Stadiums are awash in the teams’ colors, and in-stadium sales of caps and jerseys do swift business. Sports merchandise is a huge industry. Statista estimates that the sports merchandise market will be $14.55 billion in North America in 2018.
Here are some Internet marketing strategies and ideas to help store’s sports apparel, so your shop is the one fans think of when it’s time to gear up for the game.
Have an online store and an engaging social presence
Make it easy to find you, and easy to buy your merchandise.
People buy more sports apparel in retail stores than they do online. But interestingly, the most frequent buyers’ behaviors are neck-and-neck: Out of all people buying sports apparel, 7.64 percent said they bought online more than once a month, and 7.55 percent said they bought in stores more than once a month. And 8.3 percent said they bought online once a month, compared to 12.5 percent who said they bought in stores once a month.
Your digital marketing for your sports apparel should capture these frequent buyers by making it easy for them to shop or order online. Make sure your website and your online store are both mobile friendly.
If you’re solely a brick-and-mortar store, digital marketing is just as important. Verify your business with Google. Have your customers leave reviews on Google and on your Facebook page. Make sure your address is consistently entered, and that your hours are posted and correct.
Share your social with all your customers and engage in a conversation with them. Have them share their photos with you, especially around game day. Create a hashtag campaign around merchandise or sports seasons.
Consider new channels, and live social
Professional sports are increasingly becoming live social events. Get your store in front of those fans!
Either sponsor traditional digital advertising, or create a way to connect with fans inside and outside the stadium by creating a lot of content to share during the game. Host a contest with fun prizes for fans who share your content the most, or share photos of themselves wearing clothes from your store, and sharing your social presence on game day.
If you focus on a specific sport or city, start a content marketing program and sign up fans for an inbound marketing campaign. By signing up for your email list, they’ll receive news about the season, athletes, sales, new sports apparel, game-day snacks, whatever suits your audience. At the very least, sign them up to send out offers and build awareness.