Have you heard about this sport? If not, let me tell you, you are young, and you will probably read this word any time soon. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) named pickleball the fastest-growing sport for the second year in a row. About 17 percent of players are 65 and older, and a third of all players are 25 or younger. And well yes, it is thanks to marketing. So, for those who still ask how marketing and branding help with sales, let me answer with this amazing example.
The sport was perceived as old, only played by “the aunt”, or not even known by younger generations.
The Objective set by USA Pickleball
To broaden the audience, turn it into a national sport, to not be a sport for a specific niche, but for everyone, from grandparents to young adults.
Invest in rebranding
New Brand Strategy
Through focus groups, understanding the people, and the words associated with the sport, USA Pickleball came up with:
Having a focus on the word community as it was highly associated with the sport.
Coming up with a more modern logo and name, it was changed from USA Pickleball Association to simply USA Pickleball.
Update the website to make it easier and trendier and attract new players.
Tip: your brand design must reflect what your brand strategy states. You can’t have an outdated logo if you want to be perceived as modern.
Understand where the brand can create engagement, considering all social media channels. USA Pickleball, director of media relations stated: “Every morning, I search on Twitter for the keyword ‘pickleball’ to see what people are saying about the sport,” “Very quickly I find who is talking about it and ask myself, ‘where can we engage?’ The brand is always up to date on what is going on with their sport and who and how are people interacting. They also build authentic partners with large personalities that are already playing the sport.
Tip: one of the most important branding aspects is to create awareness. Influencer marketing, social media channels, Google and Facebook Ads are important strategies to consider.
So yes, pickleball should thank marketing, should thank the association for believing in the potential and investing in them, and should thank the agency who helped execute this idea.
If you don’t want to be perceived as “your aunt’s sport” align objectives + strategy + design + awareness.