We spoke with major brand and media executives about their sports marketing plans and expectations for 2017.
The 4 questions we asked:
1. What sports will you invest in/work with during 2017?
2. Which platforms will you use/spend on for your sports marketing campaigns?
3. What sports marketing trends should we keep an eye on during 2017?
4. In terms of marketing in general, what would you like see more of next year?
Gustavo Guerra, Brand Director for Tecate
- We will continue to support our target consumer’s biggest passion points: Boxing and Soccer. The soccer games and the PPV Boxing fights are the highest rating TV shows for the target and represent the highest beer consumption occasion for Mexican bi-culturals.
- Our target over indexes heavily in digital, so we will continue to focus our efforts in social media and mobile as our key media channels to reach and interact with our consumers. We will also continue to raise the bar in event marketing. We will continue with our traditional focus at retail by securing a flawless execution to ensure we offer the most attractive programs to consumers – bringing them closer to the action in both sports.
- Trends from a Tecate POV will definitely be behind boxing, as we will make our biggest splash ever with some exciting new initiatives in the pipeline to support the mega fights in 2017.
- Big and bold ideas around sports that can effectively travel to the digital space – different from TV. We need to remember that sports are one of the highest priorities when it comes to entertainment and that social media is the biggest and only channel to enable conversations and interactions with consumer’s pre, during and post events.
Antonio Briceno, beIN SPORTS Deputy Managing Director
- Looking ahead to 2017, we are very excited about working with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the global leader in women’s professional tennis. Starting in January, the 2017 WTA season kicks off, and beIN SPORTS will air all matches airing outside the U.S., as well as broadcast the internationally renowned Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada.
In 2017, another cornerstone of beIN SPORTS will continue to be live soccer coverage, which includes live matches from LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1, NASL, and CONMEBOL/ CONCACAF/CAF World Cup Qualifiers, as well as news and in-depth analysis of all the top leagues from around the world.
In 2017 our coverage of MotoGP, MotoAmerica, WorldSBK and Rallycross will continue to grow and evolve.
Similarly, in 2016 we introduced U.S. college sports to the network and will further enhance in 2017 through our partnership with Conference USA. Additional sports you will also continue to see on our channels include boxing and MMA.
- In 2017, beIN SPORTS is working with a mix of traditional and modern media, including social, OOH and mobile. As we continue to build the brand and cultivate our audience, we may even consider activating via OTT platforms.
- Social media continues to evolve, as does the interactive nature of sports programming viewership, so it’s crucial sports marketers keep ahead of the trends and use this form of media to their advantage. Mobile will continue to be a major component of marketing campaigns in 2017. To successfully engage with fans and viewers, mobile is critical as sports fans remain connected to their devices 24/7 to stay up-to-date on their favorite teams and players.
- We’re really looking for innovation, a better use of content and integration that will make the entire landscape more entertaining and more engaging. We’d like to see dollars really start to shift from traditional ads and focus more on impactful, creative placements and activations.
Drew Gehringer, COO at Eat The Bear
(ETB is a sports nutrition-based lifestyle business, providing clean and lean supplements to support achievement.)
- Eat the Bear recently signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Luke Kuechly from the NFL Carolina Panthers. While Luke Kuechly will be our main focus in 2017, we are also looking to add a female counterpart as 60% of our demographics is a female consumer.
- We will continue to invest in social media (Facebook/Instagram/Youtube/Snapchat) as well as in-store marketing.
- We see user generated content and unique video content continuing to surge. We’re confident that 2017 will take this even further – using digital channels and platforms as well to give consumers additional unique experiences.
- In terms of marketing trends, I’d like to see brands increase their focus on customer loyalty programs. While almost every brand has a program dedicated to consumer loyalty, many of them are very two-dimensional. Whether through markdowns through subscription based buying programs or branded experiences that bring the brand to life, we as marketers need to figure out ways to give more back to our consumers – particularly ones that have shown their dedication to the brand.
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Freddy Rolon, VP and general manager of ESPN Deportes, and Michelle Bella, VP of consumer and ad sales marketing for ESPN Deportes.
- Our focus next year will continue to be the power of live events to continue developing the U.S. Hispanic audiences. We have an unmatched line-up of diverse programming next year that will allow us to do this such as the return of the World Baseball Classic taking place in March. In its fourth edition, the WBC has become one of the most popular international sports events featuring some of the best baseball players from the MLB and around the world.
Other key programming next year across our platforms includes UEFA Champions League, Mexican League soccer, international friendlies, MLB, NBA, NFL, College Football.
- In 2016 we made significant enhancements to our platforms, from our television production, to ESPN.com, ESPNDeportes.com and ESPN App…All with the goal of better presenting our content to the Hispanic fan in the most relevant way possible and in the language they want to consume it. Next year, we will continue with this approach emphasizing our video efforts across platforms with the goal of enhancing quality and consistency in our user-experience.
- Brands and agencies are increasingly interested in activating campaigns with social influencers. What’s great is that they’re all engaging with a super engaged fan base for each Live event we carry on TV or Radio or both.
- ESPN launched Live Connect this year – a data rich solution for partners looking to gain deeper insights of how their target audiences behave within our content and sites. For Live Connect, we work together with clients to build campaigns or programs with the KPIs that matter most to each brand. We will soon be able to roll this out for advertisers wanting to reach Hispanic and African American audiences on ESPN platforms.
Ray Warren, EVP Chief Revenue Officer at NBC Sports Regional Networks
- We are very excited about next year as our FIFA partnership will enter a critical phase with the Confederations Cup, a very important lead up to the biggest global sports event, The FIFA World Cup, which will take place in 2018 in the same country. Telemundo Deportes aired Rio 2016, its fourth summer Olympic games, but the FIFA World Cup 2018 will be the first-time we can showcase this premiere global event and will position us as the premiere destination with global properties in Spanish language in the U.S.
The Confederation Cup and 2017 will be key in positioning us as “World Cup Ready, World Cup Great.” Also in 2017, we will take Premiere League to the next level by leveraging the unprecedented investment in players and coaches that English soccer is seeing.
- In 2018, and closely tied to the NBC Sports Group we will partnering with some of NBCUniversal’s people, some of their new technology and all of their experience as the worlds best at bringing big, global events to television and digital audiences.
- We are a technology company. The X1 service from Xfinity drew approximately 20% more Olympic viewers than other video providers and we are excited to see what other new creations might be available in 2017 and 2018.
Laura Molen, EVP, Cable Advertising Sales at NBCUniversal
- We are investing in programming and live events like the World Cup so we can continue this momentum and growth. With the power of NBCU behind out brands, Telemundo Enterpises is primed for the future.
- We’re seeing an emphasis across our company in investment in content, data and distribution and this is going to be key as we continue to emphasize our leadership position.
- As I mentioned we are committed to our content, data and distribution opportunities for clients and we need our sales teams to be teammates with the agencies and marketers, to help them navigate all we have to give them.
- We have some of the best teams in the business who are finding the most unique, authentic ways to partner our advertisers with our content. I’d love to see more companies engage with us from the beginning of a partnership and work with our teams to come up with more innovative campaigns.
Paola Garzón, Marketing Manager at Fox Deportes
- Football, Super Bowl specifically and the UEFA Champions league final (soccer).
- TV, radio, digital and social media.
- Interactive trends that allow the consumer to feel part of the sport experience and in connection with their sports super stars.
- Improved measurement for digital marketing campaigns.