Sports Marketing and the Psychology of Marketing Communication

By Lynn R. Kahle; Chris Riley | Go to book overview

Foreword

Those of us who do sport marketing or who study sport marketing are often asked by other marketers, “What makes sport marketing special?” After all, it seems reasonable to expect that marketing sport should be like marketing any other service. For decades marketers have amassed an array of strategies, tactics, and principles that, it is claimed, can be applied as needed to any particular product or service. Surely, then, the challenge is to apply our knowledge about marketing to the task of marketing sport. There should be no need to claim any special status for sport marketing.

Yet events of the past two decades would seem to belie that assumption. Two journals have been founded that focus explicitly on sport marketing (Sport Marketing Quarterly and International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship). Graduate and undergraduate courses in sport marketing have appeared, as have texts on the subject. Half the contributions to the annual North American Society for Sport Management conference and to its journal ( Journal of Sport Management) are about sport marketing. The American Marketing Association has a special interest group in sport marketing, and a new Sport Marketing Association was recently formed. Does all this interest and activity represent the mere application of marketing to sport, or have those who study sport marketing suddenly discovered that there is something special going on?

Actually, the phrase “sport marketing” refers to three very different marketing objectives. One is marketing intended to sell sport as an entertainment. Here the objective is to nurture a fan base and to create audiences for sport. The second marketing objective is concerned with building sport participation— motivating people to engage in sport activities, join a sport club, or take part as competitors in sport events. The third marketing objective has to do with using sport to sell non-sport products or services. Each of these three marketing objectives is represented in this book, and each needs to be considered separately.

-xi-

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