Sports advertising

Strategies, trends, and tips

Sports advertising is a way for brands to show up alongside exciting, inspirational, and action-packed content. With a sports marketing strategy, brands can tap into team or player fandom, excitement, and community.

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Sports marketing allows for brands to align themselves with live events, sports teams, and athletes to reach bigger audiences. This can help your business boost brand recognition with audiences. Sports advertising comes in many formats such as TV commercials, online video ads, display ads, product placement, product promotion, social media marketing, influencer marketing, and print media. The major benefit of advertising during a sports event is that it can expose your brand to a large audience that is watching sports content live, meaning they are a leaned-in and engaged audience.

Additionally, the heightened excitement of sporting events can push brands to develop creative and exciting ads that resonate with viewers, like all those memorable commercials you and your friends talk about the day after a big game. In this guide, we’ll provide sports marketing strategies, tips, and examples that can help your brand start advertising alongside sports content.

What is sports marketing?

Sports marketing is a subdivision of marketing that helps your brand use sporting events and sports content to advertise your brand and products. Sports marketing activations can include advertising during a live game, which can bring visibility to your brand.

Why is sports marketing important?

Sports marketing is important because it gives brands an opportunity to align with a sporting event, team, or athlete to generate brand awareness and reach a larger audience. With a sports campaign, brands can tap into team or player fandom, excitement, and community.

Based on the partnership, brands can develop relevant content that helps them connect with their target audience through marketing experiences like giveaways, contests, and fan events. Importantly, it allows brands to connect with audiences in real time as they watch their favorite teams play at live events. Nowadays, brands are contending with increased ad noise, selective attention by consumers, and fragmentated audiences across a variety of channels. With consumer attention becoming scarcer, brands need every message to count and stand out, and showing up during a high-profile event—like a big game—can give brands that extra edge.

Trends in sports marketing

The world of sports content extends well beyond game days to also include team fandom, fantasy sports leagues, video games, podcasts, and more—meaning there are many places for brands to show up in this space. Sports content continues to grow in popularity every year. In 2022, the sports industry’s revenue reached $487 billion. By 2027, the global sports market is estimated to reach $623 billion.1

How to build a sports marketing plan

The best sports advertising campaigns start with a marketing plan, which has a clear message, creative assets, and demographic targeting plans. These strategies can include identifying what channels to launch on and analyzing performance. These steps can help a brand take an idea and launch it into a campaign.

1. Identify your target audience

Sports content can expose your brand to big audiences. For example, the NFL delivers massive viewership numbers: According to Nielsen, 93 of the top 100 most-watched TV broadcasts of 2023 were NFL games.2 That means if your brand is advertising during sporting events like an NFL game, you could expect to reach a wider audience than with other types of programming.

Additionally, different sporting events can introduce your brand to different types of audiences. College football might help your brand connect with a regionally specific demographic, while a global event like the Olympics can expose your brand to a larger worldwide audience. Events like the Super Bowl, March Madness, the Olympics, and the World Series are big cultural moments, and advertising during those events can be competitive and expensive.

2. Develop your media plan

Media planning is when your brand creates a plan to guide an ad campaign. It helps set the parameters for media buying. During the media planning phase, your brand can determine what channels best fit your business goals. These channels may include streaming services, digital channels, podcasts, and broadcast television.

3. Launch your campaign

During the flight of a campaign, your brand will monitor performance. After the flight ends, it’s time to analyze results and KPIs to see what channels, messaging, and creative assets were effective in reaching key audiences. Solutions like Amazon Attribution can help your brand discover how your digital marketing is leading to conversion on Amazon.

Benefits of sports advertising

The benefits of advertising alongside sports content include showing up in front of a large, loyal, and engaged audience that have the potential to spend. Additionally, advertising with certain sporting events and teams can improve your brand’s perception among sports viewers.

Sports advertising examples

Sports marketing allows for brands to connect with an engaged audience. Here are some examples of ways brands were able to advertise during a sporting event using Amazon Ads solutions.


Samsung Italy worked with Amazon Ads to develop a marketing strategy to help the brand engage with a larger audience to generate excitement for the launch of their Galaxy S22 smartphone. The Amazon Ads team ran a full-funnel campaign involving customized solutions on Twitch and also live sports commercials on Prime Video during Europe’s UEFA Nations League. The live sports commercials during UEFA Nations League delivered 1.6 million impressions (+16% vs. estimated).3



The Amazon Ads Brand Innovation Lab created the campaign “Tailgate on the Edge” for Lexus to promote the release of the all-new, redesigned 2023 Lexus RX Hybrid SUV. “Tailgate on the Edge” is a two-part series of short documentary films available on Fire TV showcasing famous chefs as they use bold flavors and spices to create elevated tailgate cuisine using ingredients from Whole Foods Market.


Case Study

Bridgestone, a Tokyo-headquartered tire company, wanted to create excitement around the participation of Indian athletes in the Tokyo Olympics. The brand worked with WATConsult and Amazon on an activation called the “Khel Quiz,” an Alexa voice skill-based quiz to drive engagement on select keywords to help drum up enthusiasm. Audiences could launch the Alexa quiz by using phrases in English and Hindi like “Alexa, open Khel Quiz” or “Alexa, play Khel Quiz” on their Alexa-enabled devices. To spread awareness on the quiz, the skill invocation phrases were promoted through Amazon DSP display ad campaigns on and other sites and apps.


Case Study

FanCode, a digital sports destination, used Fire TV ads to reach sports enthusiasts using creative messaging designed to promote a fan-first campaign featuring popular Indian celebrities for the cricket series between the West Indies and India. The creative helped FanCode educate viewers about customizing their match experience and encouraged them to watch live matches on FanCode.


Case Study

Goodway Group, a full-service, omnichannel commerce media partner for retail brands, wanted to drive more ticket and merchandise sales for one of their clients, a U.S. pro sports team. The brand used Sponsored Display to reach new prospective customers through awareness and consideration campaigns. Three weeks post optimization, the pro sports team’s campaign increased impressions by 7x and click-through rate by 70%.4


Creating a sports ad campaign with Amazon Ads

Brands looking to engage a leaned-in and younger audience may want to consider advertising alongside Thursday Night Football (TNF) content.5 TNF’s Emmy Award–winning coverage features game-changing offerings that enhance the viewing experience and provide unique perspectives from both legendary voices and fresh-off-the-field players.

Getting started

Advertising alongside sporting events and sports content can help your brand reach a large and engaged audience. Solutions like Prime Video ads can help your brand show up alongside premium content that inspires and entertains viewers.

Learn how your brand can advertise with Prime Video ads. If you’re interested in customized guidance or support, contact us to request services managed by Amazon Ads. Budget minimums apply.

1 Statista, WW, 2022
2 Nielsen, US, 2023
3 Amazon internal data, IT, 2022
4 Goodway Group, US, 2023
5 Nielsen, Live+SD. 2022 NFL regular season. Sept 8, 2022–Jan 8, 2023. NFL linear includes ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox.