Visual Marketing Strategies for Sports Teams and Brands

Bird’s eye view of a crowded baseball stadium

Building a successful team, league, or event requires solid visual marketing as a foundation. Developing a brand presence and emotionally connecting with fans through visually engaging graphics is as important for the sports world as it is for any other business.

Whether you’re a major league team, a youth football league, or an annual road race, sports brands and events all require a solid visual marketing strategy to be successful. Here are our top tips that will take your sports graphics to the next level.

Graphics That Tell Your Story

Graphics can help build a story. From past championships, iconic moments, and the all-stars who have represented your team, every team has a mythology that is just asking to be shared. Every arena and stadium can represent the legacy of a team, from the pros right through to the little leagues. Use large-scale graphics to celebrate the heroes and successes that fans identify with through:

  • Customized Banners

  • Posters

  • Sports Murals 

  • Window Graphics

  • Dimensional Signage

  • Illuminated Signage

Build an Immersive Event Experience

Graphics at sports venues can build a team’s brand identity while serving a functional purpose. Managing crowds that can sometimes number close to 100,000 requires a lot of direction and clear communication. This makes the options for team-branded arena graphics to be just about endless. It can include signage for:

  • Exterior Wayfinding Floor Decals

  • Athlete Tunnels

  • Seat Covers

  • Light Boxes

  • Window Film

  • Wall & Elevator Wraps

  • Stadium & Fence Banners

  • Barricade Dividers

  • Instructional Floor Stickers

  • Branded COVID Signage

  • ADA-Compliant Signage

Sports Marketing Begins Beyond the Stadium

Connecting with new fans and building an identity that extends beyond the stadium and into the community should be a big priority for every sports team and league. Exterior event branding outside of the main venue to promote, attract and engage fans could include:

  • Promotional wall wraps at airports, hotels, and shopping districts

  • Civic flag and street pole banners

  • Flags and banners for bars and breweries

  • Stage backdrops 

  • Building wraps

  • Branded barricades for sponsored events

  • Pop up fan tents to sell merch and sign up club members and fan subscriptions

Recommendations by Organization

The Pros

Professional teams need to upgrade their sports graphics seasonally to reflect new rosters, recent accomplishments, and updated branding campaigns. Some key considerations for marketing managers every off-season include:

  • Championship Banners - Celebrate division wins, team awards, and championships with custom-made banners to commemorate your success.
  • Team Pride Graphics - Celebrating an MVP performance? Updating sponsored banners? Want to showcase your giving back? These feel-good graphics help to tell a deeper story past just the team name and inspire a sense of pride.
  • Team Schedules - Be sure to let fans know when the games are. Schedules are great as large banners in and around the stadium, but don’t forget your captive audience by adding wall graphics in the bathroom (think: above the urinal or back of the door inside the toilet). 
  • Safety and Protection Signage - Rapidly changing situations means updating signage with the latest protocols for COVID-19 along with clear information for fires, building evacuations, and medical emergencies.

Collegiate and Youth

While universities, colleges, high schools, and youth leagues are not working with the same budgets as the big leagues, most teams and organizations look to update the following graphics yearly:

  • Championship banners
  • Large format team photos
  • Schedules
  • Fundraising graphics - Youth teams often support their operations with annual fundraising drives for which they will need some team-branded content.

At the college level, where budgets are larger and corporate sponsors are more common, every 2-3 years teams should look to update:

  • Sponsor Advertisements
  • Branding/mascots/team pride initiatives - Collegiate teams can build a sense of pride and identity amongst the entire student body. Developing a campus-wide presence through branding and team events can build engagement and a loyal fanbase. They are also a great way to give a dull campus building an inexpensive facelift.

Annual Mass Participation Events

Marathons, triathlons, bike races, and other large race events also have many branding needs that often need to be updated with each year’s event. These races can have participants numbering in the tens of thousands, and many have a pre-race convention, for which organizers and sponsors will need trade show graphics and booth materials. For the event itself, race directors also need to consider:

  • Directional signage for race package pickup 
  • Promotional banners
  • Mile markers and aid station signage for the racecourse
  • Custom barricade covers for start line corrals and for road closures
  • Custom fabrication for start/finish line design
  • Branded finish line tape for race winners

Work With the Pros

Color Reflections has partnered with some of the biggest sports organizations in the world to bring their brands and events to life. We provide custom designs and installation, working with every client to find the perfect solutions for their unique sports graphics needs. From the biggest building wraps you can imagine, to banners for youth leagues, and everything in between, our expert team has you covered. Get a quote today!

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