2015 is going to continue to be an excited year for sports PR. There are many sports events coming up that will need PR tools to add to their campaign.
Before we get to what PR stunts you should be looking out for, let’s review what we’ve learned about PR and the sports industry:
1. Sports figures are treated like celebrities and are strategically used to be the face of their team or sports league. For example, the all stars of NBA visited The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to be part of the segment, “Tonight Show Superlatives.” This media appearance helped gather awareness, and hopefully viewership, for the NBA All Star game. The NBA All Stars were also the center of NCAA’s campaign for March Madness. Another example is NASCAR uses two of their drivers, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Wendell Scott, to gather media attention. Their driver, Carl Edwards, is also seen as a sports celebrity, which is proven through his sponsorship with Subway.
2. On the flip side, non-sports celebrities are used in PR antics to promote sports leagues as well. For example, MLB and Will Ferrell teamed up to create awareness for the upcoming MLB seasons, all while raising money for Stand Up for Cancer and Cancer for College. As part of the stunt, Will Ferrell traveled to different stadiums and played different positions on the field during spring training.
3. PR is not only used to promote sports leagues and teams. It is also used to create awareness for sporting events. Some examples include: the 30th annual ASICS LA Marathon, who has hired Ketchum Sports & Entertainment to create media buzz for the event; the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, who is the topic of Atos’ press release; and the Super Bowl, who sadly just lost a PR executive, Lee Remmel, who worked the first 40 Super Bowl games.
4. Sports leagues use memorable sports figure as a way to celebrate those players and to create media buzz for their league. For example, MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson on April 15th, since that day in 1947 marked Robinson’s first MLB game. It is an annual tradition for all the teams to wear the number 42 on their uniform. Jackie Robinson Day was trending on social media, which is great coverage for MLB.
With the age of social media, there are many opportunities for the sports industry to reach out to their fans. These PR and social media tools have gathered awareness for the sports leagues and sports events, which hopefully results in increased viewership, ticket sales, and attractiveness to sponsors.
And now, without any further ado, here are the upcoming PR stories to watch out for:
1. Super Bowl’s XLIX “Deflategate”
2. Boston’s 2014 Summer Olympic Bid Campaign
3. NFL Crisis Continuation
4. Major League Baseball Welcomes a New Commissioner and A-Rod Returns
5. Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games Sports Marketing Campaigns