What is Sports PR?
Sports public relations is promoting teams, individual players and sports organizations through earned media channels—including broadcast, print, radio, and online media outlets. Sports PR targets editors, producers, reporters, writers and anchors at mass media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and the Sports Journal.
Athletes today work under a microscope held by the media, their fans and the general public. Because of this, strategic media management is extremely paramount. Sports PR works to build and maximize an athlete’s image potential, allowing the player to focus solely on perfecting their specific craft.
How Sports PR Works
Foster relationships between Organizations and the Public
Strong media relationships are important in Sports PR because they help convey understanding, acceptance and communication between the public and the sports organizations, athletes, or leagues.
Build—and Check for—Credibility
In Sports PR, a good reputation is key on both sides—the media wants to work with someone who is reliable, knowledgeable and garners results, and teams and players want to work with someone who can tell their story best. This includes the sports public relations firm that you hire as well. It’s important to research each media outlet and determine what stories would be the best fit.
Get in the Spotlight to Create Publicity
This can be done by encouraging clients to attend high-profile goodwill events, volunteer, or work with well-known companies. The stronger the positive image, the more favorable media coverage will be.
Staying aware of where our clients names happen to pop up means we're able to build upon any hint of curiosity sparked by the general public. Harnessing that want for insight and flipping it into a way that gains popularity, credibility, and trust is a Sports PR technique that requires quickness and patience.
Going Beyond Seasons
Sports PR shouldn't end once the season ends. By ensuring the year-long credibility of our clients we're able to increase team and player attractiveness, therefore also increasing team and player value and revenue.
Sports PR Best Practices
Utilize Social Media
Looking at the following numbers of some today’s top athletes, there’s no doubt sport PR utilizes this social media as a channel for connecting with the public. Using several different platforms helps garner and maintain reporter interest while maximizing audience reach. This also helps in the case of a sports crisis and being able to spread your message to the maximum possible audience. It also allows your client to keep the public updated with professional and life events—a familiarity that is hard to achieve with other mediums.
Connect with fans
Strong fan bases are loyal and eager to engage, making them great ambassadors. There are several different ways to connect with fans through social events, volunteer work, social media, meet and greets and more. Fans are vital in sports and are therefore a vital in Sports PR, so keep them high on the priority list.
Quickly and cautiously approach crisis management
Through studying the media and recognizing multiple points of exposure, utilize current conversation to take back control over a team or player's narrative and craft appropriate and placating responses, keeping in mind any potential legal ramifications and attempting to alleviate them as effectively as possible.
Become familiar with reporters from all publications
Focus on building a repertoire with a variety of publications, including national and local. Different stories are suited best for different platforms, so it’s never a bright idea to ignore the smaller publications in favor of the larger ones.
Build and protect public image
The image projected in the public's mind is the image that stays with them for the long-haul. Always make sure to get a head start on creating a team or player's image early and protecting it against any inevitable slander that works to combat it, securing their place in the public's and fans' positive perspective.
Identify and secure sponsorship opportunities
By seeking, managing, and securing sponsorship opportunities that fit a team or player's image, you eliminate busy work from your client's schedule and secure their best interests and future.
Individualize media training
Being media trained doesn't mean sounding like a robot. By helping your client architect and master a voice that is uniquely theirs, they're able to secure more interviews on tv, radio, and online media — creating a presence that hosts will only be able to find from them alone.
Utilize targeted publicity
Tracking the online mileage associated with a player or team's public image allows Sports PR experts to discern and zone in on a target audience, making sure they stay in the know about their favorite player, team, and brands associated with them.
Practice proactivity and reactivity
The difference between proactive and reactive PR is the difference between offensive and defensive plays. When it's time to play offensively, it's time to take a proactive stance, searching for any possible opportunities to help maintain and gain public favor. When acting on the defensive, reactive PR is practiced, responding to any positive or negative media perception and focusing on alleviating and building a player or team's reputation.
Compile and analyze statistics
Paying attention to and utilizing statistics in everyday work is the difference between an educated hypothesis and a loose attempt. In order to fortify relations between firm and client, make sure all marketing moves are back by tangible data.