Photo courtesy of Octagon
Fresh off attending the 2019 Octagon Sports Business Symposium presented by the Sports Business Journal in New York City, I felt inspired to share a few thoughts and observations surrounding the powerful impact of sports marketing.
The goal of the 2-day symposium was to “look forward” into the entire sports business industry, specifically honing in on forward-thinking brands, agencies, and properties. Emphasis was placed on leaders in the industry creating fan-forward experiences designed to surprise and delight existing fan bases and the accompanying strategies designed to attract and engage new audiences (Gen Z, Esports).
The forward thinking themed agenda did not disappoint. Leaders in the sports industry brought some of the latest thinking to life sharing case studies that inspired and motivated. Some top moments:
- CLEAR’s CitiField pilot using biometrics to enhance the fan experience
- Orig3n and the San Francisco 49ers program rewarding fans for contributions to advancing the future of medicine through genetics and regenerative medicine
- Allegiant Air’s multi-faceted activation strategy for their MiLB partnership delivering opportunities to deliver budget efficiencies by reducing more traditional media spends
- JBL’s “collision strategy” creating memorable intersections between music and sport delivering for customer and JBL Associates
- UPS’ fan-focused delivery program allowing Ryder Cup fans in the US or Europe to immediately ship merchandise purchases to an end destination from the point of purchase
The symposium was filled with innovative thought leadership. It was impossible to leave without a new idea or new connection. It's true. The right time and energy will drive business results – regardless of your angle.
From a more personal angle, my advice after the symposium is simple. Take it in! Become a fan of being a fan. Immerse yourself in the experience that countless sports professionals work diligently to create, deliver, and improve every single day. Reflect on the process. Generate ideas to make the next experience even better. The “win” really comes in the experience we deliver for sports fans from across the globe. Sports is about so much more than the wins and losses on the field, court or in front of a monitor. Sports is about the emotion and the stories created from that emotion.