The Four Domains of Sports Marketing: A Conceptual Framework

By Fullerton, Sam; Merz, G. Russell | Sport Marketing Quarterly, June 2008 | Go to article overview

The Four Domains of Sports Marketing: A Conceptual Framework


Fullerton, Sam, Merz, G. Russell, Sport Marketing Quarterly


Abstract

Despite its acknowledged contribution to local, national, and global economies, there is no consensus as to exactly what is meant by the term sports marketing. This conceptual paper attempts to address this deficiency via the development of a new framework that is based upon two key dimensions: type of product and level of sports integration. By categorizing goods and services as either sports products or nonsports products and by differentiating between traditional strategies and sponsorship-based strategies, four sports marketing domains are identified. They are the theme-based, product-based, alignment-based, and sports-based strategic domains. The underlying principles for developing the framework are delineated in this article, and many examples for each strategic domain are provided as a means of illustrating their conceptual differences and how they are implemented.

Introduction to Sports Marketing

The concept of "sports marketing" is ambiguous in its meaning for both practitioners and academicians. Discussions about its application in the popular press and in many textbooks include categories ranging from tickets to spectator sports to sport-related wagers in legal gambling establishments (Shannon, 1999). Some tend to take a narrow view about what the discipline of sports marketing encompasses. To them, the primary task is one of selling tickets and putting fans in the seats at organized sports events (Sports Marketing Surveys, 2002), thereby equating the sports product to tickets for spectator sports. This definition, broadly applied, may include the sale of tickets for minor events such as high school sports and minor league ice hockey, but the prevailing thinking focuses on major sports properties such as an NCAA Division I-A (FBS) college football game, a NASCAR event, the Super Bowl, and the Olympics. Undoubtedly, this perspective reflects the vast marketing expenditures for these major properties.

With the 2008 Summer Olympics fast approaching, Du Wei, the Vice Chairman of the Institute of Beijing Olympic Economy, recently stated in comments directed to Chinese companies that "sports marketing has become one of the most effective of all marketing strategies" (Anonymous, 2006). However, Wei was not narrowly referring to the tasks associated with the selling of tickets to Olympic events. Rather he was using a broader definition by suggesting that marketers of nonsports products can benefit by becoming more involved with the 2008 Olympic Games. But since these firms are not selling sports products, how are their actions characterized as sports marketing? In order to fully appreciate and understand the dynamics and differing perspectives of sports marketing, it is imperative that the task of marketing through sports also be accepted as an integral component of the industry. Coca-Cola has been associated with the Olympic Games since 1928; however, this relationship was not focused on demand creation for one of the world's premier sporting events. Clearly, it focused on the sale of Coca-Cola products. Many marketers use a sports platform as the basis for appeals to consumers across a vast array of products, the majority of which have little or nothing to do with sports. The marketing through sports component of sports marketing tends to be overlooked by some texts (Pitts & Stotlar, 1996). This is unfortunate because it is in this domain where many marketing practitioners are employed and use their skills to implement sports marketing strategies. A comprehensive review of recently published sports marketing textbooks reveals inconsistencies in the definitions of sports marketing (Van Heerden, 2001). This conceptual weakness illustrates the need for including both the marketing of sports and marketing through sports in a broader sports marketing platform that encompasses the entire realm of sports marketing practice. It is the purpose of this article to propose a broadened framework built upon this conceptual dichotomy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Four Domains of Sports Marketing: A Conceptual Framework
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.