Sports fans are perhaps the most loyal of consumers. An avid sports fan remains unwaveringly loyal to his chosen team, no matter how well or how badly it performs. With the U.S. sports industry worth an estimated $422 billion in 2011, according to Plunkett Research, companies can capitalize on fan loyalty with sports-related email marketing campaigns.
Over half of Americans describe themselves as avid fans of mainstream sports. The 2011 Scarborough Sports Marketing Study reports that 53 percent of Americans are avid fans of football, baseball, basketball, hockey, NASCAR, or the Olympics. However, the study also reveals a loyal fan base for minority sports, such as gymnastics, figure skating, and horse racing. No matter which sport you choose, email marketing offers an opportunity to make a connection with dedicated fans.
Follow the Season
Email marketing to sports fans should mirror the ebb and flow of the sports year. Emails sent during the season should be rich with game-related content, including reviews of recent games, team news, and dates for future games. Game reports need to be sent out as soon as possible after the event. Be sure that your contributors can produce compelling content quickly if you want sports fans to be hooked by your post-game analysis.
You may have to work harder in the off-season to find sports-related content of interest to your subscribers. Use the quieter months for in-depth analysis or behind-the-scenes stories which make the fans feel like part of the team.
Segment and analyze your subscriber list to identify cross-promotion opportunities. While there may be some obvious connections, dig a little deeper and you may discover cross-promotion opportunities that your competitors are neglecting. The 2011 Scarborough Sports Marketing Study found that pro-boxing fans are 58 percent more likely to own a smartphone than the average American. It also identified that, with a high-female demographic, gymnastics fans are 53 percent more likely to schedule a spa day, 30 percent more likely to visit a jewelry store, and 33 percent more likely to visit a bridal store than the average American.
Running Your Own Team
If you are running your own sports team or operating your own leisure facility, email marketing provides an opportunity to connect regularly with your members. Email marketing provides a fast, cost-effective way of keeping team members up-to-date with training schedules, weather updates, and team news.
Email marketing can also help you find new team members and fans. Include a “forward-to-a-friend” button on every email, to encourage current subscribers to forward your emails on to friends who share their passion for sport.
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