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Communication is the exciting part of marketing and innovation: it’s getting your message or efforts out to the outside world. Discover the process and different building blocks of a good communication strategy, an overview of channels you should keep in mind, and the services we offer. 

Wij kunnen je begeleiden met al je communicatie challenges. Alles start bij strategie, maar een goede uitvoering zorgt voor de beste resultaten. Lees hier meer over communicatie binnen de sport en hoe we jou kunnen helpen.

Communication in sports is just as important as in other businesses or sectors. Perhaps even more due to the sometimes one-off character of goals we’re trying to meet such as attracting event attendees. Because why do we communicate? To attract participants, spectators, customers new players/employees to our sport or venue. The time you could just put up a billboard or open a shop and expect people to just come and discover you is over. With the overload of information at hand nowadays, carefully crafted messages need to be delivered to the right person in the right format in order to achieve results. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at what’s the definition of communication in sports.


Sports communication

Any type of interaction you have with a business can be labelled as communication. Including packaging of products, customer service, digital information on a website or social media, or simply direct contact with a sales person. Sports communication is the exact same thing but in a sports environment.

Communication through sports

“Marketing is the way you promote your business in order to achieve your goals. These goals can be sales oriënted such as genering more sales or upselling products, or marketing oriënted such as data capturing or fan engagement. 

Communication for sports

Now sports marketing is defined as a subpart of general marketing. They are seen as an own branch within marketing because our market has industry specific characteristics different from other markets.


Communication is the translation of your internal business and values to the outside world – or internally to your employees and stakeholders. Effective communication combines this with knowing the pain points and needs of the audience who will be receiving these messages, as one argument might work for one group, but completely fails for the other. 

Therefore the core of a good communication is thoroughly understanding what you stand for as a business and who your target audience  – or more detailed: persona is. 

This is why with each customer who asks me to set-up a communication strategy for them, I start by doing an audit of their marketing strategy: what’s your positioning (sender) and marketing (receiver) strategy. Because if this hasn’t been thought through sufficiently, you can communicate all the messages you want but you will never reach the business goals you had in mind. And waste a lot of money in the process.


Reaching your goals


Goals in sports


Communication is the key part of your business strategy, as no goal will be met without it. Here’s an overview of the typical goals within the sports industry that need to be met 

Members Training in Health Club


Brands and commercial organizations operate based on their bottom line, so the more customers they can attract the better. Communication will need to be segmented and personalised, and need a good marketing media mix to increase ROI. E-mail marketing and retargeting should be a main focus here. As upselling and creating ambassadors, costs much less than the acquisition of new customers.


Various organisations such as sports facilities, fitness centers, clubs, federations and associations rely on the recruitment of members to ensure survival. Becoming a thought leader or go-to place for information on your sport or specialty will attract potential members in a natural way and keep them engaged. Recruting new members through advertising and PR will ensure an ongoing membership base and implementing membership programs, automated reminders and innovative services will support the loyalty of current customers.

Spectators & supporters

Organizations that promote sporting events must communicate with the public to attract spectators and supporters, and maximize their spending. Next to the acquisition of members through advertising, an engaging and entertaining campaign and content strategy will be key to create fan engagement and to maintain loyal spectators even when results aren’t as hoped for. Memberships and recurring visitors is what you’re aiming for here, and this will be made possible by loyalty programs, entertainment or creating lasting experiences. Data capturing and big data will play a key role in this success.


Sports teams, event organizers or individual athletes can benefit from (personal) branding to attract sponsors. Communication ensures higher visibility for the organization or athlete and when executed correctly, will clearly display the values of the organization or player. A higher reach and following offers a higher return for potential sponsors thus a bigger chance of attracting and maintaining incomes from sponsorships. Proactively communicating about achievements and spontaneous product placement, will maintain the sponsor’s interest and commitment.

ice hockey goalkeeper
Group of athletic young people, friends in sportswear doing exercises. Sport outdoors


Sports clubs and teams rely on good players to compete at the highest level and attract spectators and sponsors. Quality communication of the team’s identity, successes and ambitions will create a professional appeal and help build the team’s profile. Talent attracts talent and high-level sponsorships attract more of those, so pick your partners carefully and communicate professionally. This also accounts for brands who want to attract world-class athletes for sponsorships.


