So, you’re thinking about hiring a Digital Sports Marketing Agency to whip your online presence into shape? You’re taking a step in the right direction! Taking your game from the field, track, pool, or whatever your home base may be, to the world wide web is no easy feat. But hey, seriously, don’t sweat it. If you lean on a sports marketing agency, you’re guaranteed to see results. And the best part is, you can keep kicking ass at your sport while the agency handles all of the nerdy stuff.
But how do you choose which agency to work with? There is much more to the “right fit” than you might think– and as a sports marketing agency ourselves, we even have our own list of questions we ask to make sure the client is in alignment with us. As you’re doing your research and vetting, make sure to ask these questions of each service provider to figure out who is the best fit for your sports marketing needs:
“What is the onboarding process like?”
First impressions set the tone for the long-term. It is vital to understand the process you will be going through alongside the agency you work with, the expectations and goals that are set and how you’ll play a part in helping to meet them, and learning the communication levels across the timeline of the project. For the most part, the agencies have an established process and making sure your needs in that space match their offerings will ensure the success of the project. BUT, don’t be afraid that you’ll be steamrolled. At least in our case, we make it a top priority to work within your guidelines. You have the final say in everything we’ll put out.
“Are you a Full-Service Sports Marketing Agency?”
It is not uncommon for specific pieces of any organization, in any industry, to outsource some of their work to either contractors, freelancers, or other companies. If it is important for you to have everything in-house, the answer to this question will allow you to weed out a good chunk of agencies right from the get-go. The benefit of having a full-service sports marketing agency, like ourselves, is that it creates a sense of security through the ease of communication. Every hand that touches your projects is going to understand your brand on a deep level.
“How do you measure success?”
A successful sports marketing project starts with goal setting. Ask the agency you are interviewing to explain to you how they define and measure success in each area of their service (i.e – social media management, web development, campaign creation, or branding). Even in 2018, the old-school method of creating S.M.A.R.T. goals still reigns true, and most agencies will define those for you. If you feel as though your goals aren’t lining up with theirs, this a good indicator that they are not the right agency for you.
“What is the timeline of my specific project?”
First and foremost, before getting held up on deadlines, it is important that you as the client understand that nothing is set in stone. This is especially true in the fast-paced and often unpredictable world of sports. Projects can follow a nearly accurate timeline of goals and completion, but there will almost always be unforeseen circumstances that shift specific deadlines. Despite this, the agency should be able to provide you with a timeline that roughly estimates the anticipated flow of completion. If they can’t, it’s likely they aren’t familiar with the kind of project you are requesting, or they haven’t quite gotten their stuff together as a sports marketing agency yet. Either way, if they can’t give you a timeline, run in the opposite direction!
“How often will we meet? How will I receive updates?”
This is another question that gives you a chance to bring up your expectations, and also establishes accountability. Every step will involve different forms of communication, but questions to ask yourself to better define this is: How involved do I want to be in the project? Do I prefer milestone updates, weekly updates, or something else? Am I a phone call or in-person type of person? Understand that, verbalize it to the agency, and this will help determine if their communication style matches yours.
“What do you know about my sport’s industry?”
Last but certainly not least, you want to find out how much working knowledge the agency has of your sport. They may be a sports marketing agency, but if all they focus on are team sports clients and you’re an individual, say, snowboarder or something similar, they may not be able to adapt to your needs. If this the first time the agency has worked in your specific industry, dive into understanding what they are going to do to get up to speed on the vocabulary and scope of what you do. They will also need to be familiar with the demographics and desires of your sport’s fans as well as the industry. After all, while you will be marketing to sponsors, sponsors market to fans. Therefore, you are also marketing to your fans. Make sure the agency knows the importance of this.
These questions are only suggestions to help ease the process, especially to those who are a bit nervous about the idea of working with a sports marketing agency. Pay attention to how the agency responses to your questions: Are they engaged? Are they asking you questions? Did they come off as combative? A good working relationship has a comfortable back-and-forth flow to it, so be open to their feedback as well! If you are ready to talk to us, we’re ready to talk to you! Give us a call, shoot us an email, or send us a message on social media. We’re here for you!