Summer of Sport: How to Engage Audiences at Home

With Wimbledon now underway, here’s a quick reminder that marketers always have the ability – if they have the agility – to delight their customers, clients and prospects with the immediacy and effectiveness of a blistering Djokovic serve.

IKEA solidified its reputation for stellar reactive marketing during the Euros last week by introducing the “Cristiano,” a simple, reusable water bottle (and instant hit), after Portuguese footballer Ronaldo declined two bottles of Coca-Cola in favor of his favorite post-match beverage.

Nimble marketers, always tuned to the moment, realise it’s never too late to launch or invent an effective campaign, on the spot, in real-time. It’s just a matter of finding your right moment.

Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal’s absence at Wimbledon are still topical stories, but not breaking news, so as the action continues, assign yourself the task of finding your in-the-moment moments.

Your opportunities during this summer of sport

Sports advertising offers excellent opportunities to test new strategies, and this summer, in particular, is ripe with local and international action: global events like the Euros, Tour de France, Copa América, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games, not to mention the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and of course Wimbledon. Marketers can dip their toes in each pool, test strategies, evaluate results, and optimize for adjacent and future campaigns.

All these sporting events lend themselves to ad opportunities across linear TV, social media and video-on-demand, to name just a few. All have fans ranging from passionate to casual, and every emotional level in between. Knowing this, questions arise. How best to strategise and to which group? Some of these events can inspire you to test strategies on a smaller scale, and your findings may lead to all-in, data-fueled, highly targeted campaigns.

As a marketer, the importance of knowing the relationship between a sporting event and its supporters and fanatics can’t be overstated. The value of knowing each event’s unique attributes is also crucial. Seeing the entirety of the Tokyo Olympics as a perfect platform to test video-on-demand strategies is shrewd. Its time differences in live broadcasts create compartments for marketing creativity. Knowing precisely who the live and non-live viewers are can dictate messaging and tone.

No time like the present

The fan who caused dozens of cyclists to crash at the Tour de France presents some food for thought: Was the incident an opportunity for a marketing campaign? Depends on your tolerance for risk. As an opportunity, it certainly qualifies. But is it your “right moment?

With the basics of “right person, right place, the right message” in mind, was there a way to use this mishap to attract the right kind of attention? The message itself is up to you – and the success of your campaign depends on that message – but the mechanisms of delivering that message to the right people in the right place have become, in a sense, the easy part. The real work lies in coming up with creative that works as well as IKEA’s water bottle.

A real-time moment like the fan-induced pileup could be used to engage your audience, get them thinking and talking about you, and boost your performance. Any real-time moment can achieve the same if you choose the right one and have the right touch. You can trigger social ads to start spending within minutes of a live moment. You can best your competitors by syncing social ads when their ads are running on TV.

Something as simple as knowing the overlap of your customers’ interest in the Euros, Wimbledon and the Tour de France can reap massive rewards in the form of improved social strategy and tactical messaging. The more connections you can make between your customers and their full range of interests, the better.

To be nimble and truly seize the moment, it’s imperative to have a mission-critical, omnichannel platform in place to give you that capability and intelligence. You need to spend data and performance metrics at your fingertips to make quick decisions, quick changes, and course corrections on the fly. And not just once, but iteratively.

These days, advertising is the perfect combination of art and science. As a marketer, it’s best to focus on your art. When it comes to science, be nimble. Just partner with the experts.

For more tips and strategies on how to engage audiences at home, check out Mediaocean’s Summer of Sport Hub.

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