• Howard Wolpoff

Sports Marketing......Locally

Sports Marketing is a form of marketing in which brands use sports entities to connect with both a broad and/or targeted group of consumers. Countless companies and/or brands have used sports marketing to build positive brand awareness, support retail and sales promotions and gain an overall advantage in their market. Common examples of sports marketing include athlete endorsements, event marketing and in-stadium advertising. However, the key ingredient is that these companies are connecting themselves to activity and/or programming that are drawing participation.

In Jacksonville, there are some obvious sports marketing partners, which include the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Jacksonville Suns. Also included in the professional sports team ranks are the Arena Football League's Jacksonville Sharks, the American Basketball Associations Jacksonville Giants and the Jacksonville Axemen rugby team. Purchasing signage, creating in game promotions and placing an ad in their game programs are all methods of sports marketing.

Another way, perhaps even more effective, is to advertise and participate in promotions on a sports radio station. Sports radio is an interactive source for news and discussion about local and national sports teams and athletes. In a local market, such as Jacksonville, the conversation all week will be about the local football team - what happened last week, and breaking news about injuries and analysis of the approaching game. When you have local sports experts who discuss and debate the news issues, take calls from the listening audience and tweet out their additional observations, they become the opinions that the listening audience, the sports fan audience, wants to hear. They also become the best endorsers of a product. Their live commercials will bring a boost to a company's marketing campaign. 1010XL has a majority of our commercials voiced by our talent and producers. Some are even voiced by our sales staff. This also helps connect the advertiser with the station. And from the results our advertisers have been receiving, it confirms the financial strength of our listening audience and the influence our stations programming and advertising has on them.

In his Talkers Magazine article of October 20, 2011, Michael Harrison shared the following about sports talk radio.

• Sports talk audiences are predominantly male –– 77%.

• Sports talk audiences are tremendously emotionally engaged and connected to their stations and hosts. This alone makes them a qualitative goldmine.

• Sports talk radio audiences are, to a significant extent, consumers of ESPN’s television and online platforms. They are also ardent local newspaper readers –– far more so than the listeners of news/talk stations. Approximately 20% say that their favorite non-radio source of sports information is their local newspaper.

• Sports talk listeners love baseball, but their favorite sport is football.

• Sports talk listeners are culturally (and ethnically) diverse. Caucasians constitute only slightly more than half the sports talk audience (51%) followed by African Americans (26%) and Hispanics (19%) making it one of the most multi-ethnic/racial buys in radio. This is a crucially important aspect/asset of the sports talk audience that for the most part is lost on advertising agencies and radio sales departments which are still glued to selling demos as opposed to mindsets. The ethnic diversity of sports talk radio’s listenership is a rare and valuable quality of the format that sets it apart from the rest of radio!

• Sports talk listeners are economically diverse. The curve covering low, middle and high income segments is notably smooth.

• Almost one in five sports talk listeners cite news/talk radio as their second favorite radio format (followed by a tie between country and hip hop/R&B) –– however sports talk skews significantly younger than news/talk as a spoken-word format.

• Sixty-six per cent of the sports talk audience over 18 has attended, are attending, or have graduated from college.

His conclusion is that sports talk radio appeals to vibrant, involved radio listeners and is a powerful tool for advertisers to reach men of a variety of demographics, lifestyles and cultures.

According to Arbitron, the company that provides the ratings and additional statistical data to the radio industry, 41.8 million people listen to sports radio each week. Arbitron provides a profile of sports radio listeners as follows: They are 88% male and 12% female. 48% have annual incomes $75,000 and higher. 34% have some college and 48% are college graduates. They have the male age breakout as

• Ages 12-to-34: 21%

• Ages 35-to-44: 24%

• Ages 45-to-49: 11%

• Ages 50-to-55: 9%

• Age 55 and older: 21%

Sports Business Journal estimates annual sports radio advertising revenues at

$2.2 billion. Although audiences are dwarfed by market-leading rock stations, broadcast analysts say sports stations are a good vehicle for products aimed at the male audience. According to Interep, a radio sales representation firm, more than 65% of sports-radio listeners are men; 70% are ages 25-to-54. These listeners are 81% more likely than all radio listeners to be college graduates; 67% are more likely to have household income over $75,000.

Mark Fratrik, Vice President of the BIA Financial Network states that “Sports radio stations do better in revenue share than they do in audience share. You think that a station that gets 10% of the audience would get 10% of a market’s revenue. But sports talk does better than that because of the target demographic of 18-to-34 year-old males. When you’re that young, you don’t really consume that much media, so the media you do consume is very attractive.” (Sports Marketing 2011).

Radio is a very powerful medium. An effective and engaging sports radio station is the perfect sports marketing partner and will allow you many opportunities to reach and interact with your prospects that you will not find in other entities. Let 1010XL show you how you can drive sales, branding and awareness through our promotional and advertising opportunities. We are always looking for great companies to join our team. Are you next?

#sportsmarketing #radio #jacksonville #local #sportstalk

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