Marketing is the process of creating, communicating, and delivering products and services that are useful to the end-users and the community at large. Sports marketing entail marketing of sports products or non-sport products while linking them with various sports. It is however noted that sports marketing of products and apparel aimed youth is often said to focus too much on image rather than actual participation in sports which should not be the case as it does not reach the sports marketing aim of increasing participation in sports. This is evident in most companies that use sports as a marketing tool of their brands and products as they associate them with sports attributes like success, passion and good performance, for instance, shoe companies like Nike and Adidas.
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Response to the Criticism
The problem is present and no one can deny it as most companies find themselves putting more effort at boosting their image through their brands overlooking the essence of actual participation in sports and people find themselves being attached to the products for example shoes rather than the actual participation in sports. The products are however as important as the customers or clients and should also be considered as they are the sources of the sport’s customers for instance team members of a given sport and therefore it is very important to strike a balance between the emphasis given to both the products and the sports themselves (Masterman and Wood, 2006).
Example That Can Be Used To Illustrate This Phenomenon
This phenomenon of putting more emphasis towards boosting of the company’s image and brand can be seen between Nike and Adidas companies where the competition is so stiff as each company strives to come up with a unique type of shoe or other sports facilities to be the most popular and attracting increased purchases of their products from the clients without really advocating for increased participation in sports. This leaves participants and fans confused about the products without knowing where to attach themselves to.
How This Can Be Changed
To avoid this problem of ineffective and inefficient marketing in the sports industry, there should be proper planning of the whole process of marketing to ensure that it meets the purpose of marketing and that participation in various sports is promoted. With increased competition in the field of leisure regarding the opportunities available for utilizing leisure time, there is a need to put a lot of emphasis on the issue of marketing sports so as not to lose people in other leisure activities while sports field is left with less or no participants. Proper marketing planning and implementation strategies should be put in place to ensure that the whole process is a success.
For instance, there should be a proper setting of goals and objectives for the marketing plan, analyzing the market situation, market selection, marketing strategy, organization and implementation and finally control of the situation. Different sports companies should also come up with fairways of developing and implementing strategies aimed at introducing and maintaining their brands in the sports sector as well as encouraging maximum participation in various sports. The sports products and services should also provide entertainment, passion, and diversity to cater to the consumers’ needs and balance with their dedication to avoiding loss of interest in sports (Masterman, 2009).
Masterman, G. and Wood, H. E. (2006). Innovative Marketing Communications: Strategies for the Events Industry. USA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Masterman, G. (2009). Strategic Sports Event Management: Olympic Edition. 2nd ed. USA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
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