Consumer Promotions

Six tactics to drive sports-themed sales promotions

The thrill, entertainment and emotive experience that emanates from live sports attracts thousands of consumers to major sports events; giving brands infinite promotional opportunities.

Sports are the one equaliser – even if you don’t have ‘elite athlete’ or ‘professional golfer’ in your LinkedIn summary; sports are where we all connect.

Whether it’s on the sidelines watching NBA playoffs, vying for tickets to World Cup games, or watching the Super Bowl from our home cinemas – sports are where sports fans converge.

So how can brands leverage major sports events in a way that is interesting, relevant and enhances the consumer experience of both the promotion and the game?

We’ve outlined six key tactics to consider for any sports themed promotion, highlighting some memorable and creative promotions that engaged sports-obsessed consumers.

Brand alignment

Partnership is the optimum tactic when it comes to leveraging major sporting events.

Uncle Toby’s Iron Man is a great example of a long-standing partnership between a brand and sporting event. Over time the values of the sport are attributed to the brand, and the two become synonymous with each other.

Although a large-scale sponsorship could be out of scope for many brands, finding brand alignment with a major sport / sports event can be incredibly effective.

Compelling prizes that make you look twice

Prizes give the consumer a major incentive to take part in the promotional activity and offer brands a way to connect directly with sports fans.

Sporting themed prizes that give the consumer or sports fan a compelling incentive to take part in also generate strong consumer interest.

Teaming up with CrownBet to deliver an exciting and live sports-focused promotion during the Real Madrid vs Man City soccer game, Edge helped CrownBet achieve cut-through and exposure to more than 80,000 sports fan on and off the field.

The Kick to Win 1 Million Dollars promotion had two key components; a compelling prize, supported by a solid risk mitigation solution.

In this winning promotion, one lucky prize winner had the chance to score the million-dollar kick in front of over 80,000 stadium sports fans.

And when it comes to using compelling prizes to build out your promotional tactics, it’s essential to factor in insurance. At Edge we help brands deliver successful promotions by developing tailor-made risk management solutions.

Creative ideas leveraging sporting themes

Creative, innovative and memorable campaigns that are fun and resonate with sports-enthused consumers can deliver strong sales for brands.

In the Game of Drones promotion, we worked with CrownBet to create their Grand Final promotion “Game of Drones”.

One lucky contestant had the chance to catch a $250,000 mini football (out of 40 balls dropped from a giant drone).

The sporting and pop-culture themed promotion stood out during a cluttered promotions period over the finals series.

In a similar way, Currys PC World used a compelling sports themed prize to entice UK based football fanatics.

The Cash for Goals promotion linked Currys customers with the European football tournament, whereby customers who purchased certain TVs had the chance to win 10 pound cash back for every goal their football team scored.

Integrate with wider campaign messaging

It’s important to remember to always link your promotional campaign into any overarching sales campaign messaging and strategy.

In the Chase the Finals promotion, Edge worked with Treasury Wines and built a promotion around their “here’s to the chase” campaign-integrating the promotion with the sports event and larger campaign.

The prize was the real drawcard in this case – spend $20 on Wolf Blass and enter the competition to win AFL Grand Finals tickets for the next 13 years.

Make it simple, easy & fun – with instant rewards

Instant rewards link the live sports experience and build on the entertainment factor at the event venue.

Collaborating with Four’ N Twenty to execute the Pie Time promotion, we achieved cut-through with fans attending AFL games.

During Pie Time, customers who were allocated in the Four ‘N Twenty branded zone at any AFL match at Etihad stadium in 2016 received scratch cards at the beginning of every game.
Between the 20-minute and 24-minute mark in the first or second quarter, each participant scratched their cards to reveal if they had won a Four ‘N Twenty pie.

Cadbury’s Match & Win promotion in the UK is another great example of a brand leveraging live sports to tap into a sizable audience of consumers at one given moment in time.

In the Match & Win promotion, consumers buy a participating Cadbury chocolate bar, unwrap their bar to find a unique online code which they use to receive a predicted match score generated by the website. If the score prediction matches with a real Premier League game result, they are entered the prize draw for that week.

Both the Four’N Twenty and Cadbury promotions are great examples of a brand utilising instant rewards to capture consumer attention in a fragmented environment.

Get your customer talking

Good publicity can be used to kickstart a promotion and get consumers talking.

Just look to South Korean budget airline T’Way who leveraged interest in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games – offering prize giveaways to sports fans who share the name of the curling team’s silver medallist.

GM Holden did a similar promotional giveaway during the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games by giving a golden Commodore to gold medal winners.

And in an AFL obsessed nation in Australia, pet brand Whiskas had people talking when they worked with footballer Garry Hocking to change his name to Whiskas for a locally based brand promotion.

Though large-scale giveaways and promotional stunts aren’t right for every brand, a unique idea can be used to capture attention and could give your brand a relatively low entry to integrate with major sporting events. Just remember to double check any legal / insurance obligations.

At Edge we help brands leverage and integrate with major sports events in an innovative and creative way. Get in contact on LinkedIn – we’d love to have you join us!

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Samantha Currie

Samantha Currie

Promotional Insurance Director at Edge Pri
Thanks to her ability in collaborating with clients and analysing the objectives and commercials, Sam has solidified herself as our go to when you want to talk Promotional Insurance and Risk Management. With a passion for snowboarding, swimming and trying out new trendy Sydney cafes, Sam's active lifestyle compliments her attitude at work, with a true passion for always pushing the boundaries and thinking differently.