As we’ve established, apps shouldn’t be money drains. Last week, we discussed how to monetize a mobile app through various transactions on the app. These transactions include driving in-app merchandise and ticket sales, seat upgrading inside of the arena, and selling concessions through your app. Transactions are just the tip of the iceberg for monetizing an app. The next step, and often the most valuable, is monetizing the app through advertising and sponsorships.
Advertising on a mobile app can be incredibly lucrative for a team. Recent estimates by BI Intelligence project that US mobile ad spend will top nearly $42 billion in 2018, rising by a five-year compound annual growth rate of 43% from 2013. There is clearly a shift towards mobile advertising and sports organizations should be taking advantage of it to monetize their apps. Utilizing native advertising units within content feeds, banner ads on app screens, and even video ads can all drive significant revenue for a team through an app. Of course there needs to be balance and mobile advertising shouldn’t hinder the user experience, but if done properly, mobile advertising can be an incredibly revenue driver for a team. It’s clear that mobile advertising is in demand, so sports teams should be creating mobile ad inventory on their apps and approach brands and advertisers.
In addition to native advertising, sports teams should be looking to add significant revenue to their apps through getting sponsorship deals on their mobile app. As we’ve discussed before, sports draws a majority of sponsorship dollars, with 70% of sponsorship money going into sports in 2015. A mobile app is just another added piece to capturing some more of that sponsorship money. Reach out to existing sponsors and present the opportunity for title sponsorships, feature sponsorships, and even sponsored pieces of content. Package some of these pieces in with existing sponsorship deals to increase value for both the sponsor and your team. Whatever sponsor-able real estate you may have left on the app can then be taken to new sponsors to drive even more revenue. Regardless of what and how teams are securing sponsorship on their apps, all teams should be gearing up to sell sponsorships on their apps because doing so can mean big bucks for a team.
Of course, with mobile advertising and sponsorship, data and analytics are key to demonstrating value to advertisers and sponsors. Teams need to be driving significant usage of the app to give advertisers and sponsors the reach they want through mobile. This is why the importance of having great content and fan engagement features becomes much more important, as we’ll discuss in later posts in this series. For now, think about all the different ways you can monetize those apps and start acting to do so! Otherwise, you’re just leaving money on the table that could be in your pockets today.