Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital by Will Blunt - B2B Marketing Expert - Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing.
Did you know that sports marketing emails have one of the highest open rates of any industry?It’s not that surprising, though. Typically sports-themed emails are more about fan engagement rather than selling anything. So people are less intimidated to open them.But it does drive home the importance of this channel for the sports industry.Connecting with fans and followers in their inbox provides a direct line of communication that is unlike any social network. If your sports email marketing strategy isn’t on point, then you’re falling behind the competition.To help you make the most of this marketing channel, I’ve found 6 leading examples of emails from sports brands.
1. Golden State Warriors
[caption id="attachment_50676" align="alignnone" width="520"]
Focus on fan engagement[/caption]This email from the Golden State Warriors is centered around fan engagement. The NBA Draft is one of the most anticipated events of the year for basketball fans and it makes sense to maximize the interest with their audience.This email is beautifully designed and on-brand for the Warriors. But what caught my attention the most was its use of interactive experiences. Beyond the email, they have created an online “Draft Room” where fans can follow the draft live, engage with others, win prizes from giveaways, and much more.What major events are on your sports calendar throughout the year? How could you create a similar interactive experience for your audience?
Raphna is a cycling clothing and accessories brand with global reach.What I love about their email marketing efforts is that they do more than just “sell” products. Most eCommerce brands will only send an email to their subscribers when a sale is on or they want to increase revenue.Email marketing is about more than just a short-term injection of purchases - it’s about your brand’s community. The most successful sports brands sell a lifestyle, not just a set of products. (Even though product emails are also important!)Raphna does this by aligning a kickoff event with the Chicago Cyclocross Series (which they sponsor). Providing fans and admirers with food and drink and the opportunity to mingle with other avid cyclists.[caption id="attachment_50675" align="alignnone" width="510"]
Use email marketing to promote events[/caption]These regular events are excellent opportunities to build a community around your brand and make it “sticky” with the die-hard users of your product. What’s the next community event in your email marketing calendar?
3. Chicago Fire Football Club
I’m sure you can tell a common theme with these sports email marketing examples is that they focus on audience engagement. That’s what the Chicago Fire does perfectly below.[caption id="attachment_50673" align="alignnone" width="600"]
Focus on engagement[/caption]In this example, they are designing a new crest for the team and want fans' input on what they’d like included. It’s a smart way to tap into the fans' emotional connection with the city and create a lifelong bond with the new crest (and team).Of course, you can’t design a new crest or logo every other week! But you can draw inspiration from this example and get your fans involved in other decisions. Maybe it’s picking the snacks that are served at your next home game or choosing which player is interviewed.Giving your audience a choice and involving them in the team’s activity strengthens your relationship.
4. Callaway Golf
If you sell merchandise, learn from the best eCommerce emails by using vibrant colors, high-quality pictures, and clear calls to action when you promote your products.Callaway Golf, for example, heroes its new wedge with visual language, big font, and a stunning photograph of the golf club:[caption id="attachment_50672" align="alignnone" width="600"]
Use visual language and big fonts[/caption]Yes, focus on community engagement, but when you send an email promoting one of your products, make it stand out.
5. Bose + US Snow Team
In this example of sports email marketing, Bose is promoting its partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams.[caption id="attachment_50671" align="alignnone" width="532"]
Promote partnerships[/caption]Developing strategic partnerships with complementary brands helps you access a broader audience. But it also associates your company with the perception of another. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams are associated with elite performance and patriotic feelings. By aligning with them and promoting it via email, Bose is hoping its customers perceive it in a similar manner. It creates perception by association.Do you have any strategic partnerships with complementary brands? If not, how could you improve your fan perception by creating one?
6. Formula 1
Formula 1 sends highly visual emails. They cut through with a dark background, bright colors for buttons, and eye-catching photography.The example below is not about how it looks but how it engages with fans. As I mentioned earlier, fan engagement and interactive experiences are a trending way to dominate sports email marketing. In this email snippet, Formula 1 runs a live poll to get its fans' opinion on race driving partners:[caption id="attachment_50674" align="alignnone" width="600"]
Send a poll[/caption]The key to this poll is that the question is of interest to the audience and a hot topic at the time of sending the email. Not just any poll will increase engagement, it needs to be on-point!If you’re planning a poll in your next email campaign, ask yourself… what do my subscribers care about at the moment? What’s trending?
The big takeaway from these sports email marketing campaigns is that your strategy should be diverse.Look for opportunities to engage with your fans during events throughout the year. Send product-based emails with stunning photography. Encourage fan involvement with interactive experiences. Partner with complementary brands to broaden your reach and grow trust by association.All-in-all, get creative. Don’t just send boring update emails to your subscribers and expect great results. Take inspiration from these top examples and put your own spin on them.Good luck!Source for email examples - Really Good Emails.
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