The same accounts for business, as finding and retain talent will always remain an important business goal for any company. Corporate branding and a clear communication of the corporate identity will help attract employees with the same values and characteristics, which will attract more qualified leads and shorten the application process.

How to reach that goal?




Techniques to keep in mind throughout the process.

As mentioned before, outbound marketing where you just shout as loud as possible to get your product ad out doesn’t work anymore. We’ve evolved from a sales model to an inbound marketing model, where you need high quality content and tools that provide added value to your customers in order to pull them into your sales funnel. No matter the goal, you should segment your communication efforts and channels into the different stages of the sales funnel, so that you clearly know where to prioritize.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is the process of attracting new customers by offering valuable content in each step of their buyer journey. It focuses on the customers’ needs and questions instead of the message we want to send out.

Fan engagement

Fan engagement is specifically used in sports and event sectors and means creating conversations with customers during but especially beyond sporting events to stimulate fan loyalty.

Lead generation

Lead generation refers to the process of capturing customer’s data as quickly as possible in order to retarget them with relevant data in order to guide them through the sales funnel.

Channel communication lifecycle

5 steps to get started with any communication channels 


Goals & KPI's

Which customer do we want to reach or which campaign do we want to get out there.


Overall Strategy

Create an actionable content planning & action list


Channel Strategy

What’s the best way to use this channel on the long term​



Know how to use that channel, implement the right tools and select the people to do it



How are you going to measure the results and make optimizations. ​

#1 Goals & KPI's


Your end goal can be any of the ones listed above: acquiring new customers, selling your product, selling event tickets or getting new sponsors.


On top of your goals, you should define KPI's, these are key performance indicators, displaying whether you're well on your way towards reaching your goal and where you need to adjust. One KPI will be the end goal you determined above. It's important to have subgoals as well. In the first, or awareness section: you should look at your reach, followers and website visits. In the consideration phase you want to look at interaction goals: comments, shares, e-mail subscriptions, e-book downloads. Placing a number on these will make your goals tangible and turn them into KPI's.

Concept of success and achieving your goal, man climbing stairs.

Planning for success

#2 overall planning

Getting your message out there

First is important to get some definitions right. When I first started, the difference between a communication strategy, communication plan, media strategy, media planning, content plan and content strategy were very unclear and seemed to be used by different people in different situations. Here’s how I divided the different sorts:

Communication strategy

Selecting channels & campaigns

Communication strategy

Select the communication channels that match your business and define your HERO - HUB - and HYGIENE campaigns.
Learn more >

Commercial & campaign strategy

Define the strategy within each campaign by selecting messages and channels.

Campaign strategy

This is the detailed version of each campaign where you will select the message, communication channels, KPI’s and budget.
Learn more >

Marketing planning

A visual overview of your presence on each communication channel throughout the year.

Marketing planing

Map your campaigns on a horizontal axis, all your channels on a vertical axis and indicate for each campaign on which of these channels you'll be present.
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Content strategy

Define the strategy within each campaign by selecting messages and channels.

Content strategy

The content strategy is the next step where you will define with type of content item (eg a video, infographic, Facebook live video, article) you will use per campaign, going into the design
Learn more >

Communication planning

Create a timeline of all content that will be published.

Communication planning

Transfer your strategy into an actionable timeline, so that it's clear what needs to be posted when.
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Content & action plan

Mapping your content items defined above in a timeline so that it's clear when exactly which content item will be published on which channel.

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#3 channel STRATEGY

Once the overall strategy has been created, you should create a clear strategy and planning for each selected communication channel. Here’s an overview of the different communication channels you should think of and the related fields of expertise: One main difference with other industries is that sports people tend to be inquisitive people. Though online sales is skyrocketing, in general they want to try something before they go out and buy it. They also prefer personal contact which is why some items of the communication mix will require more focus.


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3rd P Advertising

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E-mail marketing

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Content creation

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Lead generation

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TV, Radio

Traditional marketing should definitely have their place in your channel strategy


time to make it happen


The right team, tools and processes will be crucial to execute your strategy successfully.

