The National Sports Forum is “the largest annual cross gathering of the top team sports marketing, sales, promotions and event entertainment executives” and traditionally occurs the week prior to the Super Bowl.
This year the National Sports Forum was hosted in Oklahoma City, home of the OKC Thunder, Oklahoma City Red Hawks, and the United States training center for Olympic Rowing.
It also marked the 8th year that Danny Heinsohn of Access Pass & Design has attended.
The forum is a showcase of trends in the sports marketing and event industry. Attendees trade insights into best practices in ticket sales, digital marketing, fan engagement, addressing economic hurdles, and marketing strategies.
“I always walk away with great ideas and insights that set the tone and refine my approach for the entire year,” said Danny.
Advancements in technology make it easier to track marketing spend. Sponsors have become more concerned with ROI and much of the 2012 National Sports Forum focused on new ways to measure and optimize return. More than branding logos on scoreboards, handing out branded squeegee balls or foam fingers, sponsorship dollars are compared against the generated return from fan or brand engagement.
In another sign of the times, the top three tiers for sports marketing dollars are now digital, social, and mobile media. Engagement takes place via micro sites, QR codes, Facebook, and Twitter, and in multiple physical locations: game day fan experiences, tailgater, and digital downloads.
While the forum keeps its finger on the pulse of the industry, it’s also a great chance to build and maintain the relationships that keep the industry running.
The president of the National Sports Forum, Ron Seaver, summarized by saying, “[The Forum] has become a fraternity, where old friends come to catch up.” And like many conferences, some of the best networking opportunities happen at the bar. Danny assured us that Tap Werks did not disappoint!
The National Sports Forum continues to be a great event for Access Pass & Design and we’ll be sure to see you there next year!
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For insights on leveraging print collateral for digital and social engagement, or insights into the National Sports Forum experience from the perspective of a seasoned veteran, please feel free to e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.