Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

The (Sports Marketing) World is Flat: Extending the Event

In TSMWIF on May 27, 2008 at 9:36 pm

This was a big sports weekend in the United States, with NHL playoffs, NBA playoffs and of course Major League Baseball. There were also a couple of other events more singular in nature, but ones that also draw (or have drawn) attention.

On Monday the college lacrosse championship was held (Syracuse beat Johns Hopkins 13-10). The game was held at Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots of the NFL play. Nearly 50,000 people were in attendance. That’s a pretty strong number for a ‘niche’ sport.

On Sunday we had the Indianapolis 500, one of the truly inconic sporting events. It has lost some of its lustre in recent years for reasons I won’t go into here, because what I want to talk about was an issue even when the Indy 500 was in its heyday.

College lacrosse has made it on the sports map – but only for the championship game. The Indy 500 will always get press, but what about the other 15 races each year when the same drivers are racing the same cars?

How can you extend the event beyond just the day or week that it is happening?  I think you have to really change the game and break out of the mold to capture the attention of sports fans who have so many choices. Here’s an example:

Outside of the major golf tournaments, there is still a lot of golf being played by the pros. I’m not a big golf fan, but I know this – The International, held in Colorado, used the Modified Stableford Scoring System. I’m not sure I could explain it, but I remember it because it was the only tournament to be played under this format.

Now, it so happens the tournament has been cancelled, but I think that was due more to scheduling conflicts than the scoring system they used. So, if you are an event organizer, what is your Modified Stableford Scoring System? Is it playing an indoor event outside? Is it using a different colored field? How are you standing out and making your event/league/tournament memorable so people are talking about it even when it isn’t going on? In a flat sports marketing world, you’re event is always on and the competition is every event in every sport.



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