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Arkansas State University

Learn About Sports Marketing With an Online Master’s Degree

The sports industry is an exciting, fast-paced industry that continues to grow even as it struggles to compete for the attention of Millennials in a crowded entertainment marketplace.

If you are a professional working in the sports industry, Arkansas State University’s Online Master of Science in Sport Administration with its course in sports marketing can help you gain the skills you need to develop successful marketing strategies in this rapidly changing environment.

The Rise of Millennials in the Marketplace

Sports marketing has been described as the “engine that drives sport business” by Gregg Bennett, a professor at Texas A&M University and founder of the Sport Marketing Association. Thanks to a generation of Millennials coming of age, that engine might need an overhaul in the years to come.

According to an article in the Triangle Business Journal, the country’s 75 million Millennials now comprise its largest generational group. They’ve also grown up and entered the workplace with a worldwide purchasing power of more than $10 trillion.

Understanding Brand Loyalty in the Age of Millennials

A recent Business Insider article shows how Millennial preferences led to a drop in sales for a number of items — from napkins and beer to yogurt and bars of soap. The report also mentioned several sports-related industries, including gym memberships, golf and football, where brand loyalty is in decline thanks to Millennials and their buying habits.

But is brand loyalty itself really dead, or is it just that brands including sports teams haven’t figured out the best ways to engage with Millennials in the digital age?

As recently as 2015, an Inc. article cited two studies by Elite Daily and CrowdTwist that lauded Millennials as the most brand-loyal generation thanks in large part to social media. According to the article, the two reports yielded some interesting statistics on how Millennials are engaging with their favorite brands:

  • Roughly 50 percent are using social media or other internet-based tools to interact with networks and influence buying decisions.
  • 5 percent use social media to spread the word about products or services.
  • 62 percent are more loyal to brands that engage with customers on social media.

Retuning the Sports Marketing Engine

The above data suggests that Millennials are still worth pursuing for brand loyalty. Creating loyalty, however, means developing a better understanding of how to engage with them in ways most likely to generate long-term relationships.

For professionals in the sports industry, this means understanding some key trends identified in a recent Campaign article:

  • Sports marketing is shifting to new, different platforms including live feeds on social media.
  • Sports fans are demanding a much more engaging, immersive experience in which they feel closer to the action.
  • Sports marketing is shifting to be more lifestyle- and entertainment-oriented with younger fans expecting sporting events to be more like other entertainment events.
  • Sports marketing culture is becoming more inclusive, moving away from targeting males almost exclusively to finding ways to appeal to a female fan base, too.

For professionals in the sports industry, developing a solid understanding of sports marketing is more important than ever. Arkansas State University’s Online Master of Science in Sport Administration with its course in sports marketing can help provide the educational foundation for a successful career in the industry.

Learn more about the A-State online Master of Science in Sport Administration program.


Sport Marketing Association: What We Do

Triangle Business Journal: Millennials Are Shaping the Future of Business. Are You Ready?

Business Insider: Millennial Preferences

Inc.: Study: Millennials Are the Most Brand-Loyal Generation

Campaign: What You Need to Know About Sports Marketing in 2017 and Beyond

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