You have to know who your consumers are, what they want and need and use this effectively as a sports marketer orientating the drive more toward the market, not the product (Sports Marketing: The motor that drives the sports business (2005)). There are four crucial elements that a sports marketer must consider when positioning their product to the needs and wants of the consumer. The four elements are emotion, experience, engagement and entertainment.
The following report aims to show through various studies the importance of the four E’s in a marketing perspective, the way in which the four E’s are used at an organizational level in sports marketing and finally how this connects and effects the consumer of the product or sport. Engagement Engagement within sport is a key-determining factor in selling any sports brand or product. Recently the expansion of marketing sport through the use of media and different technologies is something many companies and organisations are implementing in order to move into the future and continue making profit.
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Companies will aim to engage with customers on both a macro and micro environmental level using up-to-date technology. Companies can now utilize technology within the macro environment as it becomes more readily accessible and is continually progressing and evolving. Currently leading the way of the sporting tech movement is U. S giant, Nike. Nike is becoming highly recognised for launching consistent innovations, all of which are seemingly conceived to make athletes run faster and jump higher. One of the brand’s latest offerings is the Nike+ FuelBand (The New Economy, 2013). The Nike+ FuelBand is a way for Nike to further evolve the exciting possibilities of merging the physical and digital worlds. Nike has always been about inspiring athletes, and the Nike+ FuelBand will help motivate them in a simple, fun and intuitive way. ” said Nike president and CEO Mark Parker at the Nike+ FuelBand launch event in New York in 2011. (The New Economy, 2013) Similarly, media is an essential component in the microenvironment of any sports business scheme. Sport businesses excel with the use of digital media by expressing a unique point of view to a range of different audiences.
Online sports’ marketing has become the newest and most effective foundation for building fan communities for professional sports league and teams. With access to the Internet becoming more readily available, implementing both social and interactive online networks to build a larger fan base in the virtual world is important for a business to be successful. Websites are now including audio, video, podcasts and live broadcasts of league games (Ioakimidis, Marilou, 2010). Digital media intensifies an image or idea that the company is trying to convey through the use of stimulating music, bold letters and extravagant colors.
This connects with an audience and although may not necessarily promote the brand it defiantly engages the audience and gives them something to remember. The image of a company is more important than the quality, quantity and price of any product, as this is the ‘brand’ a consumer is going to potentially buy, and no one wants to be a part of an unpopular brand. Companies also use other methods such as surveying, social media and enticements to engage with their audience. Experience The ultimate experience is created through sporting events, as they are intangible, subjective, inconsistent and unpredictable. (Shilbury, 2009).
One of the major tasks facing sports marketers is maintaining the interest and attendance at sporting events. As there are many important variables in this decision process that are not under the direct control of the sports marketer such as the players performance or lack of competition in match, it is vital to ensure that fans enjoy a positive experience. It is necessary in an increasingly competitive and cluttered sporting landscape to strategically manage the variables that are under the control of sports marketers. It is essential to the sports marketer to understand which dimensions spectators perceive as important (Michael D.
Clemes, 2011). Sport differs from other forms of entertainment in that it evokes high levels of emotional attachment (Milner, G. R. & Macdonald, M. A. 2012) For example, currenly in the NRL team The Cronulla Sharks have been involved in a lot of media speculation with the sacking of crucial staff members and several doping scandals undergoing investigation. An eye opening decision for the spectator was the sacking of head coach Shane Flanagan. The fans and spectators of this sport took to Facebook to petition Flanagan and two weeks later was reinstated “I am here now and I am grateful for that.
