Getting Smart with Digital Media

In a world run by digital media, it’s difficult for people to follow just one sport in this day and age. I’m a 19-year-old Sport Marketing student at Leeds Beckett University, raised in a rugby union family, surrounded by the Football whirlwind around the world, and the Rugby League and Cricket in Leeds.

Digital media is what connects the world with sport. I personally use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with my favourite rugby team – Harlequins. I follow the clubs and a fair amount of the players to get an insight into the life of a professional sportsman and to get information such as team sheets and transfer rumours quickly.

It is an incredibly quick and effective way for fans to gain the sports content they want, as well as becoming more interactive through means such as Twitter polls, and following Snapchat updates behind the scenes at sports clubs such as Arsenal. It also makes sports organisations more accessible on a global scale. For example, Arsenal sponsors ‘Emirates’ are based in the UAE, and as a result digital media platforms such as Snapchat keep fans connected with the club.

The move from traditional marketing to digital media marketing has created a huge opportunity for sports marketers. This is because the market available to them is unlimited, and it comes with absolutely no costs involved.

To put the significance of digital media marketing into perspective, in a single week; 81% of us will use smart phones to browse the internet, 77% to use a search engine, 48% to watch a video, and 63% of us to connect on social media. (Hoppin Online Marketing, 2015)

Having read Integrated Marketing Communications by Mulhearn (2009), it is astonishing to think how much technology has developed in a relatively short space of time. Having read the quote “In a digital world, media content is free of the physical constraints of print and broadcast and can be copied and shared repeatedly, at little or no cost and with no loss of quality” from Mulhearn’s journal, I would suggest that the greatest asset of digital media marketing is that it is limitless, and as a result the possibilities are also endless. Companies have created positions for social media management so that they can interact with customers efficiently and conveniently for the customer. As well as this they can latch on to the latest trends incredibly quickly and custom marketing strategies to incorporate trends in order to drive more traffic to things such as their website.

An example of this is mobile telecoms provider O2’s TV animation advert for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. Although O2 weren’t an official sponsor of the tournament, because they are England’s (the host nation) sponsor, they took full advantage of the tournament by redesigning their front of store logo (pictured below) as well as targeting other demographics which may not be as keen on the sport.

 The animation makes it appealing to children as well as adults, a fantastic way to encourage young people to embrace the tournament –  this is something O2 would benefit from having their name associated with. As well as this, the light hearted nature of the advert highlighting support reaches out to women and also non-rugby fans, as it promotes rugby as a family sport. It has also been quoted by O2’s chief marketing officer Nina Bibby that it wouldn’t put off die-hard rugby fans because they will recognise the players. Take a look at the advert for yourself below.

Will Wood, Leeds Beckett University, Sport Marketing Student

References;

Ghosh, S (2009) Why O2 chose animation for ‘make them giants’ Rugby world cup ad. [Online] Available at: http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1363327/why-o2-chose-animation-make-giants-rugby-world-cup-ad [Accessed: 10 February 2016].

Hoppin Online Marketing (2015) Digital marketing trends of 2015. [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_Ei7CxXwuo [Accessed: 7 February 2016].

Mulhern, F. (2009) Journal of Marketing Communications: From media channels to digital connectivity. [Online] Available at: https://my.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/pid-1190988-dt-content-rid-3569409_1/courses/17506-1516/Mulhearn%20%282009%29%20Week%201.pdf [Accessed: 10 February 2016].

O2 Sports (2015) Wear the rose – make them giants England Rugby animation – full ad. [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXppMqUVMYE [Accessed: 7 February 2016].

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