Twitter, the 140 character social media outlet has undoubtedly changed the way we look at icons we revere. What once started out as a forum for sport athletes to stay connected with their fanbase is now taking the shape of harnessing brand engagement viz. sport marketing. Notice, I will not use the term ‘sports marketing’ throughout my piece as I’m a firm believer of Stephen Hardy and his thoughts on ‘sports marketing’ connoting an industry of highly diverse and un-coordinated segments with little commonality.
Twitter is a boon for sport fans tracking every move of their much cherished sport athlete and wanting to stay connected with their idols beyond the tube or at a distance from the action. Sport brands till date have utilized Twitter as a means of creating noise for their campaign as an ancillary through hashtags. Hashtags though do not ensure foolproof success or top of the mind recall for any particular campaign. Just as the concept of a product life cycle, even Twitter Sport Marketing campaigns in my view have a life cycle spanning a few days or at most a couple of months.
In order to effectively engage the audience and fans who track every movement and development of their favorite athletes, brands need to reach out via personal endorsement on Twitter. Imagine the sway avid sport athlete tweeters like Rafa or Djokovic will have over their loyal followers when they imbibe the brand and its characteristics within their daily tweeting routine. Personal brand endorsement will not only help major sports brands reach its intended audience in a cost effective manner but also ensure brand advocacy and top of the mind recall which is extremely difficult to achieve via mass media campaign.
The trick here lies in sport athletes advocating brands sporadically and not as a TVC wherein one is engulfed by commercial aspects of the product. Through a right mix of moral judgment and indirect consumer appeal, brands can effectively evoke the consumer to take action thereby directly impacting demand.