While brand associations in sports were once largely physical, nowadays there are plenty of ways to monetize your digital content — and every social media post is an opportunity to generate revenue.
In this article, we outline different tips and ideas on how to monetize your content, alongside examples from different sports clubs, teams, leagues and federations. And while some ideas are more relevant to clubs, they can be tweaked to apply to many other types of sports organizations.
Looking for even more tips to improve your sports social media content? Discover 36 examples of sports social media templates, and find out how our content creation platform can help you create better and more profound sports content faster.
Monetize your recurring game day content
The easiest way to start monetizing your sports content is to put your partner(s) forward in your existing, recurring game day social media content.
You often have a set number of games per season or championship, which means you know in advance how many game day posts you will be publishing on social media during this timeframe. For example, if you have 30 games in a season, you will also post 30 gameday announcements, 30 lineup or head-to-head posts, 30 result posts, 30 player of the match posts, etc. You also know (or can find out) how much engagement and reach each of these types of posts generates on average.
You can therefore come to potential or existing partners with this concrete data, to negotiate a social media post sponsorship agreement or enrich your existing sponsorship propositions.
How can you integrate your sponsors on your existing game day social media posts?
There are different ways to feature your partners and sponsors on your recurring sports social media posts. Here are a few ideas:
- Add their logo into the design of your existing game day templates. This is probably the most common and simplest approach to monetize your social media content. You can dedicate one sponsor per post type, include the same partner on all posts, or even add multiple partner logos on the same template.
- Incorporate your partner’s logo in your video templates. Similarly to the above, you can add your partner logo in the existing intros or outros of your recurring videos.
- Dedicate the social media post to your sponsor. You can do this by adding text such as “Powered by [sponsor name]” or “Presented by [sponsor name]” in your visual, while also putting their logo in a more prominent spot in the design. Alternatively, you can use the caption to attribute the post to the sponsor and draw more attention to them, such as in the second example below.
- Feature them in your visuals in a more “organic” way, via your photos and video footage. For example, you can highlight the sponsor logo on your players’ shirts via a photo of one player in your lineup templates. Or you can feature them via a logo backdrop in your post-game interview posts.
Create new content in partnership with a sponsor
Alternatively, you can monetize your sports social media content and generate additional revenue by working with your partner(s) to create brand new posts. This can again be a standalone deal, or part of an existing sponsorship package.
New sponsored content can include a one-off post, a post series, or social media content which supports a wider, multi-channel campaign. You can then choose to publish this content as part of your organic posts, or as paid ads. Paid social media ads work especially well when your partner wants to target a specific audience, or if restrictions apply to them, such as not being able to put their products in front of viewers under a certain age (such as alcohol or sports betting brands).
Here are some ideas and examples for your sports paid partnership social media posts:
- Giveaways with prizes from the sponsor or from your organization. Prizes from your organization can include tickets to a game, merchandise, or even the opportunity to train with the team/athletes.
- Fun, behind-the-scenes social media posts with product placement, such as the examples below.
@mancity Steady, lads! 😆 Stay tuned for part 2 ✌️ #mancity #challenge #toiletrollchallenge #dontspillchallenge #mcfc ♬ The Game Room – Alexander Smith & Mark Fabian
- An award for the best goal, player, save, etc. of the month, week, game or sports season, “presented” by the sponsor. The winner can be selected by the sponsor itself, for example based on statistics that your partner can provide, or nominees can be put to your social media audience for a vote. If you work with sports templates, you can even negotiate for your partner to pay for these new templates. This will allow them to ensure their sponsored designs stay within their brand guidelines.
Grand Slam Champion and record breaker 🏆— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 19, 2023
Johnny Sexton’s 1st half penalty ⬇️
🎯35.1 metres from the posts
🔥Sailed through the uprights at 32mph
💪with a 95% spin efficiency which saw him become the all-time Championship Record Points Scorer 🥳@sageuk #SageInsights pic.twitter.com/zbggqv4IKl
- A testimonial by your organization for the product or service offered by your sponsor. This can feature exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage to increase interest among your followers.
Integrate your sponsors into your social media content in a natural way
However you choose to monetize your sports content, do keep any sponsor presence well-integrated into your visuals and content flow. Social media posts that look like ads, or are not in line with your usual tone of voice can be a big turn-off for your followers.
This is a lesson Troy Lüchinger, CMO at Swiss football club FC St.Gallen 1879 shared during his interview: “Our sponsor used to feature too heavily in the intros and outros of our video clips at one point. Those posts simply didn’t get a high reach. Therefore, the lesson learned here was that the sponsor logo should be more discreet, or even better, be integrated into the cub’s corporate design rather than look like an ad.”
Match your sponsor to your sports content
One way to integrate your sponsor even more seamlessly into your activations is to try to match them to your content topics.
For example, you can dedicate your recurring half-time visuals to a snack brand, or player of the match post to an energy drink partner. If you’re creating new social media content with your sponsor, you can develop a “defining moment” series with a watch partner, or a voting or quiz post with a sports betting brand.
Use your social media channels to drive e-commerce purchases
Another way to make revenue from your sports social media channels is to use them to drive sales of tickets and/or merchandise.
Different social media channels offer different features which you can use to drive traffic to your e-commerce website. On Twitter, you can create a link preview in your Tweets, or use Twitter cards and carousels for more eye-catching posts. On Facebook and LinkedIn, you can generate a link preview with a good-sized image in your posts. On Instagram, you can add link stickers in your stories, or add a link from your posts to your Instagram store on mobile, etc.
Paid social media ads often give you even more linking opportunities. So be sure to consider paid posts too to drive sales via social media.
Once again, ensure that such merchandising posts fit naturally into your content feed and audience expectations on each channel. For example, if you only post funny Reels on Instagram, avoid posting a plain image that advertises your fan store in your content mix. Instead, create a post which fits the same tone as the rest of your content, like the below example.
Several sports teams and leagues even created separate social media channels for their fan stores. This approach can help you segment your audience, and even give you a platform to grow your merchandising brand and increase revenue via social media.
Measure the impact of your content and paid partnerships
One final recommendation when monetizing your sports content is to measure every post, campaign and partnership you run on social media.
First, be sure to track and understand the value of your existing content. This will allow you to be prepared with the right insights when it comes to monetizing this content via new or existing sponsorships.
In addition, make sure to measure the result and ROI of any paid partnerships. You can then present these results back to your paying partners, while also building case studies to secure future partnerships.
Finally, don’t forget to track any e-commerce sales which came directly from your social media channels. This will help you understand which posts perform best in generating revenue, and in turn where to invest your efforts in order to maximize sales via social media.
More sports social media ideas
Looking to take your sports social media content to the next level? Check out these articles for more inspiration, examples and best practices to improve your strategy:
- Be inspired by 36 sports social media templates and 36 betting content examples.
- Discover the top social media learnings and recommendations from football clubs PSV Eindhoven’s Head of Content & Media, and FC St.Gallen 1879’s CMO.
- Learn how you can create standout and complex sports content faster with our Content Stadium content creation platform: