As news develops around the world and businesses cope with struggles associated with COVID-19, there’s the undeniable fact that it will leave a lasting impact on the business models of many brands. Of the many industries that have been affected by the coronavirus, professional sports and entertainment have taken a large impact due to the social distance requirements and limitations of large gatherings to prevent the spread. And while they won’t be the only ones affected by the restrictions on social gatherings, brands will have the opportunity to learn from the strategies that entertainment powerhouses utilize to supplement a lack of live-action.


Many sporting leagues have suspended their events for the foreseeable future, including the NBA, MLB, NHL, and the Masters amongst many other organizations worldwide. Dr. Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious diseases expert, has even said the only way professional sports will happen this summer is to do so without fans in attendance and by keeping players in hotels. Which brings us to the question that sporting leagues and many other businesses relying on live attendance/ gates will face. How do you make money without an audience?


Take away the revenue earned from gift shops, food and consignment, ticket sales, and you’re faced with a lot less earning potential for events. As we move forward, we expect to see new business models arise based on subscription and digital streaming. Where the personal touch is lost, a virtual one will take its place. Sporting events will lead the charge and help be a prime example of the new business models aspiring brands must form if they want to survive.


Of course, COVID-19 is an issue that stretches far past sports. However, many brands relying on live attendance will face the same questions that professional sporting leagues are facing now. Industry trade shows have been canceled for the foreseeable future. Music events that housed many opportunities for retail brands have been postponed. And the list goes on.


The reality is, professional leagues, as well as businesses, will have to cultivate digital presence to survive. Creating websites with e-commerce functionality and live customer support will supplement the shopping experience. Providing gated content that provides consumers with access to unique offers and bonus content will serve to cultivate customer loyalty. And catering a brand experience to the ever-changing demand of your audience will have to be key aspects of any marketing strategy.


While a majority of the world waits for sports to start-up again, many brands can follow the blueprints for effective marketing strategies laid out by brands like the NBA and UFC, whose social media remain content banks for popular highlights, historic events, and unique looks into different athletes’ lives. They make their audience feel unique and engaged. They don’t abandon them in a time of need. Instead, they ramp up the content and try to provide an experience that’s still valuable despite the challenges we’re all facing.


At Brand Iron, our team of specialists are tuned into the latest marketing trends. With cutting-edge technology and a wealth of experience, we’re prepared to help your brand generate leads and drive revenue. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by reaching out to us via email or by calling us at (303) 534 1901.

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