Strategizing A Game Plan For The Sports Industry in 2021: Part 3
Leagues Are Scrambling
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended all areas of life — and sports is no exception. The global value of the sports industry was estimated to be $388 billion in 2020 — a loss of 15% or approximately $70 billion since 2019. Every part of the sporting value chain has been affected, from athletes, teams and leagues, to the media that broadcast and cover games.
According to an EMSI an economic modeling firm, an estimated $28 billion in sports revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost due to the COVID-19 shutdowns. The situation has become so critical that NFL and MLB expect salary caps to decrease for upcoming seasons, with the NBA deciding to balance the loss over future seasons.
New and Fresh Sponsorship Ideas
Traditional on-premises sponsorship deals like scoreboard-related sponsorship or event activation will likely see less marketing dollars in 2021 due to audience restrictions. This opens the door to new forms of digital signage and second screen in-game experiences to offset lost revenue for teams.
Advertisers naturally worry about the effects this distracted multitasking has on their campaigns, but according to academic research arising from University of Texas supports the hypothesis that second screen use particularly enhances engagement for sports programming. Whether it’s creating a custom channel offering sponsored incentives, live-game offers (merchandise, refreshments) or opt-in raffles, the opportunities are endless.
Social media has helped spur a massive exodus from pay-tv subscriptions but remains limited in the way viewers can engage. Views, likes and comments benefit the platform disproportionately more in comparison to the sports team broadcasting live content. This also becomes challenging for marketers in a world where team sponsors seek ways to be a part of the moment, not distract from it.
Our soon to be released Tingit mobile app powers multi-sensory fan experiences — all of which developed with monetization in mind. Fuse sonic-enabled functionality in live content, radio or online videos where sound waves become the method of delivery for sponsored messaging sent directly to a spectator’s phone; Reward fans through the in-app merchandise shop in exchange for completing smartly timed sponsored polls; Or host brand promotional raffles daily, weekly or monthly. One important note here is that without gate receipts, brands are scrambling for alternative sporting event visibility, so now is a great time to be pitching new and fresh sponsorship ideas.
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