An entire generation speaks hip-hop – even in sport
How the sports industry can integrate urban culture & use it authentically
Sport has long been a domain where companies turn to the same marketing methods time and again: a logo on a player’s chest, advertising boards inside a stadium or TV adverts during half-time. But as Generation Z develops into a target for advertisers, it is time to upgrade these tried-and-trusted techniques. The competition for GenZ’s attention is fierce. Gaming and hip-hop, in particular, play just as big a role (if not an even bigger one) in their leisure time, with Spotify, TikTok, Twitch and Netflix, making them a much more natural part of the daily life of this generation aged 14 to 29 than sport.
Published on October 7th, 2022
In this article:
SPORT, HIP-HOP AND GAMING – A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
However, they needn’t compete with each other. Thanks to their shared values, like internationalism with a clear regional focus, an awareness of competition and cultural diversity, and the belief that people can make it big, even if they start at the bottom, there is significant overlap between the target audiences of sport, gaming and hip-hop: the perfect conditions for collaborations. Using these urban cultural platforms honestly and in the right way could be a real opportunity for almost every sport – and especially those faced with an allegedly ageing fan base – to gain relevance for a young target audience. In our view, it would be an error indeed if handball, ice hockey and similar sports believed that they primarily needed to make their live experiences more exciting, even changing the way they were played. It would also be a mistake if they thought that it was sufficient to use tried-and-trusted content on new OTT and streaming platforms. Instead, they also need to keep expanding their non-live experience and make it more entertaining.
COLLABORATION AS AN OPPORTUNITY
Collaborations with hip-hop artists linked to a sport or even a club would be an easy starting point. For advertisers, this is also a huge opportunity to add pop culture content to their brands and benefit from artists’ knowledge of the target group, reach, network and creative input. And if they don’t have a direct link to these urban culture topics, rights holders can be the perfect bridge between rap or gaming content creators and companies.
ABOUT THE EPAPER
SPORTFIVE’s goal is to bring together brands, rights holders and stakeholders from the pop culture worlds of hip-hop, gaming and the like. In an epaper, it showcases exciting insights and informative interviews from a variety of perspectives, as well as national and international best cases, to highlight the different facets of urban culture and its marketing potential. In so doing, it always focuses on the connection to sport – which is in SPORTFIVE’s DNA
5 ISSUES – 5 EXPERTS
“The sought-after target group of young people can be found at the intersection of sport, gaming and hip-hop.”
Niko Backspin on the importance of hip-hop, the needs of the target group and the potential for sport.
“Hip-hop is now one of the key pioneers behind all kinds of developments in fashion”
Flemming Pinck on the significance of hip hop for fashion & merch, NFTs and the development of a Hamburg-based fashion brand inspired by skating and surfing.
“Modern brands like Hugo Boss, PlayStation and Zalando have discovered the communicative potential of street art. Sport and its advertisers aren’t there yet."
Steffen Ansorge on graffiti as an impactful form of communication in sport and outdoor advertising.
“Sports rights holders are wrong to think that they need to primarily make their live experience quicker and more exciting for young target groups. Instead, they need to start by making their non-live experience and the underlying content more entertaining.”
Max Schneider-Ludorff on hip-hop collaborations for events, the role of music at sports events and the transformation of the values “realness” and “underground” in hip-hop.
“In the future, the key employees at sports clubs from a marketing perspective won’t be athletes – they’ll be the clubs’ own influencers”.
Massoud Mahgoli on gaming products with a street vibe, rappers as the metaverse pioneers and how he and SPORTFIVE want to emulate the FaZe Clan and the 100 Thieves with their own SQVAD team.