Sports and Marketing Identifying customer needs physically,
Premasara Epasinghe B.A. (Cey),
Dip in Ed, Dip in Mktg,Lecturer, Public Relations and Mktg Consultant
Author, writer Internationally Reputed Cricket Commentator Recipient of
an ICC Award
Sports is a powerful mobiliser of mass emotions. Sports has the power
to change the world. It has the power to inspire the power to unite
people. Sports can be considered a very popular human activity. Millions
of people enjoy sports. It may be a World Cup, a soccer championship or
a rugby championship game or even an ODI or T20 cricket match, where
world class players display their prowess, the spectators, fans are
glued to these sports events. They enjoy it. They appreciate the thrills
and the frills.The electronic media as well as print media transmit
these vital events to the public. For this purpose, they rely on
sponsors. The relevant sports bodies, sell their events to various
firms, organisations and companies to cover their expenses through
advertising their products. What these sections do is to advertise their
product and services to the public, through these sports event broadcast
or telecasts. Billions watch it. Marketeers use the maximum advantage by
advertising their products or services.
Today no sports activity can prosper without sponsors. Therefore,
sports and marketing are unseperable. There are two ways in marketing
these sports events, namely supply method and demand method.
The allocated time or space given to a media coverage, of an event,
can be considered as the supply side. For example, the number of seconds
or minutes a brand is visible on a TV screen and an advertisement on
radio or in print media link with the sports event given an impression.
In marketing sense, there is value for that impression. It may be an
image building advertisement for the relevant company that advertise
their product or prestigious name.
This is called marketing war. As Karl Von Clawewitz mentions,
marketing war belongs to the province of business competition, which is
also a conflict of human interests and activities.
Marketing is defined by Jerome McCarthy as the performance of those
activities which seek to accomplish an organisation's objectives by
anticipating customer or client needs and directing a flow of need
satisfying goods and services from producer to clients.
Marketers use every possible channel of communication. Let us
understand what the “needs and wants” theory. John A. Howard of the
University of Columbia said it is “Identifying customer needs,
conceptualising those needs in terms of an organisation's capacity to
produce, communicating that conceptualisation to the appropriate laws of
power in the organisation, conceptualising the consequent output in
terms of the customer needs earlier identified as communicating that
conceptualization to the customer.”
Marketing men have been customer oriented. For this purpose, they use
sports activities. To be successful, a company must become competitor
oriented. For example a football team or a rugby team that scores the
most number of goals and point wins the game. The marketing team that
makes most sales win the game. In football, you win by outwitting
outflanking, out playing your opposing team. The points or goals on the
scoreboard are only a reflection of your ability to do things better.
You need various tools for this in marketing. You must identify to
transmit your message on air. As sports events are very attractive, many
companies spend lots of their monies in associates with important sports
events to channel their message.
The thirtieth (30) Olympic Games begin on Friday July 27, 2012 in
London. It is undoubtedly the major international sports event, which is
considered to be the world's foremost sports competition and more than
thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. More
than 200 countries are likely to participate. Thousands of athletes will
participate. Billions will view this sports extravaganza or panorama
throughout the world.
The cost of staging the Olympic games is enormous, huge, which runs
to billions of Dollars or Pounds.
To begin with International Olympic Council or Committee resisted
funding by corporate sponsors at the beginning. It was not until the
retirement of IOC President Avery Brundage in 1972 that IOC began to
explore the potential of the television medium and in lucrative
advertising markets available to them. Under the leadership of Juan
Antonio Samaranch, Olympic games began to shift towards international
sponsors, who sought to link their products to the Olympic Games.
It should be mentioned here, in tracing the history of the budget,
that during the first half of the 20th century the IOC ran on a small
budget. When Brundage retired, the IOC had US$2 million in assets; in
1980, eight years later, IOC coffers had swelled to US$ 45 million. How
did this happen? Due to sports marketing.
This was mainly due to the ideology followed towards expansion of the
games through Corporate sponsorship and sale of Television rights.
Juan Antonio Samaranch when elected as the president of IOC in 1982,
his desire was to make the IOC financially strong and independent.
Two Oxford scholars Bent Flyvbjerg and Allison Stewart, did an in-
depth study about the Cost of Summer and Winter Olympic games. They
found that the most costly games have been 2012 London Olympic Games.
The cost is staggering US $ 14.8 Billion. Cost of Barcelona Games 1992
was US $ 11.4 billion, Montreal 1976 – US $ 6 billion etc.
Olympics is a mega event with an average run of over-run in real
terms of 179 percent and 324 percent in nominal terms overruns in games
have historically been significantly larger than for other types of Mega
Projects. The data show that a city and nation to decide Olympic games
takes a massive financial risk. The best example is Greece.
The cost overrun and debt from Athens 2004 substantially worsened
Greece's Financial and Economic to crises 2008- 2012. Imagine Montreal
took three decades, (30 years) to pay off the debt from 1976 games.
Flyvbjerg and Stewart found over the past decades, cost overrun for
games has down to more common level for mega projects.
The period 2000-2010 average with overrun was 47%, whereas at before
that average overruns 258. However, London 2012 has reversed this trend
with a cost overrun 101% in real terms is back in three digit.
Through sports marketing by selling events for huge amounts billions
as sponsorship of packages Olympic Authorities earn big monies. Without
sponsorships they cannot survive.
International business can be considered as a growing tread in almost
all industries. This is clearly seen in most of the developed countries.
The sports world is heavily getting involved in the act. Baseball has
long been a popular sport in Japan. Soccer world cups and various sports
mega events are today sponsored by big companies. Sportsmen and
sportswomen have become professionals.
Any paid form of non personal presentation and promotion of ideas,
goods or services by an identified sponsor is known as advertising.
Sports attracts many people. It is popular. Therefore, in building an
image for your Institution or company sports will be extremely useful.
This is where Marketing management process plays an important role.
MMP should consist of (a) Organizing the Marketing Planning Process (b)
Analyzing Marketing Opportunities (c) Selecting Target Markets (d)
Developing Marketing Mix, (e) Managing the Marketing Effort.
Retailers advertise in newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
Sports is an ideal platform for sales promotion. For example 2012
Olympic games will be viewed by more than billions of people as it is
the “Sports show piece of the world”.
We, Sri Lankans will view this when the Sri Lanka TV stations which
have paid big sums to gain the TV media rights in Sri Lanka. Of course,
there will be number of sponsors in telecasting this mega event.
Marketeers are continually seeking new ways to retail their product
services, through sports marketing. In the selection of the sports
media, the advertiser must determined the desired reach, frequency and
impact needed to achieve the advertising objective.
There is another important factor. The media planner should choose
the specific media vehicles.
Out of the sports in Sri Lanka, cricket occupies number one spot, I
fed in sports, cricket is the goose that lays golden eggs. This is the
main reason why cricketers are used in many advertisements from
telephones to food items or drinks. These relevant companies pay big
amounts to the players as well as the electronic and print media to get
the mileage to other product.