Community Advertising with Youth Sports

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Reach families with community advertising

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Community and local advertising consists of the techniques, practices, and strategies used by a brand to make meaningful connections with a specific community that is mutually beneficial to each individual within that group.

Unlike many other forms of advertising that are centered around getting consumers to purchase a product or service, local community advertising involves building relationships with targeted audiences through numerous channels, including sponsorships of local organizations and sports teams; in-person events, such as farmer’s markets and fundraisers; donations to community facilities, parks, and other assets that community members value; and online outreach, including social media campaigns that support the values of the community.

Brands may choose to implement community engagement marketing campaigns in previously established communities or they may seek to build a unique community of individuals with similar interests within a neighborhood, city, or region. Within this network, marketing teams will focus on building trust through personal conversations and other communications that strengthen relationships. They engage in campaigns that demonstrate genuine support of the values within the community.


For optimal outcomes, marketers often focus on these major components of local marketing:

  • Targeting the right audience: Choosing an audience that naturally resonates with a specific brand is one of the tenets of a successful community marketing engagement. Many companies, for this reason, will partner with elementary and high school sports teams. Often, companies will have sports fans among their customers and employees, either through direct relationships with their own family members or through past experiences. The location also is a consideration for a company located within a specific city, state, or region. With a community-focused marketing campaign, marketers generally focus on a smaller targeted audience than they normally would with traditional marketing campaigns. 
  • Investing in the groundwork. Building relationships requires a deeper understanding of the audience — their values, desires, aspirations, and other qualities that define their community. A marketing team may accomplish this goal by gathering insights through conversations or comprehensive data gathered about the designated communities.
  • Making real connections. When building a local marketing campaign, marketers also seek to establish relevant connections with individuals to serve as influencers. Unlike influencers with a social media following, individuals for local marketing initiatives may include leaders known within a community, including parents, coaches, teachers, and community advocates. These personal connections can be significant in building meaningful connections between the brand and the community.
  • Customizing messaging. With community advertising, advertising and marketing efforts are very specific to the target audience. To be successful, companies should convey that they understand the values, traits, and characteristics of the neighborhood, region, and specific group.


Another major factor in local marketing and advertising can be building a brand community. A brand community is a group of people emotionally invested in a brand and what it stands for. They may regularly share the brand’s lifestyle content with friends and family and interact with others in the brand community. Harley-Davidson, REI, Red Bull, and Sephora are among the well-known companies with strong brand communities.


Marketers have found that the investment in building a brand community — including time and resources — can have payoffs with brand loyalty and brand recognition. Harley Davidson, for example, now has 1,400 local chapters internationally that attract Harley brand enthusiasts who want to regularly meet in person. According to the Harvard Business Review (, the company’s focus on building a brand community back in the 1980s saved it from extinction and transformed it into an $8 billion business.


The benefits of local and community marketing are far-reaching. Marketers in a wide range of industries are now embracing community marketing. This community marketing 2022 enthusiasm comes on the heels of numerous surveys that reveal consumers want ‘community first’ and individualized marketing.

They want to be noticed by brands and treated as individual human beings. They want brands to support the causes they support. These recent surveys reveal that:

  • 70 percent of consumers want to know what the brands they support are doing to address social and environmental issues. — Markstein and Certus Insights (
  • 77% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that share their values. — Havas Media Group (
  • 77 percent of customers want companies to be helpful throughout their everyday life, post-pandemic. — Kantar COVID-19 Barometer (

Companies who have responded by building out this community marketing segment, whether by hiring a community marketing manager, sponsoring local sports teams, or supporting local nonprofits, have realized numerous benefits of community marketing.

Here are just a few of the advantages community marketing can offer:

  • An effective way to build brand loyalty. With deeper connections with an audience, a brand establishes itself as integral to the consumer’s circle of trusted sources, supporters, and friends.
  • Instrumental in the high rate of brand recall. A brand is better able to stand out from a crowded field of competitors when it develops close interpersonal relationships that have meaning to the consumers and their communities.
  • Boosts word-of-mouth marketing. Brand loyalists, those who are truly committed to a brand, willingly share their experiences with the company. They are more likely to recommend a product or service if they have a positive relationship with a brand.
  • Lowers the cost of customer acquisition. With strong community marketing efforts, brands can encourage repeat customers, resulting in fewer efforts to market for repeat or new customers.


A wide range of local marketing strategies have been adopted by small, large, and enterprise businesses. The following creative local marketing ideas are just a few local marketing examples incorporated into numerous campaigns


Also known as local sponsorships, community sponsorships are among the community marketing examples that have been implemented for decades. Many people often consider it a form of “giving back” to society.

As a community sponsor, which may also be referred to as a corporate sponsor, a business can show support for a local youth sports team, a nonprofit agency, or another cause-based organization that has meaning to a local community.


Whether it’s an annual fundraiser, a 5K, a local farmer’s market, a school play, or a town festival, events also rank high as strong community marketing strategy examples. These gatherings are known for bringing the community together. A business can elevate its brand by supporting a sense of community and the positive feelings that are associated with it.


Many businesses engage in local community advertising by supporting the construction or maintenance of a community center, walking trails, dog park, information kiosk, bike shares, and other assets that add to the overall community. A business’ logo or other information may be featured on promotional materials or the actual facility.


A local marketing strategy establishes a company as a conscientious brand, and allows it to make meaningful connections with customers and make a great impact. The result is an increase in numerous advantages, including brand loyalty.

Many businesses have found that a marketing strategy that includes community marketing is a worthwhile investment, whether they have a limited budget or one that can accommodate hiring the services of a local marketing company.

Involvement in the community is critical in helping a brand build mindshare in a market. Current and future customers often engage in their communities, whether walking along a trail, talking to a neighbor, keeping updated on local news on the radio or TV, attending sports games, or volunteering at schools or nonprofits, you can begin to understand why community marketing is an important pathway to long-term brand loyalty.

Businesses that can establish meaningful connections in a community can expect to maintain brand loyalty for extended periods.


In addition to Harley-Davidson, which established community groups internationally around its brand, REI, LuluLemon, and UberEats are major brands that can be analyzed as examples of a local marketing case study.


REI established the REI Co-, a membership organization that invites like-minded individuals, those interested in the outdoors, to join for $30. In addition to special discounts, $5 of the fee goes directly to the REI Cooperative Action Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that makes grants to nonprofits “that promote justice, equity, and belonging in the outdoors.” Currently, REI Co-op has 20 million lifetime members. Since 1976, the company had invested more than $100 million in organizations that supported its mission to increase access to outdoor places.


Uber Eats dedicated a community marketing strategy to connect with families and communities through a youth sports sponsorship campaign. By connecting with families in specific zip codes, the campaign focused on targeting busy families that — because of active sports schedules — often ordered out 2 or more times a week. The campaign resulted in a significant increase in the company’s brand familiarity.


Lululemon is a brand that often is cited in community marketing books and articles. One of the key strategies Lululemon implemented was to lead a movement relevant to its brand. The company, using “This is Yoga” as its slogan, demonstrated different ways that yoga can be integrated into day-to-day life. The 2017 campaign encouraged brand loyalists to share their personal experiences.


Many businesses will find advantages in reaching a local audience through a local marketing strategy that builds meaningful relationships with customers in their communities.

Encouraging brand loyalty, enhancing brand image, and incentivizing word-of-mouth are just a few of the benefits that can lead to a long-term competitive advantage.

Community and local marketing has become an essential element of an overall marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes.

Build Your Community Advertising Strategy With Youth Sports