Sports influencer marketing is taking off—here’s the play-by-play

by | Apr 9, 2019 | Public Relations

Influencer marketing is quickly becoming a staple marketing channel for amateur and professional sports teams—with no signs of slowing down. In fact, new research from Cascade Influencers finds that more than 65 percent of sports marketers agree that influencer marketing programs are a necessity for a brand’s success in today’s digital world.

In the U.S. and Canada, 45 percent of sports marketers increased their budgets for influencer programs from 2017 to 2018. Further, nearly 25 percent of sports marketers spent more than $20,000 on influencer programs in 2018.

In addition to the financial investment, these programs also require a significant time investment in order to be effective and strategic in approach. From identifying the best partnerships to negotiating sponsored fees, approximately 35 percent of sports marketers who are running influencer programs spend more than 20 hours a month managing the process and nearly 10 percent of those marketers are spending more than 80 hours a month on management.

Sports influencer marketing is taking off—here’s what’s happening

“When compared to organizations similar in size in other industries, sports entertainment companies are much slower to adopt influencer marketing,” said Matt Diteljan, co-founder at Cascade Influencers, in a news release. “While other industries have been pouring money into influencer marketing for years, sports entertainment companies are just now starting to jump on the bandwagon.”

Sports influencer marketing is taking off—here’s what’s happening

What’s driving interest?

The financial influence of Generation Z is estimated to be between $29 and $143 billion of direct spending by 2020—and sports marketers are taking notice. As the most socially conscious demographic, they turn to social media and network comparisons much like their millennial counterparts. Sports marketers are seeking new ways, like influencer marketing, to connect with Generation Z for this very reason. In fact, more than half of survey respondents listed Generation Z as the most important segment of their brand.

“This new generation of consumers is hard-working, pragmatic and values transparency,” said Diteljan. “Generation Z is looking for people like them whom they can trust, and influencer marketing is where that starts. They don’t want brands to produce ad copy; they want brands to create relevant and valuable content.”

Sports influencer marketing is taking off—here’s what’s happening

As influencer marketing continues to grow rapidly in the industry, sports marketers will need to learn to play by the rules set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Less than half of survey respondents were aware that FTC regulations govern partnerships between brands and influencers. Without proper #ad and #sponsored disclosure on an influencer’s sponsored social media post, brands are at risk of FTC violations and penalties.

According to the report, sports marketers will continue to grow and expand influencer marketing programs in 2019.

Read the full report here.

Sports influencer marketing is taking off—here’s what’s happening

The results presented in this report are based on a total of 65 surveys completed among a random sample of U.S. (n=42) and Canadian (n=23) sports marketers. All surveys were completed online via an outbound solicitation sent to a cross-section of sports marketers in the U.S. and Canada.

Daily PR Updates

Essential PR industry news, opinion, and analysis delivered to your inbox daily.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

RECENT ARTICLES

Targeting the right publications to maximize your links

Targeting the right publications to maximize your links

While some agencies might rely on large-scale mail merges and bulk outreach to secure backlinks, placing content with journalists has to be more than a numbers game if you want to be able to meet higher KPIs and faster turnaround. Brute force, after all, can only go...

Is WFH productivity becoming an issue? Most employees say yes.

Is WFH productivity becoming an issue? Most employees say yes.

Remote work is a big part of the “new normal,” at least for now, but productivity is becoming an issue for employees working from home, according to new research from business news and how-to website The Manifest, which finds that only 3 in 10 employees say they’re...