Branding is about establishing an image that impacts how others view and think of you. In business, for instance, those people are usually consumers. Companies want clients to think of them in a positive light so they purchase their products.
As a sports team, your branding is more about the fans, sponsors, club members and their personalities and performance. You also want them to view your team in a certain way so they cheer for you, support you and most importantly, respect you.
How can this be achieved? Believe it or not, that’s exactly where sports team branding comes into play. Though branding isn’t just one single thing you do, it is the infrastructure that determines how you present yourself to the outside world. Every sports team has a logo, and the logo represents what the company stands for– or in this case, represents what the team stands for.
Branding also has an influence on:
- Your website layout or design
- Your team’s colors
- Players’ uniforms
- Sponsorships (like Adidas and Nike) and other partnerships
To put it briefly, branding is a representation of you. It’s what fans think of when your brand comes to mind, and how they view your organization. This is why it’s crucial for sports teams to put out positive images to enhance their fan base.
How can you find out what others think about you? By conducting marketing research for your team.
That’s right: Sports team branding is more than just a gimmick. It’s not about creating an eye-catching image and forcing it on people. It’s about building an identity, and maintaining it. We see this a lot in college sports especially.
The University of Oregon, for example, might be the most recognized college team in the Pacific Northwest. They brand their products by teaming up with Nike, one of the world’s most successful and recognizable brands to create uniforms, footwear, and advanced technology for athletes and fans to wear.
Oregon’s brand does an amazing job of capturing their teams’ images at its core. Although the school’s values aren’t clear at first within the school’s logo, it prompts us to look deeper into the meaning behind it. Who would have thought something as simple as an “O” on a helmet or jersey could become so iconic?
It’s important to think of branding as the DNA of your organization and consider what people will say about you when you aren’t in the room. This is why branding also trickles its way down to the small things like how you present yourself at events, how you talk to people, and how you conduct business away from the group.
Sounds like a big responsibility, right? You bet it is. However, if done right, branding can transform any small team into a million dollar organization.
The Benefits Behind Sports Team Branding
Why go through all this trouble? What makes branding so important? Can’t you just say, “Who cares what other people have to say about my organization?”
Of course, you can ask and say all those things. The best branding, however, is the one that fits your values. Otherwise, people will know that it doesn’t align with your individuality.
Branding Helps Teams Find Their Identity & Increases Fan Loyalty
Whichever sport you manage, chances are you aren’t the only one playing it. This is why strong brands command customer loyalty and premium prices, constituting valuable assets that drive the company’s revenue and growth.
As humans, we are attracted to companies that think and feel like us and share the same values. If we’re able to identify with them, we’re much more likely to buy their products and feel drawn toward them.
The same works for sports. Team branding and marketing generates opportunities for individuals to identify with their team and feel as if they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. It also gives their team a personality that others around them can feel and build on based on the high energy.
In your personal life, for instance, you probably care more about things you’re attached to, right?
Well, the same works for sports teams. This means that if you’re a brand manager who gives others a reason to care about your brand, you’ll be rewarded with trust and loyalty from fans, players, and club members. Players will also be proud to play for your team and stay motivated to perform at high levels.
Thanks for the read. Did I miss anything? What are some other reasons a sports teams might be important? Feel free to leave a comment below.