Three Things We Can Learn About Marketing From Action Sports
Britton Lorentzen
Designer, marketer, and owner.

Published: February 20th, 2017

There’s ton of insanity in action sports. For most of us, all we see are a bunch of men and women performing incredible tricks that we could never dream of attempting. It’s this kind of insanity that has provided companies powerful ways to build their brand and engage with their audience. I’d go as far as to say we could learn a thing or two about how marketing works in action sports. Here are three ways we can learn more about marketing from folks in the action sports industry.

1. How to Build a Brand

Action sports are notorious for personalities that are bigger than life and companies that are always raising the bar on marketing campaigns. What makes action sports unique is that they are made of athletes that are nuts and can associate a personality to a brand name.

When you look at brands like Monster and Red Bull, you associate the brands as energetic and lively. When you consider the athletes they sponsor, they include people such as Nyjah Huston, Ryan Sheckler, Danny Way, and other notable figures. The way these companies chose their athletes are all by design. The idea behind companies sponsoring athletes are to associate positive traits of the athletes to their brand. When the athlete is participating in events, they become the spokesperson of the brand and it’s their responsibility to act appropriately. This isn’t any different from Nike or Under Armour sponsoring athletes in football, baseball, and basketball. The hope for companies sponsoring action sports athletes is to have customers associate certain people to the brand and have the association lead to sales from people wanting to be just like their favorite sports star.

2. How to Adapt to Change

It seems like there’s always something crazy that is being done in action sports. A long time ago, the buzz was about Tony Hawk landing the first 900 at the X Games. Now we hear about skateboarders landing 1080s, we have new tricks being performed in freestyle motocross, and new events being created to continue impressing the audience. Action sports is about increasing the insanity level and this is a trait that all businesses can learn from.

A complacent company is one that doesn’t last long. It’s important to look at the next big thing and jump on board before the train has left the station. Sometimes this means creating a whole new product category that may seem like a risky investment. You’ll never know what is possible until you try it out. There are a lot of advisors that will advise a company to stay on their current course. It’s easy to prove how your company can continue being profitable with a process that’s been tested and optimized. I would argue that it’s okay to be conservative until you start seeing evidence that the market is changing. Once you see a shift in consumer behavior, it’s your responsibility as a company to respond and address how you’ll adapt to the change.

3. How to Maintain Engagement

Action sports folks are passionate about their sports. There will always be people talking about a video that gets put out by a brand, what people are able to land, and what’s happening at the X Games. Action sports brands are amazing at putting together content that continues to bring in viewers and promote engagement. Businesses have the potential to create amazing content that will attract viewers, their main problem is maintaining a consistent schedule.

There’s always something crazy happening in action sports. The volume of stories coming in makes it easy for any company to post things related to action sports. For businesses that are not in action sports, keeping a consistent schedule will mean looking for content that their audience is interested in. Instead of looking for content, I would suggest trying to make your own content. Making engaging content is as easy as putting together a blog with tips and tricks related to your service. Are you a local restaurant trying to engage with your customers? Maybe try putting together a video series where your head chef is giving viewers cooking tips. Are you a lawyer that specializes in a specific genre of law? Put together a blog that addresses some of the pain points your clients run into. There are many creative ways to engage your audience and get them interested in your product or service.

What are some things you’ve learned about marketing from action sports? There are a lot of things we can repurpose to serve our own needs. Let me know what you’ve learned from observing action sports by submitting a comment below, emailing me at, or sending a message to me on Twitter. If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to subscribe to the blog below so you get updates on future posts. I’m also looking for new topics to discuss! Let me know if there’s a question or topic you would like me to talk about in future posts. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to talking with you all again soon.

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