The country’s favorite pastime of playing, watching, and hosting sports events is one that rarely sees a decline, no matter which direction the economy is going. The sporting goods business carries a healthy profit margin that nears 50% on a good year, but it is up to the power of your marketing and advertising strategies to bring those customers to your store, and not the growing number of competitors around the block.
The big franchises incorporate their own successful sporting goods marketing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are meant for the little guys. What you can excel at instead is localized and community-driven promotions that will get people buzzing about your brand without needing to throw all your weight into advertising. Here are a few key areas in marketing that you can always improve on.
Infectious Social Activity
Sports fans naturally gravitate towards lively discussions and friendly competitions around their favorite sports. Whether they play for fun or participate in them in any official capacity, it is your job as a sporting goods expert to create conversations around your products. Rather than simply promoting directly to Facebook and Twitter followers, incorporate equipment or brands naturally, either through trending stories or periodic advice/discussion topics.
As a sporting goods expert, it is your job to create conversations around your products.
Don’t forget to dress it up, walls of text aren’t too successful in creating buzz unless you’ve established yourself as a sports authority (no pun intended there). Infographics, memes, and vlogs are going to be reliable sources of hits and activity, so use them as frequently as possible.
Tap into Apps
Ideally, it would be best to have your own personal app that people can download to stay connected to their favorite sporting goods store, using it for coupons, members’ rewards, and other exclusive deals. If you can’t do that just yet, the least you should do is optimize your website for mobile devices and try to invest into some quality mobile advertising.
Participating in fantasy sports with your followers is a reliable and easy way to grow your base, as well as strengthen your brand loyalty well beyond your average sporting goods store. You can also use this as a platform to incorporate store contests, growing your reach well beyond traditional advertising.
Don’t forget Older Audiences
A sporting goods store is often disproportionately geared towards younger, already active members of the sports community. The truth is, there is a lot of untapped potential (and wallets) found in the older baby boomer space that you could try to market towards.
Try to incorporate some older sales people into your strategy, make an effort to encourage the older generation to participate in outdoor activities with their kids or grand kids. You can do this subtly by promoting products that make sports more accessible or take common sports into a different direction that can be played with fewer players and/or less space.
All this effort will definitely pay off in the end, as the baby boomer crowd outspends all other generations combined.