Sports are loved all around the world, which is why athletes make an excellent marketing centerpiece. Marketers have realized that the popularity of sports and used this to their advantage for advertising and other marketing campaigns.


Sports Marketing

Sports marketing uses any and all sports forms to help sell goods and services and is not limited to just professional teams and athletes. Due to growth in sports popularity, marketers will use minor leagues, college athletics, and alternative sports in their marketing efforts.

This form of marketing is more than just signing a player for a marketing campaign. Since sports can be watched, played, and enjoyed in many ways, sports marketing can take many different forms. Signing a famous athlete for endorsements is a popular option, but companies will also buy advertising space inside stadiums, purchase airtime during scheduled events, purchase space on team jerseys for a logo and much more.



Winning Examples

Putting athletes on the front and center of a marketing campaign can help a business grow. The most significant advantage of sports marketing is that it allows marketers to piggyback on the fame and devotion many fans feel towards their beloved teams and athletes. If you love a particular athlete, and this athlete is promoting a brand, you are more likely to purchase that brand over competitors due to your devotion to the athlete.


Adidas & Lionel Messi: One of the world’s most recognizable soccer/football star is Lionel Messi. Adidas took advantage of Messi’s big name and built a sponsorship with him. Currently, Messi and Adidas are in a lifetime deal which requires Messi to promote the brand until the end of his playing career.

Under Armor & Stephen Curry: In 2013, Under Armour signed Curry after Nike presented a low offer. The NBA champion and MVP initially had a deal with Nike but ended up working with Under Armour. Sales from Curry’s basketball shoes continue to rise, and states Curry’s popularity and his impact on the overall Under Armour brand is attributable to a rise of $14 billion for the company.

Nike & LeBron James: Although Nike missed out on Curry, the company still has their fair share of athletes. Lebron James, another basketball superstar, may have the biggest sports endorsement deal of all time. His lifetime deal with Nike is pegged at $1 billion, and LeBron has the best selling NBA signature shoe of all time.

Many Companies & Simone Biles: Similar to the previous three athletes, Biles is partnered with many companies such as Nike, Hershey’s, United Airlines, Kellogg’s and more. A more recent deal for Biles is with Mattress Firm, who is headquartered in Bile’s hometown of Houston. Mattress Firm is aiming to use Biles to bring awareness and support to foster homes.


Mitch Levy has been a sports fan his entire life, which led him to spend nearly 30 years in sports broadcasting. Read more of his sports blogs or check out his Twitter for recent sports coverage.