July 25, 2024
David Brotherton Orlando

David Brotherton Discusses the Trends Changing the 2023 Sports Marketing Landscape

David Brotherton of Orlando works in the sports marketing industry. In the following article, David Brotherton discusses how marketing strategies are always subject to change, and while their preferred outcomes are similar, this year will see sports marketers revamp the field.

The sports market represented a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5.2% from 2022 to the start of 2023, expanding from $486.61 billion to a whopping $512.14 billion globally. And experts expect it to increase further to $623.63 billion by 2027.

But contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just the sports that drive the value. Instead, David Brotherton of Orlando says that high-stakes marketing strategies, like endorsements and sponsorship deals, largely influence the sector’s exponential growth.

Sports Marketing: A Background

David Brotherton of Orlando says that sports marketers must have an intimate understanding of how marketing works and the mind of fans to ensure teams remain at the forefront of supporters’ thoughts.

Historically, sports marketing strategies are split into four categories:

• Product-Based

Related products — trainers, protein shakes, health foods, sportswear, etc. — are marketed utilizing strategies seen elsewhere in the marketing industry.

• Theme-Based

Sports marketers use traditional marketing strategies while incorporating a sports element for non-sport-related products.

• Alignment-Based

Professionals who market non-sport products collaborate with a sports team or property through sponsorships.

• Sports-Based

Sports product marketers become official sponsors of a sports team or property.

The Trends in the 2023 Sports Marketing World

David Brotherton of Orlando says that the broad categories of sports marketing aren’t likely to change during 2023. However, the technological boom that has swept across the planet is making a massive impact on the industry, altering how sports marketers approach their desired outcomes.

From NFTs to multiple screen experiences to cryptocurrency to ethical sponsorships, David Brotherton of Orlando says that these trends will likely appear in the sports marketing world in 2023 and beyond.

Improved Matchday Engagement

When it’s gameday, fans can only think of one thing — their team. But today’s experience is a far cry from historical matchdays, thanks to the influx of technology.

Nowadays, teams use line-up announcements, conferences, and match events to create content for their social media accounts. And the fans can’t get enough of it. So, whether it’s spamming Instagram reels with in-stadium footage, retweeting the line-up, or sharing training schedules, the matchday experience boosts engagement for fans and clubs.

David Brotherton of Orlando reports that live streaming has massively increased after the COVID-19 pandemic turned the globe on its head. According to the Nielsen Sports Report, 40.7% of fans worldwide stream gamedays via digital platforms.

David Brotherton Orlando

Screens Upon Screens

The report also noted that viewership, especially of major sports, has transformed into a dual- or multi-screen endeavor, with 47% of watchers using different monitors to watch the game and engage with other live content simultaneously.

David Brotherton of Orlando says that industry moguls expect this to be one of the most exciting trends in the coming 12 months. For example, Diego Pinzón at Atlanta United FC mentioned that fans would be front-and-center of generating content that competes with massive media organizations.

The shared digital space this promises leans perfectly into the third space theory, where millions of fans can access content regardless of their location.

Another exciting announcement is the deal between MLS and Apple TV. Referred to as “MLS Season Pass” this is an unprecedented subscription service offered by Apple TV in over 100 countries. The subscription will feature every live MLS regular season match, playoff games and the Leagues Cup – with no blackouts. This is the first year of this new deal and the biggest foray into sports for Apple.

David Brotherton of Orlando says that this is an ultra-near possibility, as the NBA Discord server has over 147,000 members at the time of writing.

Clubs’ marketers should embrace this dual-screen entertainment trend as soon as possible, allowing fans to become more engaged than before.

No Restrictions

All or Nothing, an Amazon Prime series, was the first-of-its-kind documentary that highlighted the inner workings of various sporting worlds. Since then, Netflix and other documentaries have produced docu-series showcasing a “behind the scenes” look at popular sports.

David Brotherton of Orlando explains that the benefits of such documentaries for the teams involved are huge, giving increased content for sports marketers to use and ensuring their club stands out. So, analysts believe there will be an influx of such programs over the next few years.

The Metaverse, Crypto, and NFTs

The metaverse and all its digital offerings are attracting attention in the sports marketing world. So much so that Barcelona and Real Madrid soccer clubs have jointly trademarked their own crypto wallet.

Plus, Market Decipher reported that sport-based NFTs will witness a massive growth of 38% from last year to 2032.

Industry outlooks also predict that season and individual tickets will become dynamic, usable products — perfect marketing material.

Ethical Sponsorships

Until now, David Brotherton of Orlando reports that many Premier League clubs were sleeve- and front-of-shirt sponsored by the gambling industry. But 2023 has already seen teams move away from bookie sponsors, transitioning to ethical sponsorships.

All these trends and more will make an appearance at some point this year, with the full effects appearing as time passes.