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SpirE-Journal 2010 Q2

Scoring Goals Through Sports Marketing

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Scoring Goals Through Sports Marketing

Sports marketing has long been a part of mainstream marketing activity in the OECD. Sports marketing is now coming into its own in emerging countries. The influence of sports and athletes, traditionally high in some countries like India and Australia, is increasing across the region as a whole. Alongside mainstream mass-market sports like soccer and cricket, less conventional sports are also growing from a low base – think Cyber-sports and participative sports events. Spire looks at the evolution of sports marketing and its impact on Asia.

Sports: a growing shadow on the marketing landscape

Sports marketing has long been a part of mainstream marketing activity in the OECD – one need only think of America’s Superbowl and the UK’s English Premier League, which generate billions in marketing revenue.

Sports marketing is now coming into its own in emerging countries. The influence of sports and athletes, traditionally high in some countries like India and Australia, is increasing across the region as a whole. With advances in technology, coverage of sporting events is no longer limited to a select group of countries.
Marketers are beginning to make use of sporting events to reach out to global audiences and establish brand values. Sports marketing is impactful because of consumers’ powerful emotional attachment to teams and athletes.

Globally, the turning point for sports marketing came in 1984. For the first time, corporate sponsors were licensed to sell “official” Olympic products. Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, spent over USD 30 million to sponsor the games. Another 42 sponsors including McDonald’s, Kodak, Panasonic and Volkswagen, helped the Games to turn a profit of USD 225 million.

Following the success of the 1984 Olympics, marketers have shifted their attention within the sports marketing arena. More advertising dollars have been spent on sponsoring non-Olympics sporting events such as the Formula One Grand Prix, FIFA World Cup, The Ashes, ATP World Tour and the PGA Tour.

According to IEG Sponsorship Consulting group in 2010, worldwide sponsorship revenues are forecasted to grow by 4.5% to reach USD 46 billion. Future gains are expected to be greatest in Africa and South America due to South Africa’s hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Brazil’s hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

Although these events will take place on the other end of the world, they

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