media update’s Nakedi Phala reveals the importance of  PR in sport.
When it comes to sport, the role of the PR pro is to improve the athlete’s or club’s fan base and manage its appearance. Additionally, these professionals preserve the images of players on and off the field of play and, most importantly, they create interest and hype around the club throughout the season. 

In most cases, athletes are role models and celebrities; therefore, they need their image to be managed by a PR professional. When a player switches clubs or when a sports club acquires new sponsorship, there’s a press circulation forwarded to media houses for media coverage.

With that in mind, here are the four valuable roles that PR plays in the sporting profession: 

1. PR pros attract sponsorships

If a sports club is running on a low budget and needs a financial boost, it can look into a PR strategy that can help them manage that financial gap. 

There are many things that PR pros can do to help you get sponsorship. They can: 
  • write a persuasive proposal to attract the right sponsorship for the club or athlete 
  • organise a press conference and discuss the needs for sponsorship 
  • help you achieve favorable publicity that will make it easy to attract sponsorship 
Sponsorship is a distinctive type of PR, therefore, when it’s undertaken by public relations practitioners they are able to tick all the boxes of a sporting club’s donor needs. 

2. PR pros can help you manage your reputation 

PR is not only about organising events and writing press releases, but it’s also about managing the reputation of your sports organisation, whether there’s a crisis or not. How? Well, just consider the following points:
  • A sports club that has its image well taken care of has room to build trust with sponsors. 
  • PR practitioners know what to look out for in preventing a crisis from occurring. 
  • PR practitioners have the skills to deal with fake news that could dent your club’s reputation.  
  • PR practitioners have the expertise to maintain your brand’s image even after a crisis. 
A sporting organisation such as a soccer club or rugby team that is in a prominent league has a number of players that are famous and that are deemed to be role models. Therefore, their positive and negative actions can affect the club, so having a plan in place to deal with bad publicity that could dent the team or player’s reputation need to be ready and awaiting the greenlight!

3. PR pros use social media to interact with fans

The power of social media has changed how fans interact with the club and its players — welcome to the new age! PR practitioners have a passion for people and language — communication is their thing. 

And it’s because of their ability to communicate well that they also play the role of social media managers. To perform this role, they need to:
  • Share team announcements on social media. For example, they Tweet live from events about the sports awards under the team’s account. 
  • Share short clips on social media pages for those who are unable to make it to the event or who are not near their televisions. 
  • Update followers on any injuries that occur during the match, substitutions and starting line-ups.  
  • Select appropriate content shared by fans to reshare from their official accounts. 
  • Interact with club sponsors on social media to canvas the relationships. 

Making use of these PR tactics can assist your club and players to uphold a positive image for the stakeholders and the fans. PR will not only make your brand look good, but it will also make the supporters feel valued and included.

What are some other benefits that PR can bring to the table for sports organisations? Let us know in the comments section below.

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If reading this article made your passion for sport turn into a passion for public relations, then you need to check out these Five FAQs for people looking to go into PR to see if you have what it takes.
*Image courtesy of Canva