With the increasing use of social media, it has become easier to reach the public in order to increase brand exposure. However, it is equally harder to make an impressionable mark in the minds of consumers with respect to the viability of a product.
In your case, you are probably trying to look for a way to make an impact through your team to garner a strong fan base. Through proper marketing campaigns, you will be able to forge a strong connection between the team and the fans.
There is, however, no sure formula to create a sports brand. It all depends on various factors, including whether your sports team is new or an already established one.
What is Sports Branding?
Branding is the way in which you will present your ideas to the public in order to fit a certain image in front of the public. Through positive branding, you will successfully be able to get fans to cheer and support your team and garner respect for them.
In short, branding is what people think of you when you are not in the room. Therefore, it is important to utilize the opportunity to create a positive image of your team in the minds of people.
Furthermore, keep in mind that your task is not just to create an image and force it on the audience. It should be the manifestation of your core beliefs.
To have a better understanding of how the public perceives your team, try doing market research for your team and learn from the sportswear branding lessons from history’s legendary teams.
Also, remember that branding is not just limited to advertisements and collabs. Branding is also influenced by what the team is outside the pitch and away from the cameras.
It is also reflected in the way the team presents itself at events and how they talk to others. That is why it is especially important to focus on branding for sports teams.
Benefits of Branding
If done correctly, the effects of branding are fruitful and long term. It may seem like a lot of effort, but the end results make it worth the time.
Moreover, it is important to mention again that branding should be based on your understanding of self. This is reflected in the personalities, performances of the team players, fans, and club members.
So if you fail to match this to the image you project, it will not be accepted by fans.
There are numerous benefits; here are a few to start off:
Branding Gives Your Team a Unique Identity
It is likely that your team isn’t the only one playing the sport, so how do you stand out?
There are so many creative ideas online, so the question naturally arises that why your team should be supported and not others. Being able to answer this question will lead to a successful branding campaign.
Increases Trust and Loyalty
Are you more likely to care for something that you are emotionally connected to you rather than something you are indifferent to? The same goes for fans.
Being able to create a personal and emotional connection with players and fans will forge a strong relationship rewarded with trust and loyalty.
You will also see the effect on the pitch. A cheering and supportive fan base will increase the motivation of the players and enhance their performance.
Increases Perception of Value
This means to make your product seem more valuable and increase its credibility and acceptance among consumers. This can also be applied to sports teams.
This will be incredibly helpful in acquiring good sponsors. A highly-valued team will attract sponsors as they will be more comfortable in investing. You will also garner respect from the opposite team; a professional sports team branding will make you look organized and in good form.
Pays Off in the Long Term
Branding is a matter of time and patience. So if you play your cards right, people will become more familiar with your brand, and you will be able to attract potential fans, talented players, and lucrative sponsorship deals.
How to Start
Now that you have some idea about branding, the next step is how to get started?
The benefit of this age in terms of marketing is the internet. It has become infinitely easier to access a huge pool of resources and utilize them accordingly. Unfortunately, this easy access has its own set of problems. The competition is high, and it is quite easy to fall into the pitfalls of marketing.
So, here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Decide Your Image
This is not about creating a thinly-veiled image that you do not stand for because such a façade won’t last long in front of the public. In order to create an image, you need to define the core beliefs of your team.
You will need to project the emotions, hard work, principles, and values of your team through branding, so sit down and think it through with other club members before deciding on an image.
Because this will help the team pass through successes, losses, and the various ups and downs during the lifetime of the team.
Create Your Logo
One of the first things that come to mind after naming a team is the logo. A logo is supposed to be the embodiment of the team spirit. Humans are genetically wired to associate images with a meaning, so take advantage of that.
You want your logo to be the first image that comes to mind when people think of your sport.
Design a logo in sync with the colors of the uniform so that it looks good and people want to wear it and show off. Also, include a message with the logo to create a lasting impression.
Let Your Brand Reach the Masses
Now, this is quite easy with the advent of social media platforms and the internet. But pay attention to the following:
- Design your website in accordance to the team colors.
- Use your logo across all social media accounts
- Use your voice in every marketing message, including social media replies.
Sports team videos and photos must also be included in the marketing measures.
The way you conduct yourself offline also plays a role in this. For instance, if your ideology includes giving back to the community, do it through collaborations with charitable organizations or meaningful messages to fans.
A good sponsorship can make a huge difference to the branding. Sponsorship guarantees huge consumer exposure, and when paired with athletes, it can bring focus to the brand and the ideals it represents.
When fans see what their favorite athlete is supporting, they too will want to be a part of it.
Get the Right Athletes
Investing in players with proper education, resources, and opportunities so that they can use advanced athlete branding and marketing practices will make a long-standing team.
A player who is well versed in the art of marketing will more likely attract fans through their social media posts and team-related content. This will be evidenced through higher ratings and increased merchandise and ticket sales.
Think Outside the Box
Many factors may influence how your image changes over time, and this change is okay. Keep learning through trial and error, and keep an open mind to change. It is important to be conscious of the changes and your decisions regarding them.
You might need to repeat the above process again and again. There may be defeats at times, but they do not give you permission to give up. Always look for a way to remain true to yourself.
Get Ready to Start Branding
Branding can be a difficult task. It is a monumental task to please legions of loyal fans and critics. By sports branding, you will find an outlet to display your team’s core values and principles.
Proper communication will establish a loyal and beautiful relationship with fans, players, and club members.
Display of professionalism and sportsmanship will increase the respect for your team and sponsorship. Branding can open doors to numerous beneficial opportunities.
You can engage fans in an emotional rollercoaster of countless wins, losses, and hardships and make them feel part of a global family. After all, isn’t this what sports are all about?