Top tips for retailers to win gold in a summer of sport

By Harmony Murphy, GM Advertising UK at eBay

 The last month has been a whirlwind for Brits. From Scotland, Wales and England all competing in Euro 2020 (and football almost coming home), to the meteoric rise of Emma Raducanu at this year’s Wimbledon.

We all know sport has the power to unite people from all walks of life, bringing them together to spectate and celebrate. And as part of this, big sporting events also have the power to ignite people’s passions and interests, whether it inspires them to buy the same football boots as their favourite striker, or join a tennis club.

For brands, this presents a real opportunity to tap into customers’ passions and capitalise on the nation’s ardent sporting appetite. And, with the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 poised to kick off another month of sporting entertainment, there’s only more opportunity to come for brands that are able to harness the nation’s summer sporting fever.

Here’s some top tips on making the most out of this enormous sporting opportunity.

Prioritise relevancy for cut-through

As the outside world finally begins to reopen, consumer optimism is on the up and, along with it, marketing budgets have risen for the first time in well over a year.

As brands step on the gas and vie for valuable consumer attention, consumers may feel bombarded by ads. So, in a time of potential oversaturation, relevancy will be crucial for brands that want to get cut through, whilst still proving ROI.

This summer of sport, brands must prioritise sharp, incisive marketing techniques to pinpoint interested and in-market consumers with meaningful messages that will hit home and separate the wheat from the chaff.

Utilise fresh data or risk falling at the last hurdle

Sport in particular has the knack of making people’s passions vary from one day to the next. And for this reason, brands need to keep in touch with fluctuating interests, with fresh data.

On a regular day, it would be right to assume that the majority of people aren’t die-hard sports fans. Yet, once most see their flag next to a name, or even catch a glimpse of someone in reach of the podium for a niche sport, you’d be hard pressed to find someone not even slightly engaged.

Only by harnessing current, real-time data can brands ensure they’re appealing to those people who are truly interested and in-market for their products at that precise moment. Anything else is akin to a shot in the dark.

Remain on your toes and stay nimble

Whilst consumers are feeling more confident and independent, uncertainty and worry still remain – and it’s still impossible to predict what the next year will bring. Marketers need to stay agile and prepared to flex their campaigns at any moment – whether that’s for an influx of fans as teams outperform expectations, or disappointment as plans change if cases of Covid-19 soar.

With this summer of sport set to keep pace in August – and some of the best results still hopefully yet to come – marketers need to combine relevancy, fresh data and agility if they have any hopes of bringing home the gold this summer.

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