If the mantra for sport events is that fans want to be entertained and transformed through extraordinary experiences, it is no wonder that event managers are pursuing to create new frameworks for sport events. Setting new standards and coming up with differentiated solutions make sense from a business perspective based on the intensive competition for people’s time and money in a hyper modern experience economy where supply often exceeds demand. At the same time, this is a natural step in an economy, which has been distinguished by commercialized growth over the years. Search for a combination of strong tv-ratings (and thus television deals) and sold-out venues seems to be the FINANCIAL parameter for success and is regularly the tipping point for the livelihood of major sport events. Along with this combination, the probability for maximizing sponsorship income, gate receipts, and brand impact while also creating a perfect sport event atmosphere turns to be higher. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE.
Recently, there have been multiple examples of sport events trying to come up with innovative solutions or to re-invent themselves. Here are some examples:
UEFA wants EURO 2020 to be spread over several European countries and cities.
In 2011, AG Copenhagen (a Danish handball club) wanted to set a World record in handball with 30,000+ fans for handball in the national arena Parken.
Michigan State talked about 8-team college basketball tournament to be played at Cowboys Stadium in Texas to open the 2013-2014 season.
Connecticut and Michigan State men’s basketball teams played their season-opener of the 2012-2013 season at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
Michigan and Michigan State played an outdoor hockey game in 2010 at Michigan’s football field for a record crowd of approximately 113,000. The two teams played their first outdoor game in 2001, with approximately 75,000 fans attending.
FIFA appointed Qatar as the host for the 2022 World Cup – let’s play in the desert!
The NFL International Series was initiated in 2005 with a game in Mexico City between Sam Francisco 49’ers and Arizona Cardinals. Two years later, the league expanded to London where Wembley Stadium hosted a game between New York Giants and Miami Dolphins. Since then, there have been more games in London and 1 game in Toronto, Canada. The NFL International Series is a method to globalize NFL’s brand.
The NBA plays several pre-season games outside the US and one regular season game between New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons will be played in London in January, 2013 in the O2 Arena.
The NHL has also played several games outside the US.
On top of that, it has become natural for the best football (soccer) teams in the World to travel overseas to play pre-season games as part of their global brand expansion strategies.
Red Bull is a company, which applies aspects of the strategy listed in this blog post. With Felix Baumgartner’s freefall this year, the company definitely set new standards for televised sport events and sponsorship.
Andre Agassi and Roger Federer playing tennis 692 feet in the air at a Dubai hotel.
London Marathon is the largest annual fundraising event worldwide.
Blending the best female golfers with community outreach is at the heart of NW Arkansas Championship.
Picture is from a pre-season game between HSV and Chelsea at Imtech Arena in Hamburg, a game drawing a large crowd.