Comparing Sports Marketing of Amateur Team Sports to Professional Team Sports

Scott Robinson, Waikato Institute of Technology
Adrian France, Waikato Institute of Technology

Abstract: Sports marketing has grown along with the professionalism of sports. Now there are professional and amateur sports. The literature on amateur sports marketing is scarce, and few studies in sports marketing differentiate between amateur and professional sports.  This study investigates the differences in sports marketing between professional and amateur team sports in New Zealand. Interviews were held with high profile people from both professional team sports organisations and not-for-profit amateur sports organisations. Professional team sports were found to gain leverage from their high profile players, high profile brand, and audience numbers in order to attract large monetary sponsors. Amateur team sports leveraged off the numbers playing the game in order to attract sponsors. Amateur organisations were more concerned with getting their teams on the field and through the season rather than attracting sponsors. Amateur sports were supported by bottom-up sources of revenue while professional sports appeared to be funded top-down.