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Sports Marketing: Game, Set, and Match

As I am writing this on sports marketing, in a room full of the young and restless. Pakistan, a young nation is going through very controversial senate elections. Meanwhile, 2 of the top cricket franchises i.e. Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi are competing. Both events are being covered live on television while the audience in the room is occupied between their own (work) screens and TV.

However, the viewers in the room unite in favor of the sport.

Rise Of Influencer Sports Marketing

The trend, though, is that influencers need to have the same values as the brands they’re partnering with. As consumers increasingly expect influencers and brands to take a stand on important issues. 

This is a must read for sports marketing enthusiasts.

https://medium.com/@unboxsocial/know-everything-about-influencer-marketing-in-sports-and-fitness-industry-ffb34e7e9752

Professional athletes, who often have larger Instagram followings than brands or teams, and can achieve higher engagement rates. This is often tied to a direct increase in sales. Therefore, brands now highlight their involvement with such influencers as corporate commitment. This brings me to the role of social change.

Sports and Social Change

Sports has the power to unite people beyond politics and stereotypes.

Most evident is the case of the Pakistan Super League where individuals and causes are promoted during the live telecast of cricket to millions of viewers worldwide. Often it is the brands who are pushing the sports administrators, marketers, and providers to incorporate activities that facilitate social change.

Sports and entertainment marketing have one thing in common. That is to say, marketing and promotion of celebrities and events. However, Sports stars aren’t actors and can’t always effectively brand. 

Sponsorship and Sports Marketing

The uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is reducing the value of sponsorship. How rights holders sell and brand managers make those investments are of critical importance. Most importantly, when there is a clash between sponsors to secure sports rights, they likely can control fees.

As Nielsen points “Brands need to have digital-first contingencies in place to engage with consumers.”

This shift is here to stay in a risky physical world. Last year, Pakistan’s biggest cricket tournament was stopped in the last stages as a result of the pandemic.

The challenge is often for those representing tier two or less developed sports. Squash and hockey are prime examples although both have nationwide recognition. Add to that potential for football i.e soccer for a year around fan engagement.

One area with more activity in recent years is the private investors who see an opportunity to generate business from a long-term sports partnership. This brings me to the largely untapped potential of women in sports.

Sports Marketing and Women

The general perception that women are not active in sports is outdated and irrelevant. Pakistan has recently witnessed a rise in the achievements of women in sports. A decade of transformation at best covered mostly by media.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1549991/pakistan
Hajra Khan made history by becoming the first Pakistani Woman Footballer to sign an international contract.

Brands can play a huge role by sponsoring facilities that lack significantly. In partnership with sports federations and even educational institutions. A long-term view for developing women’s sports in Pakistan. Be it cricket, squash, soccer, badminton, or/and athletics at large. 

Sponsorship is still one of the best ways in empowering besides celebrating their achievements. Sports are also a catalyst for gender equality. Many brands already play a role in this, but they are not as actively involved as they should be. Considering the young women population, stakeholders need to do more. It’s still relatively new for women’s sports.

E-Sports Marketing

This is a great way to look at the potential of Esports

Esports has a great future and already has a considerable market size globally. Game Streaming was at an all-time high in 2020. Surpassing many traditional sports in terms of both revenue and viewership. But, what about us?

Perhaps, Pakistan needs to re-evaluate sports penetration and effectiveness. It’s the way they consume sports that matters.  In other words at reaching a young, diverse and inclusive audience. They enjoy sports just as much as members of other generations. As an additional marketing channel.

This happens to be my observation based on experience. A significant number of our upcoming generation grew up with screens in their hands and it’s not TV.

Whats Sports Marketing Got To Do With Me?

Pakistan is popular for 3 sports in the world. It is an honor for me to experience all three of them as a marketeer. For example:

. World Squash Team Championship 2005 with Pakistan Squash Federation

. Shukriya Pakistan Hockey Cup 2016 with Pakistan Hockey Federation

. Pakistan Super League Cricket: With Karachi Kings 2016-17

In Conclusion

In my humble opinion, sponsors are advised to rethink their strategies.

As a result.A direct connection with customers and a purpose-driven brand footprint. Therefore, an emphasis on digital and influencers will be critical going forward. However, the best way to do that is to study the market deeply and inclusively. 

This for me is the game, set and match in 2021 & beyond for year around fan engagement.

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AQ
✅ Leadership & Marketing✨The Man Who Did It Twice In India For Brand Pakistan✨Ex-CEO at Top 2 Media ARY & Jang Group✨Ex-Contributor Khaleej Times & Dawn✅ Founder Starring Brands
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Sonali R
Sonali R

Oh my God. AQ you keep surprising us. Love your blog. Is there anything you don’t market? just kidding 🙂

Abdul Majid
Abdul Majid

Great Marketer

Zhang Wei
Zhang Wei

E sports is huge beyond imaginations

Faryal Faruqi
Faryal Faruqi

Thanks for speaking the truth. Women will win more and more for Pakistan in times to come. Inshallah

Romario
Romario

Everyone knows football is huge and so is Brazil. Pakistan must play and sponsor more football.

Mona
Mona

How very Impressive! Thanks for highlighting women for sports sponsorship.More success to you Asim Qureshi.

Sarah Raza
Sarah Raza

Love this one too. You make the world feel there is still hope. Women will rule sports they just need equal opportunities.

Tory
Tory

Yes!… Give WOMEN equal chance in sports. Help develop the infrastructure facilities as sponsorships. They really haven’t had this for the longest of times in many countries around the world barring few cities. I am sure Pakistan is no different but its really good to see you talking about it.

Rajeev
Rajeev

In India it took long to accept this which is why they developed by investing or re investing into hockey even football kabbadi and many other leagues.. You are right about it.

Beenish Mohsin
Beenish Mohsin

Hello Sir I am your student from Iqra Media Sciences days and regularly follow your blog posts and coverage. We run a digital agency now and would love to collarbone with you on content. Have also inbox details on Starring Brands facebook page. Looking forward to your reply

Asif Sultan
Asif Sultan

My daughter plays cricket and also swimming. I take her for coaching since beginning The Dad in me is protective and proud at the same time.

Oriana
Oriana

Greetings from Miami. Loved every bit of your blog. Wondering if you would love to collaborate on instagram and do videos?

Zhang Wei
Zhang Wei

You speak the truth. Keep it up. Esports is huge and Women also.

Maryam
Maryam

Absolutely! We in Pakistan Need To Diversify Investment and Sponsorship In Sports

Anu
Anu

Wow so good to read this. Pakistani and Indian girls are very talented and times have changed now. Equal opportunity is a must.

Lisa
Lisa

The US Women Soccer Team proved it and one hopes the world follows.

Dr. Saba Raj
Dr. Saba Raj

Thank you Asim Qureshi . Wish Governments in Pakistan think like you.. Come to think girls in sports had highest expectations from prime minister who excelled in sports but did nothing for sports or women in sports

Alessio
Alessio

In Italy Football is popular but we have strong tradition in other sports like cycling, formula one, swimming, basketball, volleyball, rugby, fencing, tennis and athletics. Yes you are right about developing sports as diverse and inclusive. Now even e sports is popular and growing.

Pavel
Pavel

Yes sports can do wonder for nations.Czech Legacy Emil Zátopek Olympian of the Century Winner and Best Athlete in the World Voted 3 times

Pavel
Pavel

Jagr : The highest scoring European in NHL history  is also Czech

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