NBA’s Approval of Corporate Brand Partnerships Speaks Volumes For Marketing

From sports to entertainment, there’s no escaping the impact of marketing on today’s consumers, but it all starts from one unique narrative

June 29, 2016

This past June there was palpable excitement around the NBA championship between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. But in the marketing world, the big excitement and discussion was around the NBA’s board of governors approving a three-year pilot program for the 2017-18 season, which will allow teams to sell corporate logos. That means corporate brands will be able to place a small branded patch on the left shoulder of NBA uniforms. This new program is estimated to bring in between $100-$150 million dollars annually to a league that is already projected to make approximately $7 billion dollars in overall revenue for the 2017-2018 season. Consequently, next year we all can potentially look forward to seeing our shampoo, chip or beer brand of choice emblazoned on the jerseys of teams across the NBA. Is it good? Is it bad? That’s up for debate, but it shows the impact and influence marketing has on even the most historically untouchable avenues.

“Would you rather pay to play, or lose market share and have
less dollars to spend as you spiral toward extinction?”

Every year individuals all over the country long for fun in the sun that only the summertime brings, but what some may not notice is the influx of marketing on various platforms featuring the coolest products, services, sports and entertainment, all fighting for the attention of the same audiences.

[To read more of Laurel Mintz’s thought leadership click here]

In 2015 the marketing industry spent approximately $600 billion worldwide. The United States alone spent approximately $180 billion. As we are not even halfway through the year yet, it’s reported that the advertising spend for 2016 is projected to reach the $200 billion dollar mark by year’s end. At this point the marketing industry is a living breathing entity that has exponentially exploded from the simple newspaper and billboard ads of our parents’ day, evolving into a ubiquitous daily experience. Consumers are marketed to on their mobile devices, online, television, video, radio, and print. Furthermore, with the sophisticated data mining that is now available, our online footprint is capable of being aggregated based on individual behavior so marketers now have the opportunity to potentially reach their target audience(s) when, where, and exactly how they like to be reached. And while that’s admittedly a little creepy, it works. Based on a comScore study, retargeted ads led to a 1046% increase in branded search and a 726% lift in site visitation after four weeks of retargeted ad exposure. Done correctly, retargeting ads, which follow users around the web, through apps and other channels, are highly effective, and have higher click-through and conversion rates. With so many avenues to reach your consumers and so much money being spent worldwide, it raises the question, are you missing the opportunity to be where your consumers are? Companies as a result are doing their brands a disservice by not allocating at least 10%-20% of their gross revenue to marketing. Yes, we know that you’re doing the math right now and that the numbers might make you a little sick to your stomach, but would you rather pay to play, or lose market share and have less dollars to spend as you spiral toward extinction?

I always say marketing is not rocket science, but make no mistake; there is a science to it. No one likes to be beat over the head, even when they do intend to purchase (think of the old adage of a car salesman) so one of the most effective facets of marketing is executing a seamless and timely strategy, that is so buttoned up and organically integrated into the daily lives of consumers that they don’t even feel like they are being targeted. Implementing a strategic marketing approach that aims at consumers with a mix of online and offline strategies to draw them to the brand through a variety of platforms (i.e., company website with strong conversion tactics, online advertisements with bold calls to action, newsletters, blogs, social media, and print) will cultivate the foundation of any brand. It’s important not to fall victim to the piecemeal style of marketing that only focuses on one of these areas and is quite frankly one of the simplest failure points for most brands. Depending on the competiveness of your market, providing multiple touch points for your consumers to act when they are ready will create brand awareness and capture their attention.

[For more on Elevate My Brand’s approach to Advertising click here]

Here are some slam-dunk tips to elevate your brand to reach your audience:

Define Your Target Market. An inexpensive solution to this is using online surveys to send to current, past, and potential consumers/clients asking what your company can do better. The results may surprise you.

Implement Engaging A/B Testing. Have you ever heard the phrase, “you don’t know, what you don’t know?” If you have really great ideas in reaching your market, performing tests is a great way to find out what works best and adjusting your strategy as needed.

Stay Up to Date . New technologies are emerging daily and are here to stay and only going to get more complex so embrace the new marketing age we are in. If your target prefers emails as opposed to phone calls, then start typing; furthermore if your target is on social media- you need to be as well.

Don’t Be a Copycat . Just because it worked for your best friend’s business doesn’t mean it will work for yours – make sure your messaging is streamlined for your industry and audience.

Have Fun With Your Marketing and Be Honest With Yourself!  You don’t need a focus group to know what your gut is telling you to fix. Sometimes the best way to find out what works is falling flat on your face.

The time is now. Don’t let this exciting and experiential time in the industry pass you by because your loss is another company’s bottom line gain.

Sources: ESPN, SB Nation, AdAge, Shopify

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