In the business landscape of media exposure there are many forms of marketing and advertising that a company can choose in order to promote their business. Whether it is traditional outlets like television, radio and print, or newer online media such as Facebook, YouTube or TikTok, a business can easily become overwhelmed on what the best form of marketing is to stimulate growth in their business. Because of the fear of missing out and using the same forms of marketing as other businesses, this will create the prototypical shotgun marketing. Shotgun marketing is when a business, much like a shotgun that expels small pellets into a large, spread out area, attempts to raise brand awareness to a large, non-specific group of people opposed to a targeted campaign with specific demographics.
The Shotgun Approach
Many times, the shotgun marketing campaign is so broad that many, if not the majority, of those who receive the message are not the proposed target of the business. A marketing message that misses the target audience is not only a waste of corporate advertising dollars, but also a waste of time as the message misses the opportunity to engage with the target audience; aiding the competitive businesses to reach potential new business instead.
The main question business leaders should ask is with so many options, if a business attempts to market via every media channel, is the marketing campaign of the business proving to be effective at all? With no defined advertising strategy in place, a business will be flailing in the wind making no traction from the marketing investments that have been made. So, what is the antithesis of the shotgun marketing approach that a business can use? That would be a ‘rifle marketing’ approach that gives a direct and concise shot at a clearly defined customer base within a wholly dedicated target market. Being able to hone in directly to a specific group who meets the criteria for being interested in a product or service will allow a business to experience a higher connect to closed sales rate, thus rewarding the business with a greater return on their marketing investment.
With so many other forms of media marketing and advertising platforms to choose from, why should a business leader consider adding sports sponsorship into your marketing portfolio? A business should integrate sports marketing into their marketing portfolio because sports allows a business to get in front of a larger audience that has gathered all into one place for an extended period. In lieu of a 30-second ad spot that may run at unfavorable times to the business or miss the intended audience entirely, sporting events can offer three plus hours of marketing and advertising potential during the event. A NASCAR event goes even further with its marketing as many of the fans not only attend the race, but will arrive early to in the day to take in the atmosphere of the event, while many fans will arrive days early to camp and take part in all of the weekend festivities. If your target market meets the customer base and demographics of a NASCAR fan, then why would a business not want to take full advantage of this? If you subscribe to the theory that success in sales is simply a numbers game of getting in front of the consumer as much as possible to increase the likelihood of a sale, then businesses should look to marketing in NASCAR where there is a captivated, high volume audience for an extended period.
Another significant benefit from adding sports sponsorship to your marketing mix is it allows a company to leverage the loyalty and passion that comes with a fan at a sporting event. Leveraging a passion fans have for a team or sport takes more than a logo on a racecar or billboard. Building brand support requires a level of engagement that provides a positive image in the view of the fan and shows that the sponsor is fully devoted and supportive of the team or sport the fan judiciously follows. NASCAR undoubtably has the most loyal fan base in all of sports. According to independent research, a NASCAR fan is 56% more likely to engage with a sponsor brand and 39% more likely to be loyal to a sponsor brand. Furthermore, sports industry executives have ranked NASCAR first in sports when it comes to developing opportunities for sponsors to conduct brand engagement.
Once a loyal NASCAR fan fully recognizes a sponsoring company is supporting the sport and/or driver that they follow, it is highly likely that fans will begin to realize the sponsor’s brand over the competitor. If there is a toss-up between two products, the consumer is statistically more likely to choose the company that sponsors NASCAR over the company that does not support the sport. Marketing at some level in NASCAR for the 37-week season, a sponsor will be able to expand the company’s brand recognition across the United States and continue to target new markets to develop increased brand loyalty. It will allow a sponsor to branch out from a regional operation to a national entity and garner support of loyal NASCAR fans.
Without a doubt there are so many media outlets for a company to market and advertise and sometimes it can be overwhelming for a business to know which direction they should focus their marketing spend. Given the facts of sports fans being loyal to their team and NASCAR fans being the most loyal fan base in all of sports, a business owes it to their future success to look into a sport sponsorship and how a sponsorship can build brand recognition and brand loyalty in the marketplace.