COMMUNITY ADVERTISING THROUGH YOUTH SPORTS
LeagueSide connects your brand with people in the happiest moments of their week by making community sports sponsorships easy to execute and measure at scale.
Sponsor sports to build brand awareness
Reach families in the happiest moments of their weeks by sponsoring youth sports organizations. LeagueSide’s platform makes it easy to find leagues to sponsor by location or demographic in our network of over 20,000 sports organizations. From there we’ll handle all the coordination, execution, and measurement of your sponsorships.
Become the neighborhood hero
LeagueSide has a national network of 20,000 sponsorable youth sports and adult leagues, clubs, and tournaments across the country.
We’ll handle the heavy lifting
LeagueSide handles all the coordination, execution, mesasurement, and proof of performance for your sponsorships.
Measure the roi of community involvement
Our team will work with you to develop and measure KPIs like increased likelihood to choose your business, direct in-store profit, and other custom goals.
Community advertising consists of the techniques, practices, and strategies used by a brand to make meaningful connections with a specific community that is mutually beneficial to each individual within that group.
Unlike many other forms of advertising that are centered around getting consumers to purchase a product or service, local community advertising involves building relationships with targeted audiences through numerous channels, including sponsorships of local organizations and sports teams; in-person events, such as farmer’s markets and fundraisers; donations to community facilities, parks, and other assets that community members value; and online outreach, including social media campaigns that support the values of the community.
Brands may choose to implement community engagement marketing campaigns in previously established communities or they may seek to build a unique community of individuals with similar interests within a neighborhood, city, or region. Within this network, marketing teams will focus on building trust through personal conversations and other communications that strengthen relationships. They engage in campaigns that demonstrate genuine support of the values within the community.
What is community building in marketing?
In simplest terms, community building is intentionally connecting to a specific community. The interactions with this type of advertising or marketing engagement will be more personal.
Instead of casting a large net to attract the largest number of consumers possible, a brand engages in community-building experiences by focusing on the unique values and needs of a specific community. This can include finding opportunities to make a meaningful connection during events or with groups, such as local youth sports teams or nonprofit organizations.
Community-building involves building trust through a consistent presence and a long-term commitment, such as through local team sponsorship. Businesses seek to build a loyal customer base through community building. Word-of-mouth, one of the strongest and least expensive marketing strategies, often is a result of community building in marketing.
What are the four major components of community marketing?
For optimal outcomes, marketers often focus on these major components of community marketing:
- Targeting the right audience: Choosing an audience that naturally resonates with a specific brand is one of the tenets of a successful community marketing engagement. Many companies, for this reason, will partner with elementary and high school sports teams. Often, companies will have sports fans among their customers and employees, either through direct relationships with their own family members or through past experiences. The location also is a consideration for a company located within a specific city, state, or region. With a community-focused marketing campaign, marketers generally focus on a smaller targeted audience than they normally would with traditional marketing campaigns.
- Investing in the groundwork. Building relationships requires a deeper understanding of the audience — their values, desires, aspirations, and other qualities that define their community. A marketing team may accomplish this goal by gathering insights through conversations or comprehensive data gathered about the designated communities.
- Making real connections. When building a community marketing campaign, marketers also seek to establish relevant connections with individuals to serve as influencers. Unlike influencers with a social media following, individuals for community marketing initiatives may include leaders known within a community, including parents, coaches, teachers, and community advocates. These personal connections can be significant in building meaningful connections between the brand and the community.
- Customizing messaging. With community advertising, advertising and marketing efforts are very specific to the target audience. To be successful, companies should convey that they understand the values, traits, and characteristics of the neighborhood, region, and specific group.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of community marketing?
The benefits of community marketing are far-reaching. Through more relevant customer-focused marketing experiences, target audiences will enjoy a better customer experience with a company. This type of marketing can lead to gains in customer loyalty. While the benefits of community marketing are extensive, some may consider the time needed to build these kinds of relationships as a drawback.
What is a brand community?
A brand community is a group of people emotionally invested in a brand and what it stands for. They may regularly share the brand’s lifestyle content with friends and family and interact with others in the brand community. Harley-Davidson, REI, Red Bull, and Sephora are among the well-known companies with strong brand communities.
Why are marketers interested in building a brand community?
Marketers have found that the investment in building a brand community — including time and resources — can have payoffs with brand loyalty and brand recognition. Harley Davidson, for example, now has 1,400 local chapters internationally that attract Harley brand enthusiasts who want to regularly meet in person. According to the Harvard Business Review, the company’s focus on building a brand community back in the 1980s saved it from extinction and transformed it into an $8 billion business.
Benefits Of Community Marketing
Marketers in a wide range of industries are now embracing community marketing. This community marketing 2022 enthusiasm comes on the heels of numerous surveys that reveal consumers want ‘community first’ and individualized marketing.
