As a sports marketer you need to deliver results, just like your team need to on the pitch.

Professional sports, action sports, health clubs, gyms and fitness form a multi-billion pound industry with as many challenges facing teams, brands and facilities as there are opportunities.

You’ll already have a dedicated following of fans, but you need to make sure you’re building stronger and deeper relationships with your existing fans while also attracting new ones from different markets.

There’s a need for sports teams to be present across digital platforms, where fans can get immediate access to the club news and team updates they want to hear, plus feel closer to their team and their favourite players. Because fans want to be part of the buzz, not just given the top line.

So the traditional drip-feed of information and the reliance on a match-day programme won’t cut it anymore.

And while you may already be thinking digitally, you could be struggling with multiple social media platforms and a disjointed online presence. With one site for the club, one for ticketing, another for hospitality and then one more for merchandise all targeting the same fans with different and potentially inconsistent messages can mean fans slip through the net.

When you then factor in the need for activations or campaigns with sponsors, kit suppliers and brand partners, there are a lot of things that all need to be tied together in a coherent retail, e-commerce and digital marketing strategy that doesn’t risk exhausting your fans.

The rise of sports streaming services and the movement away from traditional TV broadcasting introduces another element into the mix. It’s important to look at how your club can make the most of these new ways for fans to watch matches and find ways to capitalise on it.

With so many channels to co-ordinate how can you make sure you’ve got the right tactics for your marketing, to beat your rivals and bring home a digital marketing and ecommerce win?

How can you grow your sports brand?

Limited audience – Your existing fans are often the only audience you’re targeting. You need to keep ideas fresh and entertaining. Can your brand adapt your search marketing strategies to extend brand reach and build your audience?

Stakeholders/sponsors – From fans, sponsors, and suppliers to brand partners and club management, there are multiple parties with a vested interest in your marketing activity. How do you manage any potential conflict of interest and ensure you deliver results?

Seasonality – Sports events are limited to seasons, so you need to ensure your brand can stay front of mind when the time’s right. Can your brand strategy stay ahead of the game and engage with fans – even out of season?

Performance – Team performance isn’t always consistent, so how can you build on your brand when on-field performance is poor?

Different revenue streams – Sports brands have several revenue streams – from tickets and merchandise to hospitality and events. Each of these streams will have different marketing strategies but are targeting the same fans and customers. How can you make sure your brand can manage these different areas with the same fluidity and engagement without the frustration?

Red Hot Penny helps online retailers and eCommerce brands in sports sector