Online Master’s in Athletic Administration

The Fundamentals of Sports Marketing

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, 7.7 million student athletes participated in high school sports during the 2012-2013 school year. Each of those students represents a marketing opportunity for their school, as well as for local businesses.

Logo Merchandise

One of the easiest ways to raise funds is through the sale of merchandise featuring your team’s logo, mascot, and motto. Opportunities exist at every price point – from sweatshirts to stuffed animals to car decals to temporary tattoos. Every student is a potential customer, as is every family member, high school alumnus, and local business supporter. You can also put the team logo on food items – like chocolate bars, peanuts and popcorn – for periodic fundraising drives. The opportunities are only limited by your imagination.

Social Media

Virtually every student athlete is on social media. So are their parents and other adults who have an affinity with your school. It is essential that each of your teams also has a social presence. This includes Facebook and Twitter, along with other social sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and more. Social media keeps your teams and events front and center, encouraging greater attendance and fan support. Data from a recent Scarborough Research Study indicates that 64 percent of high school game attendees are adults ages 18 to 49. These people are on social media and you should be too.

Booster Clubs

Creating booster clubs for your school’s teams can be another way to raise funds for your athletic programs. The premise behind a booster club is to develop various levels of membership packages for purchase during each school year. Depending on the sport, the memberships might include tickets, preferred seating, reserved parking, concession discounts, team merchandise, and more. Holding special events for booster club members is another way to generate revenue. Evening socials, golf outings, ladies luncheons, and other members-only gatherings provide a nice opportunity for your boosters to meet and mingle outside of the sports arena.


High school sponsorships have gained in popularity over recent years, with companies providing the monies to build and refurbish athletic facilities that are branded with their name and logo. This can include everything multi-million dollar stadiums to upgraded gyms to the team scoreboard. Opportunities for smaller companies to get their names out there also exist in sponsorships of the homecoming dance, awards dinner, and similar student events. A donation of food, trophies, flowers, and hotel space can go a long way in building goodwill throughout the community.


Last, but certainly not least, are the many advertising opportunities that exist for your school’s supporters. Businesses should be able to buy space on your team’s website, run ads in the program guide, and partner with the school for promotional events and ticket giveaways. All of these approaches give local companies an affordable way to gain visibility and enhance their reputation as a team champion.



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