Marketing College Athletics Popularity of Amateur Sports

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Marketing College Athletics

Popularity of Amateur Sports

  • Professional athlete is someone who earns a living participating in a sport

  • Amateur athlete is someone who does not get paid but plays for the enjoyment, challenge, or both

    • 35 Million kids play in organized sports

    • 7.8 Million participants in high school sports

    • 460,000 NCAA student-athletes

Market Segmentation

  • a group of individuals within a larger market that share one or more characteristics

  • Divides the marketplace into smaller interest groups

    • Psychographics

      • focus on characteristics that cannot be measured , such as attitudes and lifestyle choices. Consumers frequently make decisions based on emotions

      • Example: sports fans spend more money on clothing with a teams logo right after the team has a big victory

    • Demographics

      • focuses on information that can be measured , such as income , profession, gender , and education

      • Example: males, $50,000+ income, college educated

    • Geographics

      • divides markets into physical locations , such as eastern, northern, southern, and western regions of the United States or the urban and rural areas of a state

      • Example: US, South, Texas, Austin, 78738

Marketing and Sponsoring Amateur Sports

  • There are millions of amateurs, which marketers see as millions of consumers

  • Provides significant income for manufacturers

Which school sold the most merchandise in 2013-2014?

Which apparel company licensed the most gear to colleges?

Which non-apparel company licensed the most goods/services to colleges?

Local Promotion of Amateur Sports

  • Local business support amateur sports because:

    • Promotion is good for the local team (many times a high school team)

    • Image of being an active participant in the community

    • People that attend the event will frequently shop with businesses that advertise in the sports program

Effects of Collegiate Sports

  1. A winning team has economic implications for school, community, region, and state

  2. Fan expectation

  3. Promotion of organization’s goods and services

Which DI college team has won the most games?


  1. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the governing body of most college and university athletic programs

  2. NCAA creates guidelines for recruitment , gender equity, scholarships ,
    gambling prohibitions, and many ethical issues

  3. The overall goal is the promotion of college athletics with a focus on the integrity of the athletes and their game

Joining the NCAA

Must meet the following conditions:

  1. Obtain accreditation by the recognized accrediting agency of its region

  2. Offer minimum required sports for men and women (one in each of the three traditional seasons)

  3. Complies with all NCAA rules

  4. Cooperates with the NCAA enforcement program and accepts penalties imposed by that program

NCAA as a Sponsor Magnet

  1. The NCAA attracts sponsors that support intercollegiate athletics financially and provide business and personnel expertise

  2. These advertising dollars support the NCAA Championship, as well as allow expansion of NCAA programs for young people

NCAA 2011 – 2012 Revenue - $845.9 million

Majority of revenues came from TV and marketing rights fees
Division I Schools

  • 340 schools

  • Biggest student bodies , largest athletics budgets, most number of scholarships

  • Requirements

    • 7 sports for men

    • 7 sports for women

    • 2 team sports for each

      • Division 1-A or Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)

        • 85 scholarships per year

        • 15,000 minimum attendance requirements per home game

        • 128 schools

        • 11 Conferences

      • Division 1-AA or Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)

        • 60 scholarships per year

        • No attendance requirements

        • 122 schools

        • 15 Conferences

Division II Schools

  • 302 schools

    • 52% public institutions, 48% private

    • 4,500 average number of students

    • 50% of student-athletes earn some type of athletically funded financial aid

  • Requirements

    • 5 sports for men

    • 5 sports for women

    • 2 team sports for each

    • 50% football and basketball games must be against DI or DII opponents

    • No attendance requirements

  • 24 Conferences

  • Other

    • 36 Scholarships per year

    • Do not have to sit out a year when transfer student

Division III Schools

    • 44 schools

    • 19% public institutions, 81% private

    • 2,717 average number of students

    • No athletic financial aid

    • Requirements

    • 5 sports for men

    • 5 sports for women

    • 2 team sports for each

    • No attendance requirements

    • 45 Conferences

    • Other

    • Do not have to sit out a year when transfer student

    • Can not redshirt as freshman

Football Bowl Subdivision Conferences




American Athletic Conference (The American)



Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, E. Carolina, Houston, Memphis, S. Florida, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, Cal State, San Diego State, Villanova, Navy

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)



Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Institute of Technology, Louisville, Miami, N. Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Polytech, Wake Forest

Big Ten Conference (Big Ten)



Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin

Big 12 Conference (Big 12)



Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, W. Virginia

Conference USA (C-USA)



Alabama (Birmingham), Florida Atlantic, Florida Intl, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, NC (Charlotte), N. Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Mississippi, UTEP, UTSA, Western Kentucky



Army, BYU, Navy, Notre Dame

Mid-American Conference (MAC)



Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Miami of Ohio, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan

Mountain West Conference (MWC)



Air Force, Boise State, Cal State, Colorado State, Nevada (Reno), Nevada (Las Vegas), New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, Utah State, Wyoming

Pacific 12 Conference (Pac-12)



Arizona, Arizona State, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, Stanford, Utah, Washington, Washington State

Southeastern Conference (SEC)



Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, S. Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt

Sun Belt Conference (Sun Belt)



Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Arkansas (Little Rock), Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana (Lafayette), Louisiana (Monroe), S. Alabama, Texas State, Texas (Arlington), Troy

Why so much emphasis?

  • Early exposure promotes a team

  • A highly ranked team builds excitement and strong attendance at games (which creates fan loyalty and national respect)

  • Preseason rankings influence major television networks (more revenue for the team and its university)

  • Helps recruiting

#1 Has Lingering Effects

  1. A national championship brings favorable national recognition and increased potential for recruitment of top high school athletes

  2. Retailers carrying national championship sportswear will experience tremendous growth in sales

List the top 5 most valuable college football teams.

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