Experiential Sports Marketing : The Ethical Winning Formula to Reach Kids

At what age would you want to start influencing your target segment? What would be the best way to influence the target audience? Would the brand communication to the target audience result in sales growth? These are the type of questions that brand marketers find themselves confounded with throughout their careers. Here, we discuss why it makes great business sense for brands to devise experiential sports marketing campaigns aimed at children.


According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research by authors Paul Connell (Stony Brook University, and Jesper Nielsen and Merrie Brucks (both University of Arizona), brand loyalty was found to develop at a very early age among children, and more importantly, the biases that they formed towards brands continued to have an influence in their adult life. Even on a personal level, one might have noticed this – that children easily memorize and remember different ad jingles that they are exposed to, and when accompanying their parents to stores, often show a preference towards specific brands that they recall. Way back in 2009, Martin Lindstrom, a leading branding consultant, estimated the global purchase influence of children to be as high as $1.88 trillion. Moreover, if you manage to get a customer to be loyal to your products at an early age, they are going to have a very high customer lifetime value for the brand.


Most kids have a very early initiation into sports through their parents. A growing number of school children, especially in urban areas, actively join sports coaching. Also, as compared to adults, kids are able to dedicate a lot more time to playing sports and following them. What this involves is they need to buy respective sports gear and apparel, and often enjoy flaunting the same among their peers.


Yes, that’s right. Through experiential sports marketing, you stand to achieve multiple things. First, engage with kids through a channel that they readily get involved with. Second, you get kids to form experiences with your product for an extended time duration. And third, you maximize the possibility of children developing a preference for your brand at a very early stage in their lives. Thus, through experiential sports marketing, you earn the chance to establish an emotional connect of your brand among kids.


Given the fact that kids tend to have pliable minds that easily get influenced by stimuli, there could be a debate around whether misleading product advertisements are ethical or not. However, there is no such issue when it comes to experiential marketing. Through devising experiential sports marketing campaigns aimed at kids, you end up generating product trials. And in the future, the purchase decisions of the kid are going to be based not on what you claim through your advertisements, but through actual product experiences. Thus, in a way, through experiential sports marketing, you are not only not playing on the influenceability of a kids’ mind, but even at a relatively younger age, you are empowering them to make informed buying decisions. To conclude, in the list of ethical brand promotion methods, experiential sports marketing would rank very high among those. Not just because it is ethical, but also for the fact that it is bound to be highly effective, and leave an enduring impact in terms of cultivating brand loyalty.