Sports generates so much free publicity. Today’s media environment is highly fragmented. For brands, the challenge of reaching consumers is becoming increasingly difficult.

Even if a brand can reach its consumers, making them sit still and pay attention to the message is key. Sports can really break through the clutter. As we all know, passions around sports run high and the emotional connection can be strong. Sports marketing should not be a stand- alone exercise, but should be aligned with an overall marketing strategy. Brands can build their own equity and awareness by leveraging off the equity of sports events and teams. Sponsorship activation in this way is a more powerful way of communicating than a passive message in, for example, a TV commercial.

Some sports marketing professionals work for a sports team or for the organizers of a major sporting event such as a professional golf tournament. Often, these internal marketers are responsible for promoting the team or event for which they work. They may, for example, secure radio and newspaper spots to advertise upcoming games or devise special offers and product giveaways to encourage attendance. Additionally, they may secure outside sponsorship for their franchise by selling promotional space in a range of formats, including spots on game-time overhead screens, advertisements on scoreboards and collectible cups, and so forth.

An undergraduate degree in marketing, business, or advertising can be helpful to those who wish to enter the field of sports marketing.