are connected. Today there are more than three billion people who connect to social networks around the world, and about 42% of the world’s population use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as a source of information or entertainment. This is why companies undertake social media strategies to attract more customers.

Advertising and sports

This synergy is not new but it is still effective. One of the pioneers in this field was the co-founder of Nike, Mr. Philip Knight, who managed to turn the company into a whole lifestyle. We should not also forget Coca-Cola, who since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden has carried out advertising campaigns with soccer teams and players and has also become an official sponsor of sporting events. 

A perfect alliance that generates success

Social media came to become the perfect complement to sports marketing. According to the Euromericas sport marketing study, about 82% of the most remembered advertisements by users are those that feature a sports star. More and more large companies have contemplated having an athlete as their brand’s spokesperson who generates credibility for the brand and has millions of followers around the world in their social networks.

It is really true that greater effectiveness is achieved with the support of famous figures such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, James Rodríguez, LeBron James or Rafa Nadal, among others. They charge exorbitant sums for being ambassadors of important and recognized brands in the world, and in some cases it is more profitable and effective than other marketing strategies. 

What is the key to success? One of the main goals that brands seek when having an athlete as a brand ambassador is to send a message that their product or service is associated with different qualities that this idol of many people has and to encourage that audience to follow their superstar when making a purchase decision.

Sports marketing is here to stay, and is invariably ready to help. Although athletes such as Roger Federer, LeBron James, or Luis Hamilton promote products on social networks, several studies affirm that among the 10 athletes who win more money per tweet, 7 are footballers. Among them is the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, the ambassador of brands such as Nike or Herbalife whose social media accounts exceed 200 million followers.

Advantages of social media 

Of course, to keep on moving forward, we must ask ourselves this question: what advantages do social networks have as a marketing tool?

  • They provide significant visibility for a product since sports activities are always seen in a positive way by a large part of society. 
  • They also raise the personal mark in everything we do on a daily basis: sports, events in schools, continuous training for sports technicians, negotiations with city councils such as summer camps, etc. Sport is always something positive. 
  • Social media has the power of persuasion. Its ability to influence our immediate environment as well as up to 3 degrees of separation makes it a tool that, when used well, can attract new participants to our sport. 
  • Another point in favor is virality. It is difficult to achieve because virality is influenced by a multitude of factors and is difficult to understand or control. However, if a content is well shaped, well thought out, and well developed, there is a good chance that it will become a viral message that reaches remote sites of the world. 
  • Social media has immediate impact. Chronicles written on the web are still something of great attraction for young athletes and the media since everyone sees their achievements and photographs almost right away on sports sites, federative websites or clubs. That’s why the instantaneity proposed by Twitter or Instagram is so important for many family members and friends of athletes who follow the sport from the stands and are the main allies giving a boost to the personal brand. 
  • Social networks are also creators of opinion. The only way to be able to modify those currents of opinion that distort reality is by being present in all those forums where our sport or athlete is discussed. It is important to establish an action protocol to react in every type of situation in social networks. 
  • Social media is a communication channel which is open 24 hours a day. A question or a problem solved in less than 24 hours through our social channels or web is a great image of our personal brand and our online reputation, much more so for clubs and sports institutions. 
  • Another benefit of using social media is web positioning. The more a brand is mentioned in social networks, or establishes a relationship with clients or other brands in social media, the better the web positioning of this brand since absolutely everything links on the Internet.

Undoubtedly, and as a synthesis, we can say that since the emergence of social networks in the landscape of the sports world, brands, sponsors, clubs, institutions and athletes have now more tools to promote their brand and achieve more followers and sales. The challenge now is to develop good content that is interesting, helpful and differentiates from the competition. This is the new challenge of sports social media marketing.

Gaston Iglesias. Sport and Media Module. MIUC

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