In Sport Sponsorship, Sports Marketing

It’s a question that brands involved in sports marketing are asking more and more – should I commit marketing spend online, or off?

Here, we weigh up some of the factors involved.

Direct targeting

Social provides a unique opportunity to target your sports marketing directly towards the people who you want to engage with. This targeting can be drilled down to very specific demographics, including sex, age, education levels, interests, and geographic location, so can guarantee that the right eyes are on your campaign – something that you can’t ensure as well with outdoor marketing or TV advertising.

Of course, there are still many factors that you need to weigh up if you want to use targeting via social. The wording, graphics/imagery, and tone must be highly engaging and you must be aware of the key locations in which your campaign is likely to perform well.

The budget, too, is something you need to think about carefully – budgets on the key social channels can start at just a few pounds (meaning they can be more cost-effective than outdoor or TV advertising, which will always cost considerably more than this) and can run into tens of thousands, or even more.

Whether you invest in targeting via social media or go for the broader audience via TV or outdoor advertising is likely to depend on your budget, and on how niche you want your audience to be.

Guaranteed ROI

There are so many different factors when it comes to sports marketing campaigns (think audience loyalty, championship results, the behavior of individual athletes and even the weather) that it is practically impossible to advise on marketing strategies that can guarantee ROI for your brands.

We can, however, look at recent analysis to see where the ROI seems strong. When it comes to offline marketing, Forbes reports that radio advertising  returns an average of $12 for every $1 spent, which is undoubtedly impressive. A 2017 investigation by Econsultancy points out that, although confidence in social media to guarantee ROI isn’t necessarily high, some brands have seen huge success – including Dutch airline KLM, which in 2014 credited social with 25 million worth of sales, and online retailer, which saw a 4% increase in order value from customers who had used its social channels.

The fact that huge brands have had strong ROI doesn’t mean this is going to be the same in every campaign. The key to giving the best chance of ROI with social – as with any type of marketing campaign – is to know your consumer, and effectively engage with them at exactly the right time.

The chance to impress – in person

Of course, your marketing priorities might actually be more B2B than B2C – you might have clients to wine and dine, or you might want to treat your best suppliers or most important board members to a memorable day out.

In this case, corporate hospitality might be the best route for you to go down. After all, if you’re looking to clinch a deal, renew a contract, keep a relationship sweet or even just show off the results of your offline sports marketing to those who matter, nothing beats doing it in person.


All this means is that where you focus your sports marketing efforts depends on the specific aims of your campaign, and – so using experts, and/or enlisting the help of a sports marketing company like RTR Sports Marketing can be a great way forward.

If you want to access our experts, just give us a call or contact us at , we’ll be waiting!


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Emanuele Venturoli
Emanuele Venturoli
A graduate in Public, Social and Political Communication from the University of Bologna, he has always been passionate about marketing, design and sport.
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