This report discusses the evolving landscape of sports marketing, focusing on the shift towards personal branding and fan engagement. It highlights the role of round21, a sports lifestyle brand that uses merchandise as a canvas for art and culture, with a web3 slant. The report also explores the rise of personal branding in sports, the importance of individual fan identity, the redefinition of sports merchandise, and the potential of blockchain technology and NFTs in the sports industry.
Evolution of Sports Marketing
- Shift towards personal branding: Athletes are increasingly becoming the brand themselves, with content creation connecting sports teams with communities in innovative ways. This shift is facilitated by advancements in technology that allow fans to have a sense of ‘ownership’ of their fan experience.
- Role of round21: round21 is a sports lifestyle brand that uses merchandise as a canvas for art and culture, with a web3 slant. The brand aims to leverage the personal branding of athletes and the 24/7 consumption of sports, both digitally and physically.
- Importance of strong brand identity: round21’s collaborations with world-class athletes underscore the importance of building a strong brand identity. The brand seeks athletes who stand for their own skin and their community.
Redefining Sports Merchandise
- Individual fan identity: round21 aims to cater to individual fan identities, providing a balance of multiple facets of identity. The brand seeks to offer a duality or multiplicity of identity through its merchandise.
- Innovative approach to sports merch: round21 aims to bring a sense of collectability and trading cards to fans in a new form and format. The brand has partnered with the NFLPA and the US Women’s National Team Players Association to create unique, individualized collectibles that fans love.
- Sports merch as cultural goods: round21 views sports merchandise as cultural goods and aims to build for the company it’s becoming, not the company it is. The brand focuses on creating premium, ethically produced products with a limited run or time-based digital drops to reduce waste.
Blockchain Technology and NFTs in Sports
- Value of content marketing: round21 believes in building long-term relationships with its community through rich, engaging content that entertains, teaches, and helps discover something new.
- Blockchain partnerships: round21 has forged partnerships in the NFT and blockchain community, bringing products and experiences to life. The brand has also leveraged technology to enhance fan engagement through products and experiences, such as augmented reality products.
- Outlook for NFTs: round21 views NFTs as tools that can be used to show off individuality within digital gaming. The brand focuses on creating sustainable, durable value with its partners and properties.
- Embrace personal branding: Sports brands should consider leveraging the personal branding of athletes and the 24/7 consumption of sports to connect with fans in innovative ways.
- Focus on individual fan identity: Brands should aim to cater to individual fan identities, providing a balance of multiple facets of identity through their merchandise.
- Explore blockchain technology and NFTs: Sports brands should consider exploring the potential of blockchain technology and NFTs to enhance fan engagement and create unique, individualized collectibles.