Sports Marketing: A World of Social Media Optimism

Posted: October 25, 2010 in Social Media

IMG and Sports Business Journal sponsored the eighth annual Sports Marketing Symposium at the Times Square Marriott Marquis.

If you are a professional in the sports business industry, this was your all-star game. 

All the big-time names, like Procter & Gamble’s director of Global Sports Marketing David Palmer to ESPN’s president of Customer Marketing and Sales Ed Erhardt, discussed their industry and its role in the 21st century.

Throughout the event, speakers were on stage answering questions posed by the audience or sent via text message.

During the final panel, a passionate discussion evolved from a simple question: What’s next for social media? 

The answer was unanimous. Location-based services, like Facebook’s Places and Foursquare for mobile phones, seem to be the topic of discussion for the new wave of social media. 

Gary Vaynerchuk, of VaynerMedia, applied these “checking in” services to the sports industry. He thinks services like The FanGo, a mobile application that allows users to order concessions to be sent to their seats, will emerge as extremely popular. He thinks it will not only cut the time of missing the game but has serious potential to cut costs as well. Vaynerchuk also said the app is smarter than most people think, because it builds in order inquiries (Are you sure you do not want a beer with your hot dog?). 

The panel agreed that game day operations like The FanGo are in the industry’s near future.

The panel also took time to look at past business successes. EA Sports was in attendance, celebrating the arrival of Madden Football 11, the newest addition to the sports video game series that has been popular since the ’90s. 

“The marketing behind the Madden franchise began with brief radio commercials,” said Chris Erb, EA Sport’s senior director of Partnership Marketing. “Now, EA makes Madden video games into a festivity and commemorates it with parades, giveaways and player appearances.”

In the past two decades, sports has emerged as one of the premier industries. The same holds true for sports in business, and today’s leaders are the ones getting ahead of the curve and learning the tricks before others do. The panel agreed they must get people in the seats, get users to buy the products and let money do the talking.


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