The world, especially the sports world, lost an icon on Thursday in Craig Sager. The garishly dressed NBA sideline reporter captured the hearts of many for his valiant battle with cancer, but more importantly, captured the respect of many for what he did better than anyone else in his profession: ask the right questions.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of my job is that I get to see a lot of onsite sports marketing activations from multiple perspectives. As a researcher, I have the privilege of observing the "rubber hitting the road" on these programs through my own eyes as well as through the lens of the target audience. Efficacy testing is an important element of any sponsoring brand or property's ROI/ROO measurement.
Sports have always been associated with emotional exchanges. Whether you're a player, fan, or just know someone who is, you know how it goes: conversations about a certain player's intensity, a sour illegal play and even about what piece of equipment works best in a particular setting can go from friendly discussion to heated banter in a matter of minutes.
It happens all the time in sports marketing - planners and buyers craft intricate media plans to reach the exact right consumer, using sports as the unparalleled platform of interest that it is, but they lose them in the messaging. In any vertical, but especially in sports, it's important to not only reach consumers on the correct channel, but to tell the correct story for that channel as well. If you're reaching Gen Y women in the Midwest who love college football with your media, but you aren't reaching them with your story, you've missed the point.
Every year marketers look for the next big, untapped frontier of opportunity. We want to introduce our brand to a group of people large enough and passionate enough to buy our products before our competitors get there first.
The big sports media story for 2016 has been the decline in TV ratings for the NFL. They will likely pick up over the remainder of the season, but it is clear that there is something going on with America's football watching habits. There are no shortages of theories why the game seems to have lost some appeal.
If you want to build a successful career that crosses many lines and encompasses demographics across the board, it should be rock solid, as in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
If as the saying goes, "There's no crying in baseball," shouldn't we hold athletes from all sports to the same standard? Only, I want to take this mantra one step further-to social media.
This being election day, I am going to resist the urge for political commentary, and strive to provide a needed diversion. In fact, the only political connection to today's posting will be a couple of interesting statistics about the Ivy League, from which one-third of all United States Presidents including the past four, and both of the major party candidates in today's Presidential contest hold a degree. And while Ivy League graduate success as professional athletes has paled in comparison to that of other major conferences, I couldn't help but chuckle when Chicago Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler, asked last week ...
It's hard to believe, but it has already been two decades since Tiger Woods took the sporting world by storm. As a young phenom, Tiger didn't just enter the game of golf - he took control of it - and singlehandedly elevated the popularity of the sport. He smashed through barriers and record books alike and brought an athletic approach to the game that would go on to change the way an entire generation thought about training for competitive golf.