Sports marketing on TikTok is rapidly growing in popularity.
From apparel companies to professional sporting teams, TikTok is a playground for brands with an active aura.
To make the most of TikTok, it’s important to observe what others are doing on the platform. You should take stock of the latest TikTok trends and identify best practices in sports marketing.
There are so many nuances to creating a great TikTok strategy, and each sector has its own style based on the way users interact with brands on the social network. For example, sports brands behave differently to cosmetic companies, real estate agents, or restaurants on TikTok.
Below are five examples of sports marketing on TikTok that I believe typify this sector and emphasize the tactics that are working right now. Feel free to use them as inspiration!
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1. Arsenal – Soccer
I’m kicking off this list with Arsenal because it’s one of the most recognizable sporting brands in the world. Its TikTok following is big, highly engaged, and they’re creating some amazing content.
There is a heavy focus towards entertainment with Arsenal’s videos – which makes sense because that’s the core of what TikTok is all about. It’s about how entertaining you can be in as short of a timeframe as possible.
The example below typifies this essence of entertainment. Arsenal posts regular “trick shot” videos to inspire and engage with their fans.
You’ll also see this account having tons of fun with content on the training paddock, with concepts such as “Top Bins,” the “Crossbar Challenge,” and “Goal Recreated” as some of the best examples. They utilize video thumbnail quotes to promote each type of content:
What does this mean for you? Well, it’s important to remember that TikTok is an entertainment platform. As well, your ideal fans will enjoy watching content related to your sport. You don’t need to overcomplicate your videos to capture these two things – the sport does the work for you.
2. Puma – Sports Apparel
Of course, sports marketing isn’t only for teams. Apparel brands such as Puma are having great success on TikTok, too. Seeing Puma creates gear for numerous sports, they diversify their content accordingly.
One tactic this brand uses very well to engage with users on TikTok is to look back at its brand history. No matter how big your business is, people still like to know where you came from and what your story is.
Puma created the branded hashtag #PUMAVault to share surprising and often interesting snippets of old products, marketing campaigns, and information about its history. Here is an example of one of the posts:
The lesson? Don’t be afraid to revisit your roots and share the history of your brand. Be vulnerable and drop your guard by revealing past mistakes, quirky old products, or silly marketing initiatives. It will increase the personal connection with your followers.
3. Planet Fitness – Gym
Planet Fitness also made my list of sports marketing examples for Instagram, and I’ve included them again to reiterate how strong their presence is across all platforms. It’s a great case study for other sporting brands to draw inspiration from.
The key to most of Planet Fitness’ success on social media is fairly simple. It comes back to their highly recognizable purple brand color. You’ll see this powerful purple color in their gyms, in their logo, and of course, in just about all of their TikTok videos.
Even if the video doesn’t include purple organically (such as from their gym equipment, clothing, or other elements), they utilize the TikTok comment overlay feature to showcase it:
This not-so-subtle use of a strong brand color is extremely memorable and reinforces the Planet Fitness brand over and over again.
Maybe your brand doesn’t have such a dominant color in its logo, or your style isn’t as vibrant as Planet Fitness – that’s ok. You can still learn from what they’ve done across their social channels. Identify the key elements of your brand which makes you unique – it may be a color, it may be a slogan, or it may just be a feeling. Whatever it is, ensure it appears in all of your content.
4. Miami Heat – Basketball
If you check out most professional American sporting teams on TikTok, you’ll notice that they aim to create a theme that talks to their home city. The Miami Heat NBA team is a prime example of this.
They showcase local artwork and businesses, typical Miami high-end fashion, the famous nightlife, and more. They even used the #voguechallenge trend to showcase one of their players – it typifies Miami AND gives the fans what they want, an insight into the players.
Showcasing their players doesn’t stop there, and it’s something you’ll see happen with most sporting teams on TikTok – after all, the players are the people that the fans admire. This goes behind-the-scenes on a Heat media day to give fans an insight into what the players are up to:
Just like Planet Fitness, the Miami Heat know their brand, and they make it prominent in all TikTok content. They also have a high proportion of content about their players. If you’re marketing a sports team, leverage the profile of your players to increase fan engagement and show a personal side to the brand.
5. WWE – Wrestling
For something a little different in sports marketing, I’d like to draw your attention to the WWE. Whether or not Pro Wrestling is a sport… I’ll let you be the judge of that!
Sport or not, they know how to market a sporting concept on social media. The backbone of everything the WWE does is its action-packed content. After all, content is their entire business.
You won’t be let down when you check out the WWE TikTok; there are hundreds and hundreds of videos that have amassed over 211 million likes. Wow! Event promos, flashbacks, match highlights, interviews, and more. There is content for every WWE fan on this page.
One tactic the WWE use on TikTok is to have a bit of fun every now and then with an interactive game featuring some of its staff. It’s not always about the superstars, because the staff can put themselves in the shoes of a fan. For example, this simple head-to-head game between two WWE staff where they guess the theme music for superstars generated tons of engagement:
The takeaway? TikTok is addictive, and users crave a LOT of content. If you can produce tons of great videos and diversify the style, you’ll hook your fans into a vortex that they may never come out of. In a good way, of course!
One type of contest you may like to try is a TikTok contest where you have fans get creative with a TikTok dance or challenge reflecting their love for your brand. ShortStack makes it super-easy to set them up so you can collect leads, too!
Perhaps more than any other social platform, TikTok encourages you to have some fun. Drop your guard and connect with your audience with diverse content types, games, contests, and plenty of player-driven behind-the-scenes clips. Intertwine this content mix with lots of sporting highlights and some on-brand messaging, and you’re onto a winning strategy.