Friday, December 15, 2006

2007 Sports Marketing Predictions

As 2006 comes to an end, it is always interesting to make predictions for the upcoming year. Below is a list of events I believe will take place in the sports marketing/PR world in 2007. Some of the bullet points on the list will be obvious while others may be a little more "out there." On to the list:

· VIP Experiences will be the hot topic in 2007 – More and more companies are developing VIP-related sports marketing experiences for Baby Boomers and Top 100 companies. People are willing to pay for the experience to have an opportunity to see what it's like to be a VIP attending a sporting event.

· The MLB All-Star Week sponsor will generate a lot of noise – With the passing of John Hancock as the All-Star FanFest sponsor, MLB will look to work with the new sponsor to really generate some additional exposure in San Francisco. Over the last two years, John Hancock did not promote its involvement with the event. While MLB can secure more than enough exposure itself, it can’t hurt to be on the same page with sponsors.

· Red Sox ticket prices, paraphernalia and sponsorship opportunities will go through the roof – With the expected influx of Japanese tourist to see Dice pitch; it is going to be a lot more expensive to purchase tickets off the street. It’s also safe to say that the Red Sox and FSG will not have a hard time filling up all its sponsorship openings this year.

· Boston sports teams will take the lead against scalpers – The Patriots recent push to go after scalpers could have a ripple affect throughout the sports world. I would not be surprised if the Sox, Bruins and Celtics ownership are watching how this plays out and may jump on the bandwagon against scalpers sooner, rather than later.

· The World Marathon Majors will generate noise in 2007 – Last year, the top five marathons around the world joined together to create a new marathon series. The series ends at NYC in November. Since they now have a point system in place, I think you will see more interest in the sport moving forward. Reebok recently announced it is planning to launch a national running campaign starting in April – in conjunction with the Boston Marathon (assuming here). The Marathon series will never attract a lot of mainstream sports fans, but it might become the hot niche sport for a season or two.

· No Top Five Golfer is going to care about the Fed Ex Cup after this season – I envision all the golfers will try to compete this season to win the Fed Ex Cup since it’s the first year in existence. Some golfers might even compete in 2008 to try to win the Cup as well. Once they win it, I doubt they will ever come back. The top golfers don’t need the money and only want to win the “majors” so it will be interesting to see if Federal Express is satisfied with their ROI.

· The NHL will make a comeback – The NHL is finally learning how to promote their sport after the lockout. They are profiling their younger players and signed an NFL executive to handle their sponsorships packages (I believe). What is amazing is the league had unbelievable success drawing fans to the games, but people didn’t watch the action on TV. Maybe, that’s because no one could find where Versus is located on cable.

There are definitely other predictions I could make, but I believe this is a good start. 2007 will definitely be an exciting year for sports marketing and PR.


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