When I was growing up, I never saw a bag of Golden Flake potato chips that I didn’t think about Paul “Bear” Bryant eating them in commercials.

Today, my child isn’t used to seeing Nick Saban unless there are AT&T logos behind him, and a Coca Cola on his podium.

Being associated with supporting your community’s local sports teams – whether little league, college, high school, or pro – well, that’s the “Halo Effect”.

When businesses are supporters of local sports teams, they experience strong engagement with the fan base as well.  In essence, devoted fandom translates effectively when businesses opt to associate their products with local sports teams. The marketing success achieved can be as palpable as excitement during any big game as prospective clients experience a melding of brand loyalty and sports team support.

So, how can your business capitalize on the benefits and advantages of the “halo effect” that happens when you align with a local team?  Some ways are perfectly free, such as:

  1. Having a Facebook contest where football fans win a big prize for sharing their best fan stories and suggesting to their followers that THEY TOO follow your business on FB.
  2. Conducting on-site special events such as everyone wearing their favorite team colors today take an extra 10% off their order.
  3. Creating content for your website that incorporates a sports theme, such as a blog post entitled “5 things Bear Bryant and Commercial Insurance have in common.”

In addition to these free things you can do, you should be looking at taking advantage of putting your brand right in front of your customer whenever they are “consuming” a sporting event!

One way to do this of course is to actually advertise your brand in an actual game.  That might involve purchasing a television spot right in the middle of the game, or sponsoring a message on a digital banner at the game.  The only challenge with this approach is that unless your business has customers coming from every single county in your geography’s metro or DMA, you’re going to be paying a LOT of money for ONE commercial that only runs ONE time for only 30 seconds in ONE game.

Alternatively, you might consider digital platforms (yes – like AL.com) where at-home game watchers are consuming live score updates, on-the-spot video coverage of press conferences and highlight footage, and up-to-the-minute digital articles.  Digital platforms that produce this type of content allow you to geo-target, so that you only aim your message at viewers/readers who live in the geographies you want to target.  This process can be repeated over and over with low overhead, tapping into markets using methods that allow audiences to feel as though they are digesting additional, useful information regarding your products while getting the scoop on their sport of choice.

Sports enthusiasm provides a natural opportunity for brand loyalty as fans are likely to associate your product with the team they adore once they draw that connection by seeing the two aligned. Affinity can be expounded and capitalized upon with smart, strategic positioning in the ideal arena. Though we’ve long referred to this phenomenon as the “Halo Effect,” the rippling exhilaration of sports devotion when blended with clever sales tactics might as well be called “the wave.”

Interested in opportunities? It’s not too late to connect your brand with AL.com’s loyal, local audience this college football season.

By Published On: September 15, 2016Categories: Audience Targeting, Digital Marketing, Insights, Video AdvertisingComments Off on And the Crowd Goes Wild – Associating Sports Fandom with Brand Loyalty

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