The primary headline on Adobe’s latest press release announced today that “Cyber Monday Is Largest Online Sales Day in History with $6.59 Billion.” However, it is the secondary headline that is more important for sports organizations. It states: “Revenue Driven by Smartphones Hits All-Time High with $1.59 Billion.”

For years, sports organizations have been investing millions of dollars in mobile technology with a particular focus on app development. One of the criticisms of this technology is that these investments are difficult to monetize. In particular, customers had been wary of making purchases through mobile devices in the past. This meant that, while customers might browse for products online, they were more likely to purchase products in retail locations.

Cyber Monday shows this is increasingly not the case. As Mickey Mericle, Vice President, Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe, stated, “Shopping and buying on smartphones is becoming the new norm and can be attributed to continued optimizations in the retail experience on mobile devices and platforms.”

This is good for sports teams in particular for two reasons. The first reason is that a team’s app should be used as a primary revenue channel. In a previous post, we demonstrated how the Orlando Magic used its team app to create “Magic Money” to create new monetization opportunities in season ticket sales.   

The second, potentially less intuitive reason, is that sports sponsorship activation in mobile channels should become much more attractive to corporate partners. In particular, the goal of most partners is to make it as easy as possible for their customers to buy their products. Sports fans, particularly younger sports fans, are spending an increasing amount of time on mobile devices.

Companies want to be where their customers are but mobile had presented a challenge. In the past, the purchasing journey would still require someone to consume mobile content and then go to a different channel (i.e. a retail store or a desktop computer) to make a purchase. Now, companies can be confident that if they target sports fans on mobile devices, these fans will now be willing to make purchases on the mobile devices making the path to monetization much easier.  

This should make social media sponsorship significantly more valuable. In particular, up to 80% of social media traffic occurs on mobile devices. Our Social Sentiment Analysis Platform (SAP) has shown that teams and athletes frequently deliver higher levels of engagement and sentiment in their posts than companies can obtain on their own. Targeting customers in the channels (social and mobile) where they are more likely to respond positively to a targeted message and then make a purchase of a product is a winning proposition for corporate partners.