They want to be noticed by brands and treated as individual human beings. They want brands to support the causes they support. These recent surveys reveal that:
- 70 percent of consumers want to know what the brands they support are doing to address social and environmental issues. — Markstein and Certus Insights
- 77% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that share their values. — Havas Media Group
- 77 percent of customers want companies to be helpful throughout their everyday life, post-pandemic. — Kantar COVID-19 Barometer
Companies who have responded by building out this community marketing segment, whether by hiring a community marketing manager, sponsoring local sports teams, or supporting local nonprofits, have realized numerous benefits of community marketing.
Here are just a few of the advantages community marketing can offer:
- An effective way to build brand loyalty. With deeper connections with an audience, a brand establishes itself as integral to the consumer’s circle of trusted sources, supporters, and friends.
- Instrumental in the high rate of brand recall. A brand is better able to stand out from a crowded field of competitors when it develops close interpersonal relationships that have meaning to the consumers and their communities.
- Boosts word-of-mouth marketing. Brand loyalists, those who are truly committed to a brand, willingly share their experiences with the company. They are more likely to recommend a product or service if they have a positive relationship with a brand.
- Lowers the cost of customer acquisition. With strong community marketing efforts, brands can encourage repeat customers, resulting in fewer efforts to market for repeat or new customers.
Local Marketing Examples
A wide range of local marketing strategies have been adopted by small, large, and enterprise businesses. The following creative local marketing ideas are just a few local marketing examples incorporated into numerous campaigns
Also known as local sponsorships, community sponsorships are among the community marketing examples that have been implemented for decades. Many people often consider it a form of “giving back” to society.
As a community sponsor, which may also be referred to as a corporate sponsor, a business can show support for a local youth sports team, a nonprofit agency, or another cause-based organization that has meaning to a local community.
Whether it’s an annual fundraiser, a 5K, a local farmer’s market, a school play, or a town festival, events also rank high as strong community marketing strategy examples. These gatherings are known for bringing the community together. A business can elevate its brand by supporting a sense of community and the positive feelings that are associated with it.
Physical community facilities/assets
Many businesses engage in local community advertising by supporting the construction or maintenance of a community center, walking trails, dog park, information kiosk, bike shares, and other assets that add to the overall community. A business’ logo or other information may be featured on promotional materials or the actual facility.
Community Marketing Strategy
A community marketing strategy establishes a company as a conscientious brand, and allows it to make meaningful connections with customers. The result is an increase in numerous advantages, including brand loyalty.
Many businesses have found that a marketing strategy that includes community marketing is a worthwhile investment, whether they have a limited budget or one that can accommodate hiring the services of a community marketing company.
Involvement in the community is critical in helping a brand build mindshare in a market. Current and future customers often engage in their communities, whether walking along a trail, talking to a neighbor, keeping updated on local news on the radio or TV, attending sports games, or volunteering at schools or nonprofits, you can begin to understand why community marketing is an important pathway to long-term brand loyalty.
Businesses that can establish meaningful connections in a community can expect to maintain brand loyalty for extended periods.
Community Marketing Case Study
In addition to Harley-Davidson, which established community groups internationally around its brand, REI, LuluLemon, and UberEats are major brands that can be analyzed as examples of a community marketing case study.
REI established the REI Co-op, a membership organization that invites like-minded individuals, those interested in the outdoors, to join for $30. In addition to special discounts, $5 of the fee goes directly to the REI Cooperative Action Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that makes grants to nonprofits “that promote justice, equity, and belonging in the outdoors.” Currently, REI Co-op has 20 million lifetime members. Since 1976, the company had invested more than $100 million in organizations that supported its mission to increase access to outdoor places.
Uber Eats dedicated a community marketing strategy to connect with families and communities through a youth sports sponsorship campaign. By connecting with families in specific zip codes, the campaign focused on targeting busy families that — because of active sports schedules — often ordered out 2 or more times a week. The campaign resulted in a significant increase in the company’s brand familiarity.
Lululemon is a brand that often is cited in community marketing books and articles. One of the key strategies Lululemon implemented was to lead a movement relevant to its brand. The company, using “This is Yoga” as its slogan, demonstrated different ways that yoga can be integrated into day-to-day life. The 2017 campaign encouraged brand loyalists to share their personal experiences.
Advantages of community marketing
Many businesses will find advantages in reaching a local audience through a local marketing strategy that builds meaningful relationships with customers in their communities.
Encouraging brand loyalty, enhancing brand image, and incentivizing word-of-mouth are just a few of the benefits that can lead to a long-term competitive advantage.
Community marketing has become an essential element of an overall marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes.