What your content marketing strategy can learn from sport

blog, content-marketing, content-strategy

Oct 09, 2019

by 3rdspace


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Aussies love a bit of a skirmish - that’s why we love sport.

If we look at why we love sport, there are some insights that can help brands cut through with their content marketing strategy.

Be brave - Be bold

We’ve just come out of 2 weeks of football finals. The teams that made it to the grand finals were the ones who not only had a strong strategy, but also were prepared to pivot if their game plan was being blocked.

It’s very relevant when it comes to a content marketing strategy - months out, the plan may have looked solid, but when it goes live, it’s not ticking all the boxes you wanted it to. In sport they are AB testing all season - the same goes with your content. If you are having viewer drop off or not getting the involvement planned - be bold and not only AB test but ABCD, re-edit, re-design... and also try things that are not considered “best practice”, as the commentators don’t know everything.

Take it up to the opposition

A bit of friendly heckling will cut through.

As much as we love the skills of the players, we love it when there is a bit of friendly heckling - and when things are not right the fans let the umpire know.

When we ran an audit on the LinkedIn platform of the most engaged content over 3 months, on top was a piece talking about Aldi smashing Coles and Woolies, proving audiences even in a business environment love a bit of a stouch. If it’s done with humour even better; for example, the way Burger King take it up to McDonald's in Europe - but for some reason in this territory, everyone wants to play so safe.

Going up against a leading brand is not for the faint hearted , but if you have the proof points, it can be a way to reposition a brand and cut through with a challenger content strategy very quickly, and if your content is speaking a truth, people will pick up on it and share.

Celebrate your stars 

Yes there is the contest; but sport, like content, is all about establishing who your stars are, whether they be the leader of the business, a personality/influencer, a great piece of creative, your staff or a customer. It’s all about not only highlighting them but also the back story and why they are so relevant to your brand, like the story of Marlin Picket debuting in the grand final for Richmond... it almost became as big as the win itself.

Build a culture that supports the fans and involves them in the game experience

The legendary Kevin Sheedy is a coach that does this better than anyone else, with initiatives way back, like the mums supporter group, that was all about creating community events for mums away from football at the club. I’m sure you can think of a piece of content in sport where a star has taken time to do more than sign an autograph. Make sure your content really works hard to involve the audience, but make it look and feel effortless and genuine.

Admit when you screwed up

A great coach and team will admit when they got the play wrong, as in content marketing. A day in social can be like a lifetime, so if something does go wrong, own it, apologise for it and take immediate steps to fix it. This one may also be useful for a certain referee who called six again on Sunday night...


We can talk content marketing and sport all day, so if you’d like to chat contact us here.


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