Social Media: A Marketing Dream For Some

Social media is changing the landscape in which we all do business. In particular, sports marketing related to products, apparel and sports nutrition have an audience eager to participate in open forum discussions, thus making it more important for them to jump on the band wagon.

I came across an interesting article yesterday in Chicago Crain’s that talked about the use of social media as a marketing and data gathering strategy by a GIANT in the sports drink or “sports-performance innovator” (as they would like to be called) market.

Gatorade like many other companies these days are utilizing social media to monitor what consumers are saying about their products…god and bad.

Launched in April, Gatorade Mission Control is credited with engaging
consumers and informing the brand’s strategy. The team has had more
than 2,000 one-on-one conversations with consumers, while the brand’s
likes on Facebook have skyrocketed to 1.2 million, reaching the 1
million milestone a full five months ahead of schedule. Mission Control
is credited with increasing mentions of G Series Pro, a subset of the G
Series, by 9% on Facebook and Twitter.
See full article here: Inside Gatorade’s social-media “Mission Control”

What a lot of companies, especially sports performance companies, are realizing is that investing time and money in social media allows them to identify with their consumers on a real-time basis and help react to consumer demand much more quickly. Let’s face it…there’s really not a more finicky, snobbish consumer base that us, the athletic community. We love our products, our fitness gear, our supplements, our health food…and we will defend and support our beloved brands till the very end. (I love Hammer Nutrition and I love Nike gear!)  

As everyone from star athletes to everyday joe’s tweet, facebook post and blog about their own experiences with the products they’re using, they create a community of followers and create real-time discussions about the products. The people who read and listen to these discussions are much more likely to act upon recommendations from a trusted source than a 30 second commercial from the company itself.

Now, I’m not suggesting that commercials and print ads are going away anytime soon but as less and less people watch TV in “real-time”, (meaning they don’t DVR the show and fast-forward through commercials) social media and blogs are going to become more and more important as a way for these companies to stay connected to their discerning customers. And as you already know, the sports nutrition industry changes almost daily. It’s a huge and growing market and it is only going to continue to get bigger.

As a side…Nike has 7 company-sponsored facebook pages and more company twitter accounts than I could count, in every dialect imaginable and who is better at setting trends in the sports marketing arena than Nike?


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