My focus now is on the players, Sunday’s game and the season ahead. It has been a tough couple of weeks for so many people. It has been terrible; it has been hard on family, friends and players. I am glad we have been able to sort this out,” said Shane Flanagan, head coach of The Cronulla Sharks during a recent press conference in 2013 (Waiter, B. & Proszenko, A. 2013) Consumers need to be able to immerse themselves in sport by feeling like they are part of the ongoing experience brought to life by the players, the game, the sport marketing strategies put into place, and the surrounding nvironment. Entertainment The sport industry is constantly evolving through the development of marketing and it has become a noticeable fact that there is high demand for sports to be entertaining. The purpose is to entertain the audience on multiple levels. The importance of this is shown through the atmosphere and the general feeling acquired when a spectator walks into a stadium. This is created the minute the consumer arrives at the gates of a live game “ we view ourselves as being an entertainment business.
You want to keep the customer entertained from the time they set foot in your building until the time they leave” (Bandyopadhyay, Bottone. 1997). As sports is unpredictable the spectators and fans are never going to be certain as to what to expect when arriving to a sporting match, this leaves the sports marketer opportunity to create elements of surprise, such as live entertainment at half time. These spontaneous events heighten the consumer’s emotions and the games is both produced and consumed at the same time.
This environment then creates live entertainment, leaving the spectators wanting more. The social context of a sporting event is highly important, as sports are a social occasion. If families and groups of friends find a game entertaining they will return again, bringing friends, buying compliments and also merchandise. This creates a happy consumer, and benefits not only the sport but also the marketing and other sections of the organization as a whole. Organizations need to be prepared to ensure that all aspects are covered and the spectators are kept entertained from the beginning.
Techniques that are used to ensure this happens is having half time entertainment; from famous singers to cheerleaders, mascots and also larger display screens. This draws attention to other aspects of engagement other than that just of the game at hand, allowing the spectators to be fully engaged and entertained throughout the duration of the event. Emotion Emotion is a vital factor for sports marketers to consider when selling a product to their target market. As emotion sits at the top of the sports pyramid (Taylor, J. 2010) it dictates how the consumer feels about the product.
An individual’s emotional state can influence various aspects of information processing such as evaluation and judgment (Kwak, DH, Kim, YK, Hirt, ER (2011)). This can result in either positive emotion or negative emotion, which has a direct impact on whether or not the consumer will buy the product, go to the sporting match, or continue to support there favorite team. When organizing an event a sports marketer must take into account the emotional attachment the fans and consumers of the particular sport have and channel this into their marketing strategies.
Findings from various studies demonstrate the importance of studying emotion in sport consumer behavior (Kwak, DH, 2008) by understanding various functions of emotion it will help better understand the multifaceted and dynamic nature of fan-team relationship. When a favorable outcome occurs, such as a successful win for sporting team, it transfers to a higher influx of merchandise being purchased that is associated with this source such as wearing the team’s apparel.
Effectively, if a sports marketer places advertisements on social mediums such as Facebook, findings suggest this acts as a crucial motivator of information and influencing future behavior (Kwak, DH, Kim, YK, Hirt, ER (2011). One of the most powerful advertising techniques is to connect the brand and consumer on an emotional level, for example ‘Nikes pervasive theme ‘success in sports’ focuses on a key emotional trigger and that has built sponsorships, advertising and business empires’ (Dooley, R. 2009).
It is proven throughout these studies that for a sports marketer to be successful in there overall aim of maximizing profits they must understand the importance of the emotional connection the consumer has to particular product and sport and use this when creating their marketing mix to their target market. Conclusion It is evident that the 4 E’s of sports marketing are major contributing factors into the success of maximizing profit for any organisation. Engagement, experience, entertainment and emotion are most effective when you incorporate and utilize the major components of each within the marketing mix toward the target market.
It is shown throughout the report that in order for the sports marketer to achieve this the consumer needs to be the focal point. The sports marketer can capture the emotion of the consumer through engaging with them through the entertainment they provide at a sporting match and give an overall positive and memorable experience. Bibliography Intro Sports Marketing: The motor that drives the sports business (2005) Retrieved on April 10, 2013. http://www. wharton. universia. net/index. cfm? fa=viewArticle&id=966&language=english Engagement