#5 Data & Analytics

Customer data & Analytics

Without data and analytics you're exploring the world of communication completely blinded. Here are some tools you should definitely implement when doing any form of communication.

Google Analytics tracking

This is a basic tool which tracks your website visits, the behavior of your visitors and more importantly: which channels they're coming from. This will give you a general overview of which channels work best for acquisition and conversion of visitors.

Facebook retargeting pixel

This is a pixel you should install in your website by providing code to your website developer. This will allow you to retarget website visitors through Facebook ads which is a very effective tool. So install it straight away, because you'll start building your audience even if you're not advertising yet.

Lead generation & CRM system

During your communication, you'll want to capture users' data as soon as possible, because once you do, you don't need ad spend to connect again. A CRM will store that user data and complete it with any other data you capture. For both there are many options, though for CRM I would advise the Hubspot CRM, totally free, very compatible with mailing tools and very powerful

Channel specific reporting

Each individual channel has their own tools to track and analyze data. For SEO you want to install Google Search Console, for SEA you need Google Adwords, Facebook business manager will give you everything you need to advertise on FB & INSTA. And most mailing systems will include a detailed reporting about open rate, click rate and bounce race of your mails. Next level is 'UTM' tagging, look it up and discover its value 😉

HOW we can help



SEO is one of the communication channels that’s been least taken advantage of. One because it’s ever changing and quite challenging to set-up. Two because you need experts in the field in order to compete with the ever growing content online. SEA is often a black box, that’s being used but has much more to offer. I’ll help you to align both and take over Google together. 

Influencer marketing is the biggest growing communication channel. I’ll help you set-up a complete influencer strategy, ranging from the value your offer, returns you’re expecting, how to select matching influencers, organizing a content & activation calendar plus the analytics of it all. 

Sponsorships will always play a big role in any sports marketing strategy. Though many companies invest hugely in events, teams or athletes, very few reap the benefits to the fullest. Creating a good portfolio strategy, an in-depth content & activation plan and analytics to give you insights in what’s happening,  will help increase your ROI of your sponsorship.  

Social media channels and their respective audiences are constantly changing. Have you heard about Twitch? Do you know WhatsApp is becoming a sales channel? Did you know that Facebook is not  dead even though it seems like Instagram is taking over? Let’s decide the most relevant channels for your target audience, and create an actionable and channel specific content & ad planning to ensure success. 

PR is basically free media space, so it should be part of any communication strategy. But it takes more than a simple e-mail or launch event to actually get that coverage. Let’s work on building long-lasting relationships and a yearly PR planning to build your brand in the PR space. 

Whether you’re organizing an  event, have a booth present or sponsoring one, a good communication strategy before during after is what will get you the ROI you want. Fun activations focused on data capturing will  ensure you can connect with users long after the event is finished.  

Content is king is not one of the most used marketing quotes with no reason. In a world that’s full of cluttered messages screaming for our attention, high quality content is what you need to reach good results in your communication strategy. 

Advise you on analytics and data tools, plus help in the implementation of them. 


I had the pleasure to work with Julie in her first role at Etixx & more recently at Polar. Julie is a very dynamic, hungry & positive marketing professional. Julie is only happy when the job is done and the results are there. She quickly identifies opportunities and knows how to structure various tasks. She works fast-paced and communicates very open and honest. I would work with her again when the opportunity arises.
Koen Demyttenaere From Polar Electro Benelux reviewing the cooperation with Julie MySueno for the organization of the Polar M430 launch event, start-up of sponsorship activations and the local social media case.
Koen Demyttenaere
Polar Electro Benelux
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Julie Vandenhouweele - Marketing & Innovation expert

 Tel: +32 474 49 24 13 

Email: julie@mysueno.leansights.be

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Wij kunnen je begeleiden met al je communicatie challenges. Alles start bij strategie, maar een goede uitvoering zorgt voor de beste resultaten. Lees hier meer over communicatie binnen de sport en hoe we jou kunnen helpen.
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Act now, prepare for tomorrow, know where you’re going in the future. Discover more about innovation in the sports industry and how we can help you.