The Power of Georgia Sports in the Business World

Sports remain a powerful and highly effective marketing tool as a representation of and vehicle for community, culture, and connection. Because of this communal and cultural influence, implementing sports into marketing campaigns can be a valuable strategy across virtually every industry. However, it can be particularly effective at the local level and in communities that take pride in their sports teams, like the city of Atlanta, which has recently experienced a handful of victories–both in sports and in local business. 

Atlanta victories

On Tuesday, November 2nd, The Atlanta Braves triumphed against the Houston Astros, winning the World Series for the first time since 1995. Most recently, on Monday, January 10th, The Georgia Bulldogs beat The Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18, winning their first NCAA National Championship in over 40 years.

The Georgia win and its preceding games have garnered a great deal of business and profit to businesses statewide–both small and large. It birthed a “local business boom” in Athens, home of the Georgia Bulldogs. In Atlanta, local sports bars, pubs, and restaurants profited from the victory, considering it a “win” for the university and for their businesses. This is not surprising, though, as many Atlanta-based businesses used Georgia Football as a theme in their marketing throughout the season. Restaurants lured customers in with the promise of company from fellow fans, shelter from dropping temperatures, cold beer, and delicious food while retailers focused on the quality and quantity of their Georgia merchandise. It proved to be quite effective, as bars and restaurants flooded with loyal Bulldogs fans on game nights despite the recent COVID-19 surge–and profits soared. 

Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

This was also the case during the World Series, which had a significant and lasting economic impact on Cobb County, home of The Battery Atlanta and Truist Park. Sharon Mason, President and CEO of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, stated in a Metro Atlanta CEO interview that the area had a “tremendous, lasting economic impact as a result of The Atlanta Braves and their major development with The Battery Atlanta and Truist Park Stadium.” She also mentioned a “halo impact,” referring to the fact that several companies, including Papa John’s Global Headquarters, TK Elevator, Comcast, and Synovus, have chosen to locate around Truist Park. 

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

To celebrate Georgia’s NCAA victory, The Atlanta Braves’ World Series triumph, and the economic wins of the Atlanta area, listed below are a few examples that highlight the power of Georgia Sports in the world of business.  

Georgia Fans Break Records at Fanatics   

Fanatics, an online sports merchandise retailer, profited heavily from the Georgia victory. According to Sportico, Fanatics sold more Georgia title merchandise in 24 hours than it did in the 30 days following the Alabama win last year, which has “eclipsed any other college football title in company history.” 

Photo by Seth Emerson/The Athletic

The 1980 Georgia Bulldogs National Championship Coca-Cola Bottle

Coca-Cola is an Atlanta-based beverage company that is very involved in the world of sports and regularly uses this involvement for marketing its brand. According to their website, Coca-Cola is a proud partner of the Olympic Games and sponsors over 100 Professional Football clubs, federations, and national teams.

In 1980, the last time the University of Georgia took home the NCAA title, Coca-Cola celebrated the university’s win by creating a commemorative Georgia Bulldogs National Championship bottle. On the night of their most recent victory, one Georgia fan drank his 41- year-old bottle of Coca-Cola after promising to do so decades prior in the case of another UGA win.

Commemorative items, like the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs national championship Coca-Cola bottle and the Athens-Banner Herald’s hardcover commemorative book, speak to the power of branding. These items represent joyous and meaningful periods to the individuals who purchase them. It becomes more than just a bottle of Coke and more than just a book–it becomes a tangible representation of a memory. 

Photo by Bill King/DawgNation

Delta: The Airline of Champions

Delta, an Atlanta-based business and “The Official Airline of Champions,” welcomed the Georgia Bulldogs home after winning their first title in 41 years. According to the Delta News Hub, “Delta has carried more than 50 teams to the pinnacle of their respective sports.”

Delta is a prime example of the efficacy of using sports to market brands and improve business, as they have been using this strategy for decades. This strategy has worked so well for Delta that they have become “The Official Airline of Champions” and “The Official Airline of Team USA.” In addition, Delta Airlines will be carrying U.S. Olympians and Paralympians to The Olympic Games Beijing 2022 and the Olympic Summer Games Paris 2024. 

Photo: Vince Dooley and Herschel Walker flying to the 1981 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans /Delta News Hub

Atlanta United: A Marketing Success

Established in 2014, Atlanta United is a relatively young soccer team; however, despite its youth, on August 3rd, 2019, over 72,000 fans showed up for the home matchup against the LA Galaxy, breaking an MLS single-game attendance record in a regular season. 

The Atlanta United brand alone showcases the power of sports in local Atlanta marketing. According to Relish Marketing, it all began with the team’s naming. The marketing team turned to the fans via online polls and social media, asking them to select their favorite name. After several weeks of data collection, it was clear that “Atlanta United” was the favorite amongst the team’s fans. The marketing team then revealed the team name and logo via a video, beginning the official launch of the Atlanta United franchise. In just 7 years, through consistent community engagement via events, giveaways, and local soccer community outreach, the team has managed to build a fanbase that breaks MLS attendance records. 

Photo by John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

How Online Optimism Can Help   

The power surrounding the intersection of sports and marketing can be seen at both local and national levels. In Atlanta, this is evident by the business it creates locally. It can be seen throughout the city on signs, flyers, newspapers, and billboards; it can be felt at games during interactions with loyal and dynamic Georgia sports fans. Finally, it can also be measured, as evident by the above statistics and facts. It is a great time to be a proud ATLien and an even better time to be the proud owner of an Atlanta-based business.  

If you are interested in using sports as a marketing tool, Online Optimism can help. Identifying with and understanding the enthusiasm of Saints fans, Online Optimism assisted a New Orleans-based automotive dealership in writing a blog post on the topic of tailgating as a way to encourage community empowerment and a way to market their business. The blog post called on individuals to join the dealership in cheering on the Saints with good food, good drinks and great people.

We are happy to assist you with implementing this strategy, and others, in ways that work best for you and your business. 

Contact us today!