Similar to most industries, the sports event industry suffered monumentally at the hands of the outbreak of COVID-19. Professional sports teams, event organisers, and NGOs had to adapt and accept eagerly anticipated marquee sporting events would have to be either postponed or played in empty stadiums.
It has only been in recent months since the roll-out of the vaccine and booster vaccines have become readily available that we have seen crowds edging towards pre-pandemic levels.
This year provides the first real opportunity for organisations to capitalise on full capacity crowds being allowed back into venues. With this in mind, we taken a look at three crucial tactics that should be used as part of a robust PR and social media strategy to help drive ticket sales for upcoming events.
Always-on press office
An effective and hard-working press office function is essential for informing your target audience about your upcoming sporting event. By building effective relationships with journalists, TV and radio producers that have a keen interest in sport, this will begin to provide you with an opportunity to pitch out insights and key information about the upcoming event.
For example, when we worked with STIHL TIMBERSPORTS, it was the first time the World Championships had been held in the UK, and with being a relatively unknown sport in the UK, it was an opportunity for journalists to cover a fresh topic.
Engaging regularly with regional media that host event listings and family outlets is a great way of promoting upcoming events and driving ticket sales.
Utilising creative assets
New research released towards the end of last year suggests the average person spends almost two and half hours on social media per day, whilst more than half the world now uses social media in some capacity.
Given these statistics it would be foolish to develop a strategy for driving ticket sales that doesn’t’ include activating the power of social media.
Whether it is developing a creative strategy that raises the profile of the athletes taking place in the event or engaging with a paid specialist to generate engaging adverts that can target a particular demographic in specific locations that the event is taking place.
For example, for the aforementioned brand STIHL TIMBERSPORTS we have provided on-going social media support in the form of on-the-ground resource at international events, overseeing all content development whilst providing strategic direction for increased channel growth.
By utilising the stories of the athletes taking part in the event, you’re providing journalists with a fresh perspective to be covered, that should always be linked back to the upcoming event. For example, when we worked with Harlequins during its 150th anniversary year to raise awareness of the club’s landmark sesquicentennial. One of our objectives was to raise awareness of its players both inside the national sports pages and within the national and consumer lifestyle press.
To achieve this goal, we implanted a series of big-ticket player interviews within the UK sports pages and national / consumer lifestyle press, that focused on talking points such as the players’ careers, their pathway into the sport, health, fitness and nutrition.
If you would like to discuss how we could help drive ticket sales for an upcoming event, please get in touch to speak to one of our specialists.