Imagine, a signpost standing at a crossroads. Pointing in one direction, the sign says “Victory”. Pointing in the other direction, it says “Fulfilment”. My statement is going to show a journey bound for and based on fulfilment.
After a year abroad, studying sports marketing in Japan, England and the Netherlands, a profound interest in sport brands and fans grew within me. Especially the different layers of fan engagement that separate fan segments started to intrigue me. Moreover, it is the way brands, organisations and institutions use sport, media and marcom to evolve little involved fans into highly engaged ones.
“Fans fall and stay in love with brands”
Brands make us more of who we are. People represent the cultivation of what could be. The brands we choose to champion are an expression of our better selves. They let us see ourselves achieving all our goals and desires (Lively, 2020).
So, for me, being able to study how to increase this exact feeling in people is very fulfilling.
As a sports marketer, economics in general, and as part of the sporting business, interests me as it is not only theoretical but also relevant to daily life. Fan engagement being monetised through well planned and executed partnership activations I think is a wonderful example of this.
PSV Eindhoven internship
During my latest research report for PSV Eindhoven, I specifically analysed online (partner) content in order to ultimately design a content strategy. Its aim? To realise relevant (partner) content that is more in line with the online audience/fanbase segment content needs so that engagement, involvement and emotional sentiments on the online PSV platforms could be improved. I did all this while working with the marcom team.
Being very grateful for this project, Eli Lejeune, head of marcom, brand and design at PSV assessed me as follows: “Sem is a very intelligent strategist. he has the capacity to process a lot of feedback in order to provide clear advice and a tangible plan or strategy. He very much impressed me”.
Three other key experiences that have shaped me were:
- An account executive internship for sports marketing agency Sports Impact Ltd. in London. Not only did this internship strengthen my expertise in PR-writing, but it also enhanced my ability to work in a professional team achieving predetermined goals such as desired engagement rates or brand awareness. My internship work was graded and assessed at the junior marketer level. I was mentored by the leading PR writer and CEO of Sports Impact, John Collard.
2. I am an explorer who pushes the limits. A six-month media & commerce study I completed at Chuo University in Tokyo, obtaining an ‘A’ for each class, evidences this. Besides my studies, I also investigated the city marketing efforts surrounding the 2020 Olympic Games.
My life in Japan enriched the way I view the world. Its culture showed me the relevance of devoting oneself to the perfection of whatever one pursues.
3. I feel a strong desire to discover. It has always driven me and recently even inspired me to begin this digital marketing agency called Ipsem which enables me to satisfy my first real clients. To convince clients of my expertise, I began my own company-linked blog that I still use to write about my vision and sports marketing principles. My first client is ExploreMe.
I manage their LinkedIn account to increase fan engagement and boost awareness with video content and have also designed their website which taught me how to use imperative marketing funnels to guide visitors from social media profiles to the conversion button on the website.
Current academic focus
After my cum laude sports marketing undergrad graduation from Fontys University of Applied Sciences, my present academic focus is aimed at:
- Fan engagement
- Digital marketing/advertising
- Financial analysis
- Sports sponsorship activation
- Customer journey mapping
- Content marketing strategies
I now pursue these focus points by pursuing the masters degree MSc Football Communications and Digital Marketing at the Global Institute of Sport (GIS) which is a college of the University of East London.
Kendra, L., 2020. 4 Reasons Why People Fall In Love With Brands. [Online]
Available at: https://www.phase3mc.com/thinking/2014/02/4-reasons-people-fall-love-brands
[Accessed 19 January 2022].