How to Sell Picking Sports: Tips for Success

When the 2018 football season arrived, many Americans were ecstatic. The Super Bowl had just ended with the victory of the New England Patriots over the Los Angeles Rams. Now that the championship trophy is back in Los Angeles, it’s time for Americans to shift their focus to the next biggest sport – baseball. If you’re an MLB fan, you’ve probably been counting down the days until the opening pitch of the season.

While it’s true that baseball is extremely popular in the U.S., there’s still a big market for football fans. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 41% of American sports fans said they would switch their fandom to another sport if their favorite team isn’t in the championship hunt. That’s potentially 840 million fans who could be turned to the next highest-profile sport. With the MLB season only days away, now is the perfect opportunity to introduce baseball to the masses.

Why Sell Picking Baseball?

As an MLB agency, we thought about why should a sports marketing agency sell baseball when there are so many advantages to marketing football?

Here are just some of the reasons:

1. Plenty of Leads

One of the primary reasons why the MLB is popular is because there are so many opportunities to get your product in front of lots of people. In the U.S., according to HubSpot Blogs research, the MLB has the third-largest overall audience of any U.S. professional sports league. This year, the Boston Red Sox are projected to have 140 million viewers on television alone during the MLB season. With the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Oakland A’s as the other teams in the AL, and the Washington Nationals, Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves in the NL, there’s always going to be someone watching the game. That’s a lot of potential customers!”

2. Huge Audience

On the surface, the NFL may seem like a more popular sport. However, when you compare it to the MLB, you’ll see that the audience is actually larger. According to HubSpot Blogs research, the NFL currently has an estimated total audience of 1.3 billion people worldwide, compared to 840 million for the MLB. While both sports are incredibly popular in the U.S., the NFL actually has a smaller total audience than the NBA. According to the YouTube Search Engine rankings, the most viewed videos are Shaquille O’Neal knocking down shots during a game vs. Steph Curry shooting hoops. The rivalry between these two popular basketball players is what propelled both videos to the top of the chart – with over 75 million views each. However, Curry’s video was uploaded in April 2017, and Shaq’s was uploaded in January 2018, so it’s evident that fans have been waiting for the other shoe to drop for years.

3. A Niche Audience

Depending on the platform you’re using, the audience for your particular sport may vary. For example, if you’re a WordPress user, you may want to try implementing a Sports section onto your site, as there are plenty of premium themes that can be used to create a niche hub for your content.

For a lot of sports fans, the MLB is a great choice, as they’re already passionate about baseball. If you can get them interested in your product or service, you may have a chance at connecting with this audience and potentially converting them into customers.

4. Brand Awareness

For many companies, establishing brand awareness starts at the top. In the case of the MLB, the top is defined as the Commissioner’s office, as the office of the Commissioner is an important position in the league’s hierarchy. While it’s true that baseball was founded in the 19th century, the sport still isn’t as well-known as it should be, especially in comparison to the NFL. Even the most avid sports fans may not be familiar with all of the MLB commissioners. This is something you can use your advertising to change.

In order to increase brand awareness and build credibility with the public, the MLB uses methods such as;

  • Product Placements
  • Sponsor Activations
  • Social Media Posts
  • Live Chat
  • Mobile App Reviews
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Marketing
  • Conversion Tracking

5. International Awareness

If you’re located outside of North America, the MLB is a great choice for you, too. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 17% of the world’s population is currently following the MLB. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly 476 million people. If you’re a business owner or marketer, you can use this figure to your advantage. In international markets, particularly in Europe, the MLB is surprisingly popular. According to Statista, there are an estimated 382 million baseball fans in Europe, with the Dutch, French, and German markets leading the way. In Asia, where the sport is incredibly popular, there are an estimated 1.73 billion baseball fans, with the Chinese market accounting for nearly half of that figure. If you’re a business owner or marketer looking for international growth, focusing on the MLB may be a good option. It’s important to note that not all American sports fans will automatically flock to the MLB; you may need to find your niche and build a following – before you can appeal to a big chunk of the population.

The bottom line is that the MLB is a great choice for a sport to sell, as there are so many opportunities for businesses to get their products or services in front of a massive audience. If your product or service is related to sports, marketing the MLB may be a great option to consider.