Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

‘Doubling down’: Inside the 49ers social and digital rush to replace lost in-stadium marketing dollars


Fans of the San Francisco 49ers will see a roughly 25% uptick in branded content across the team’s social channels over the course of the NFL season this year. That’s because of the coronavirus pandemic, of course, as the team is transitioning advertising from brand partners that’s typically appeared in stadium to its social and digital channels.

Without the ability to deliver ads to the 70,000 fans who attend games in-person at the team’s stadium — there are eight home games planned for this season — for the foreseeable future, the 49ers have had to pivot to focus on digital and social channels. 

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is revenue?
  2. Why is revenue important to a sports team like the 49ers?
  3. How has the pandemic impacted the way the 49ers generate revenue at home games this season?
  4. What is fan engagement?
  5. How might high levels of fan engagement benefit the team’s sponsors?
  6. How can digital marketing help the team to boost revenue this year?
  7. The article suggests that the 49ers are focused not necessarily on generating new revenue through digital channels this season, but providing value for existing corporate partners. Why might that be important?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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