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OPINION: Cut Your Sports Marketing Budget And You'll Miss All Those (Eye) Balls

April 6, 2009: It's pretty hard to avoid the pitfalls of our stressed economy, and it's pretty hard to meet someone who has not had to adjust their budget to make things work. But if you think that every company is General Motors - which slashed its sports marketing budget and its biggest spokesperson, Tiger Woods, in a major overhaul to make ends meet - then the sports events of this week should set things straight. Far from avoiding the spotlight, marketers are taking center stage on TV and in person this month at such events as the opening of the 2009 MLB season, the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's basketball final four, the NFL draft, the WNBA draft, the NBA playoffs, the NHL playoffs, the Masters in Augusta and the Boston Marathon. Budgets may be lower then in past years, and hospitality amenities at some events may have taken a hit. But the bottom line is that marketers want to be where consumers congregate, and that means getting in the face of baseball fans, college basketball fans, NFL fans, NBA and NHL fans, golf aficionados and marathon runners. Open day for baseball fans is as major an event as it has ever been. Checking on the NFL draft is a 24/7 event for football fanatics. And even if the NBA playoffs don't really get interesting until mid-to-late May, Kobe, LeBron, D-Wade and company are keeping interest high. This, however, is not a quest to keep you sports marketing budget so high that in interferes with the rest of your operation. Rather, it's an indictment of those companies who have gone or plan to go from 60 to zero and think they won't miss the eyeballs of sports fans nationwide. Back to Home Page


Upcoming Events in April

April 6: NCAA Men's Basketball Division I championship game, Ford Field, Detroit
April 4-7: IOC officials visit 2016 Summer Games bid city Chicago
April 5: MLB season opens
April 5-7: NCAA Women's Basketball Division I Final Four, Scottrade Center, St. Louis
April 6-12: The Masters, Augusta National Golf Club, Ga.
April 9: WNBA Draft, Secaucus, N.J
April 15: NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begin
April 16-19: IOC officials visit 2016 Summer Games bid city Tokyo
April 18: NBA Playoffs begin
April 20: Boston Marathon
April 26-27: NFL Draft
April 26: Flora London Marathon