U.S. Sailing, one of the 45 athletic federations in the U.S. Olympic Committee, presented a leading edge sports management education program this weekend at the Balboa Yacht Club in Corona del Mar. The focus was on how to get the most out of new technology to manage sports events more effectively. All sports and all event managers can benefit from the insights and pragmatic approach. Many of the presentations have been posted online, so that more sports business pros can benefit from this up-to-date expertise.
The first program “Manage Your Image in Class Marketing and Media” covered topics that have become essential in today’s media landscape, when the latest contest results in Durban, South Africa can be tweeted to Marina del Rey in an instant. Presenter Fried Elliott demonstrated practical ways to use photos to enhance the image of a sport.
Elliott reminded program participants that photo selection remains key and shared practical tips for doing this best. He recommends motivational images that can create a connection with the athletes and the sport. Two of the most affective choices are to show winners winning in vibrant settings and racers doing well on the course.
The program also covered basics of competitive research. Elliot demonstrated how the images of individual sports events compete with hundreds of other dynamic images in newsstands, bookstores and Internet sports sites. Finding and publishing that superior cover photo image is a valuable technique to separate your event from this kaleidoscope of images.
Elliott also recommends practical approaches for getting the most benefit out of each photo. He points out that team uniforms and fan gear get into photos all the time. This is an opportunity to shine, with large, bold logos and typography that stand out. Elliot did not mention that this can work against you if team names are too hard to read, but you can surf around the foamcage.com sports sites and see plenty of these images that do not work well at all.
“Manage Your Image in Class Marketing and Media” also emphasized two of the most fundamental principles of marketing — the need to reach out to the largest possible audience and the need to connect emotionally with the audience. He turbocharged the advice with great practical tips of building summary information packages that get sports events noticed with web access and easy ways to access the information.
The program concluded with extremely important information for sports marketing success. That is that firm commitments and robust budgets for multiple-year programs are essential. Ad hoc, sprint and stop, marketing and public relations campaigns simply do not work in the world of sports.
You can review highlights of this presentation online at: http://www.friedbits.com/downloads/2010-ODSS-Keynote.zip.