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Team up with sports fans transitioning to eSports, gaming


Consider alternative platforms like sports documentaries


Sell customers on your brand through virtual reality sports

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Saturday, October 31st, 2020

The Pandemic Has Changed How Marketers Reach Live Sports Fans

How important are live sports in marketing to customers? In 2019, more than 40 percent of marketers termed live sports their most important marketing channel, a Bizzabo marketing report stated. But in mid-March, all sporting events were cancelled for months, resulting in TV sports ad revenues cratering by $2.2 billion. Still, there are ways marketers can adapt to the changing landscape. Read on for strategies.


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The pandemic may have changed how sports fans take in popular college and professional sports. But hard-core fans will always have a passion for sports. That means regardless of whether they can can attend or even watch live sports, fans seek sports content. Marketers should follow fans to alternatives with rich promotional potential. Examples: Rebroadcasts of archived classic games or sports documentaries like ESPN's recent series about Michael Jordan's final Chicago Bulls season, "The Last Dance."

We kick off a look at pandemic-era best practices guiding marketers in reaching sports fans through alternatives to traditional live sports marketing.

Pepsi made news by altering its marketing to fit ways fans would consume sports in 2020. The brand created a stand-alone website, customized retail products and more, reflecting COVID era's heavily at-home sports viewing experience.

Read "Marketers Spend $100M on Ads as Live Sports Return to TV," by Robert Williams in August 26, 2020 Marketing Dive.

During COVID-19, many have sustained personal and financial losses. In this era, sports marketing must be about adding value and giving fans an enjoyable experience.

Email or call us at 708-246-4211 to learn the latest marketing trends to reach sports fans during the pandemic era.


Some college and pro football teams are letting fans return to stadiums on a very limited basis. This gift wraps unique opportunities to grow your brand's following through use of text marketing. Offering the chance to text for free tickets could grab greater fan attention when tickets are limited. Texted offers of free merchandise to the first specified number of fans entering the stadium could strike gold with overall attendance constricted. Leverage text marketing to gain your brand high attention at games with low attendance.

Just as myriad ways exist to score runners from second base, this unprecedented sports season presents creative brands abundant means of marketing to fans. In the following bullet points, we draw up additional Xs and Os for your winning game plan.

  • Marketing eSports, gaming. Sports fans possess competitive personas. If your brand can't reach them through live sports marketing, alternative rivalrous pursuits like eSports and gaming may be optimal places to capture their pandemic-era attention.

  • Virtual reality sports. Investigate alternatives to live sports marketing in the digital world. One alternative may be virtual reality platforms like NASCAR's iRacing, where fans can replicate the experience of attending popular live sports events.

  • Unofficial games. When their regular season was temporarily suspended, some NBA players took part in telecasted three-on-three contests. The informal games let marketers promote to fans watching the next best thing to official NBA games available at the time.