Sports. An escape or a smart marketing strategy?

Sports, whether you’re participating or watching it, has been a traditional escape. And not only for those in the United States, but for people in countries around the world.

Participating in a sport is invigorating and at times, frustrating. But mentally you’re all in and moving towards a goal. And once the endorphins kick in and you finish, winner or loser, you experience a sense of fulfillment. Of doing your best and hopefully, being gracious whatever the outcome.

Watching a sport, whether in person or via broadcast, allows us all the opportunity to be the coach, to be the player with the incredible talent, to play out our frustrations on the field, to enthusiastically cheer our favorites.

It’s also an incredibly smart way to market. While sports marketing has been traditionally confined to energy drinks, attire and shoes, there’s also a strong play to be had for real estate. Whether it be a high-rise condo in the city, or office space in an urban setting.

Think about how condos and apartment communities are marketed today. They’re all starting to look pretty much the same – they check off the boxes in terms of community amenities, ie BBQs, communal kitchen, lounges, fitness center, etc. So if they all pretty much offer the same value proposition, it comes down to price and location. But what if it is more than that? You want residents to desire your brand of lifestyle. The culture you provide. And sports can be part of that. Set up teams within each building and have beach volleyball or softball competitions. British sport nights with darts and beer. Or take the competition in another direction and make it a 5K benefitting a local charity, with prizes for the top finishers. Bringing an element of competition into a community creates true comradery and a sense of belonging. And that will make the ‘brand’ of lifestyle you’re marketing stand out from others. It will also create buzz amongst your residents, which is the most powerful endorsement of all to future tenants.

If you’re the CEO of a company or the one in charge of leasing and creating a productive office environment, you’re curating a culture and a setting for success. For competition. For achieving goals. For coming out on top. In this instance you can not only attend sporting events as a reward for achieving certain goals, setting up internal sporting competitions is also a good way to bond and set the tone for achieving goals. And being a tenant in an office building has become more than simply occupying office space. While landlords will be reticent to provide Google-caliber amenities, they can go beyond the expected and bring sports and competition into their tenant communities. It makes being a tenant in a particular office building something to brag about – something in which tenants will be proud to be a part. Incorporate participatory sporting competitions, viewing events, charity beneficiaries and an event series with celebrated professional athletes.

So in marketing both of these scenarios, why don’t we incorporate sports more often? Some perceive it not to be an apple-to-apples scenario and therefore not germane to the bottom line. But I beg to differ. Incorporating an element of immersion, competition and escape in marketing both condos and office space has been vastly underutilized.

Incorporating sports into your marketing mix can take differing forms, depending upon the desired outcome. It’s worth exploring as part of the overall strategy and when it pervades the messaging and the marketing strategy, the results are powerful and impactful.