Marketing / 04.01.20
Sports Events 'Can't Be Business as Usual' After COVID-19 Pandemic
Sports Pro Media (03/24/20) Carp, Sam
Performance Research President Jed Pearsall strongly doubts that the live sports events industry can return to its previous marketing strategies after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. "I think it would be a mistake for event organizers to think once they're clear to open their doors from a safety standpoint that people will just be coming back the way they were before," he says. Pearsall noted that U.S. organizers have long "had the upper hand with ticket pricing, and I think fans have always put up with it knowing that they're going to pay excessive fees to get into events that are sold out. But I think now fans will have a little more sense of, 'let me decide how badly I really want to go to this.'" Performance Research Vice President Bill Doyle added that although most sports are currently handling immediate needs like rescheduling, discussions will soon shift to how organizers can make fans "feel safe and secure" enough to start attending live events again. This could involve responding to changing fan behaviors following the pandemic as people become more sensitive about personal hygiene. Pearsall feels it also will be vital for sponsors to strike the right tone rather than attempt to exploit the health crisis for profit. "I think there will be a wave of sponsorship that is more about community and doing good and incorporating more civic initiatives into the program that show they're not just there for the dollar, but they're there for society as well."
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Tags: Sports , News , COVID-19 , Coronavirus