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How the Sports Marketing Industry Uses Promotional Items to Fuel their Campaigns

Closeup of American Football on FieldAlthough athletes have to take a day or two off after a big game to recover, their dedicated fans don’t let up on non-game days. Marketers understand that every fan matters and, as a result, they try to keep the fire burning bright 365 days a year.

There is some talk that Robert Griffin, the long shot Heisman trophy winner in 2012 had promotional items to thank for his victory. Specifically, Baylor College mailed trading cards to voters and sports reporters that featured Griffin.

Baylor assistant athletic director Heath Nielsen commented on this promotional campaign and Griffin’s ultimate success. “Robert won the Heisman through his play and his teammates’ play, but I credit these mailings as being key to keeping his name on the forefront of voters’ and media members’ minds.”

Northwestern University supported Dan Persa’s quest for the Heisman by sending two seven pound purple dumbbells and a pitch letter to 80 big time college sports reporters. The purple represented one of the school’s colors, and the 7 pound weight was chosen to represent Persa’s jersey number.

Here’s what assistant athletic director for communications at Northwestern, Michael J. Wolf had to say about this innovative attempt to get the media’s attention: “We wanted to create a gimmick that would get people talking, and the mailings definitely did that.”

Top executives in the sports marketing industry know that their fans bring the energy, excitement and passion needed for a successful season. Getting the media’s attention in creative ways, and putting together a campaign that creates buzz amongst fans and gets the word out is the ultimate goal of any top sports executive.

Speaking of Sports Marketing: We’d love to meet you in person in Orlando at the National Sports Forum between January 27th and 29th. We’ll be at booth 138. Please stop by!

Image Source: © Danny Hooks –



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