Sports Globalization? It’s A Real Thing! See Why


Fight Passport

      Globalization is the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale (credit: Google).  Technology has sped globalization and the impact it has had on our lives.  Smartphones and social media channels have made it easy to speak, talk, and work with people all over the world. We have this ability right at our fingertips. 10-15 years ago this was impossible.  Within the last decade, globalization has reached the sport industry on a larger level. This trend will continue.

   Some examples are . . . 

  • NFL Playing games in different cities (Mexico City and London)
  • NBC English Premier League broadcasting on TV
  • NBA playing
  • California vs. Hawaii (Football) in Australia

     I was interested in speaking to someone with sport marketing experience in the USA and elsewhere.   Alan Seymour fit this perfectly and describes some of the differences in sports marketing between Europe (UK specifically) and the United States. 

Alan Seymour : The differences in sports marketing across UK & USA are still apparent. However, they are diminishing especially through recent times with advent of Social media. The main ‘tenor’ of this is cultural, social and traditional.

Culturally the USA with their ‘first to market’ adoption historically (notably in golf), evidences this capture and started trends with Sponsorship (e.g. Gene Sarazen 1923) then (Mark McCormack 1964) with Arnold Palmer. These are the founding fathers of sports business/marketing.

Socially USA see sports as business with sales and entertainment driving his approach whereas UK still centered more in the competition and the performance participatory association.

Traditionally sports in UK built and founded around social communities whilst in USA typically commercially ‘franchised’ based.

Some recent examples can be found in fans protest and engagement around Liverpool Football club on price ticketing for new stadium. FSG in website publicity saw the fans as consumers/customers and there was a subsequent protest from fan groups (perhaps echoing the above perspectives of more social cultural traditional as opposed to more sales business orientation from USA perspective?).

The gap is narrowing and social media is driving this, where the fans ‘voice’ through ‘content creation’ has given UK audiences and business more opportunities to deploy the sales & entertainment opportunities.

      I was really fascinated how Alan broke down sport marketing across three different segments.  These three segments were culture, social, and traditional. As we enter the new world of globalization it is essential for sport business professionals to learn the business globally.  In order to stay current and compete, you will need to research and dive into each one of these segments deeper.    Social media has assisted in closing the gap for the UK audience and will continue to do so over the next several years. Alan mentioned Mark McCormack when discussing culture and sponsorship. Mark started IMG in Cleveland, Ohio and completely changed Sports Business. 

    If you are interested in learning more about the differences mentioned above, I  encourage you all to connect with Alan on Twitter @SportMarketing1 . He is very outgoing and willing to help others in the business.

Learn More About Alan And His Work Here


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