3 Buyer Personas for Major League Sports Campaigns

Illustrative graphic of sporting equipment from major league sports campaigns

When summer weather starts to wrap up, it means the peak season for major league sports is upon us. Baseball, basketball, hockey, and football fans will all be glued to their screens, planning parties, and buying sports team merch. With this season comes many advertising opportunities!

Whether you’re running a CPG campaign to reach party planners, a retail campaign for merch, or promoting a travel deal, to get the most out of your major league sports campaigns, you’ll need to know exactly who your audience is. That’s where buyer personas come in.

Ready to kick-off your major league sports campaigns? Let’s dive into trends in the market, and 3 buyer personas for sports fans.

There is a massive opportunity in creating seasonal marketing campaigns for major league sports events. 

Fans travel to see their favourite teams, playoff games bring an influx of visitors to cities, everyone wants team merchandise, and don’t forget about those viewing parties! If your brand is something that sports fans want, this could be the seasonal cycle for your biggest campaigns and revenue impact.

Here are some key stats that provide a picture of just how impactful the major league sports market is. 

How much is the global sports market worth? 

By 2027, the global sports market is expected to be worth over $600 billion US. This massive industry includes the people, activities, and organizations that are involved with producing, facilitating, or organizing sports activities.

How large is the audience for major league sports?

Major league sports events draw massive audiences. Let’s use the Super Bowl as an example. The latest consumer spending data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights and Analytics found that in 2023, 192.9 million US adults planned to tune in to the big game.

Meanwhile, 103.5 million people planned to throw or attend a party, and another 17.8 million planned to watch the game at a bar or restaurant. Total spending on food, drinks, apparel, decorations and other purchases for the day was expected to reach $16.5 billion, or $85.36 per person.

Sports Industry Revenue Worldwide in 2022, With a Forecast for 2028

    Source: Statista

    3 Buyer Personas for Major League Sports Campaigns

    To take advantage of the busy season in sports, you’ll want to build buyer personas. Buyer personas help you understand who your customers (and prospective customers) are. 

    With this insight, you can tailor your digital advertising to meet the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of the members of your target audience.

    Let’s dive into 3 sports enthusiast personas that you can use to know your audience a bit better, so you can determine the best way to reach them.

    1. Meet Laura: The Fantasy Leaguer

    Laura is a young unmarried professional, aged 25-34, lives in Texas and is still paying down student loans from her college education.

    With a household income of between $30,000-60,000 US, she is starting to become financially stable with more disposable income. She browses at work and is an avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys. She will watch the Super Bowl intensely, probably with friends.

    Laura uses search terms, such as:

    • NFL fantasy lineup
    • Fantasy Football rankings
    • NFL DFS tournaments
    • Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer

    You’ll find Laura on sites like:

    • Fantasypros.com
    • Rotoworld.com
    • espn.com/nfl
    • reddit.com/r/nfl

    2. This is Jack: The Party Planner

    Aged 35-44, Jack is a married professional with children. An avid basketball fan, Jack has a household income between $100K to $200K US. He watches college basketball and hosts his friends for every March Madness tournament. 

    While he has a favourite team, he is more invested in the tournament, and the excitement that comes with it. He browses at work and is always looking for themed decor, party food, and new drinks.

    Jack visits pages that contain phrases, such as:

    • Party planning tips
    • March madness bracket
    • Party food
    • Easy to make drinks

    Most often, Jack will be on pages like:

    • ncaa.com/sports/basketball-men/d1
    • Foodnetwork.com
    • hgtv.com
    • foodandwine.com

    3. Get to Know Rob: The Beer Enthusiast

    College educated, Rob is aged 25-34, browses at home and relishes in the social aspect of being a sports fan. He is less interested in the sport or the outcome, but in the celebration opportunity the big game provides. He is interested in trying new beers and has a higher propensity to spend on men’s grooming and fashion.

    Rob’s recently viewed pages contain phrases, such as:

    • Craft beer festival
    • Best craft beer
    • Types of beer
    • Beer of the month

    You’ll likely find Rob on sites like:

    • Beeradvocate.com
    • Foodfornet.com
    • Mantelligence.com
    • Gq.com

    Major League Digital Advertising Tips

    The digital advertising world is packed with opportunity, but it’s also filled with competitors and lots of noise for your target segment. To succeed with your campaign, you need to stand out.

    Leverage Programmatic Advertising

    When it comes to distributing your ads, think beyond social media for these big sporting events. While social media is an important part of the programmatic landscape, it covers less ground than you might think. There are billions of websites across the internet, and programmatic advertising will help you reach those web users. 

    Choosing a programmatic partner that scales across the web allows you to reach sports lovers wherever they consume content. Most sports lovers aren’t at every game, but you can be sure they’re watching on the big screen.

    Adding connected TV (CTV) to your media mix allows you to reach viewers on their TV without breaking your budget. When you can advertise across various channels from one platform, you’re ahead of the game! 

    Target Your Buyer Personas

    During this upcoming sports season, there is going to be lots of competition for audience attention. Don’t let your ads get lost in the crowd! To make the most out of your budget, be sure to target strategically. Third-party audience segments are a great way to reach an audience that match your buyer personas.

    You can target NHL Fans, Heavy Baseball Watchers, Visitors to NBA Areas, and NFL Enthusiasts—just to name a few. You also have the opportunity to target fans of nearly any team in a major league! To stretch your budget even further, be sure to create lookalike audiences to capture anyone who mimics the online behaviour of users that have visited your site and converted. 

    Retarget Users Who Engage

    When you follow a user throughout their online journey, you want to stay top of mind, but you don’t want to be annoying. With dynamic retargeting, you can retarget users who have landed on your site, viewed your video ad, or engaged in some other way. You can serve them unique ads that feature specific items they have browsed.

    Get Started With Major League Sports Advertising

    Ready to run winning major league sports campaigns? Leveraging buyer personas will help you to plan campaigns that are personalized toward your audience. 

    You’re able to cater your digital campaigns to give sports fans exactly what they are looking for, and at the moment they’re looking for it. Personalizing your digital strategy will help you capture attention, and drive your target audience down the marketing funnel. 

    Want to run exceptional major league campaigns? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.

    Kaitlin Forbes
    Kaitlin Forbes

    Senior Director of Product Marketing


    Kaitlin partners with various stakeholders to determine product messaging, positioning, sales enablement, and go-to-market strategy. With 10+ years in product marketing, Kaitlin has worked on various forms of SaaS products including programmatic and CRM.