Online Travel Booking Brand Landscape
Sport and travel share a number of characteristics that make them compatible and high impact marketing collaborations. Both transcend borders, evoke passion and inspire investment from people looking for experiences. Airbnb, Expedia, Tripadvisor and Booking Holidays are four key players at the forefront of online travel, with Expedia and Booking Holidays Inc holding 80% of the market alone.
Sport partnerships are a largely untapped strategy in travel, predominantly limited to football and large traditional events including the Olympics. Considering sports fans are a group likely to travel to follow their teams, this is surprising. But with emerging and extreme sports lending themselves seamlessly to being marketable as experiences, there are considerable opportunities for rights holders and travel companies to capitalise on those sports with a growing, global profile.
Content marketing in travel is all about experiential escapism. The aesthetic nature of sports like surfing and sailing lends them well to creative campaigns. Airbnb’s 2018 collaboration with the World Surf League made it one of the first top players to align as an active supporter of alternative sport related travel. Their recent redevelopment of services to allow for greater personalisation is proof there is demand for something unique and different by consumers. Kayak’s Travel Pros campaign in 2018 then brought extreme adventure into the mix documenting snowboarder, Jeremy Jones, planning and following his adventure to the mountains. The character-focus of its narrated, mini documentary style advert highlights the potential opportunities for rights holders to utilise the power of athletes as ambassadors to promote the sport as a reason to travel.
There is a sustainable element to this kind of partnership. Those travelling for sport are investing in a passion and are likely doing so in the future. There is scope for rights holders to align themselves with travel organisations based on shared values, enabling a connection via a brand message that resonates with audiences on both sides. Both would benefit from the exposure whilst working to improve the user experience. There’s a lot to explore.
- Key Players
- Sports Marketing Behaviour
- Key Sports Marketing Activity
- Social Media
- Examples of Content Marketing
- Key Players’ Strategic Focuses
For an example of a full Brand Landscape, see our Sports Apparel and Footwear version