Skip to main content




















The world of sports thrives on narratives, passion, and community amongst fans. Through digital PR, you can amplify these elements online by creating stories, highlighting key events, and sparking conversation from all the ongoings of the ever-changing sports world.

However, what is the best way to do this? And how do you execute this across multiple territories?

In this guide, we’ll discuss:

  • The size of the sports market
  • The focus when running a campaign
  • Our ‘always on’ strategy for digital PR in sports
  • Outreach tips and key publications to focus on in each territory


Understanding the size of the market

The global sports market is a thriving industry, and with revenue expected to surpass $680 billion by 2028, there are no signs of it slowing down.

With the likes of this year’s Super Bowl setting viewing records with an estimated 123.7 million non-stadium spectators, and the Premier League opening weekend experiencing a 40% increase in viewership, it’s evident that the market continues to attract new audiences and generate higher watch numbers around the world.

Naturally, with the sports landscape continuing to evolve, content for supporters has never been as readily accessible, with thousands of publications and journalists keeping fans in the loop with news surrounding all the highs and lows of leagues, teams, athletes, coaches, and much more.

And with the media landscape changing so quickly, it creates fantastic opportunities to jump on key events and trends.


Putting together a campaign

Putting together a strong digital PR campaign comes down to solid ideating and timing, and that couldn’t be more relevant for sports. But what should be the main areas of your focus?

Generally speaking, it’s important to capitalise on current events, ongoing trends, and possible newsworthy angles, while also leveraging the vast amount of data which surrounds the world of sports to your advantage:

Go beyond game/event results

Whilst offering reactive opportunities, what happens game-to-game is only the start. Focus on the players, fans, coaches, stadiums, and everything in between.

Seasonal hooks

Ensure you tie your campaign to upcoming events. Whether that’s opening weekends, cup finals, or just key dates on the sporting calendar, the news agenda will be focusing heavily on these, so you should too.

Align with trending topics

Explore what topics are currently performing well in the media and find ways of jumping on them.

Tell data-driven stories

Dive into all the data available to you. Analyse fan habits, in-game statistics, and social media activity to create insightful content that journalists can use and that gets fans talking.


Our ‘always on’ approach and how it’s perfect for sports

Over the last three years, the digital PR market within the world of sports has become, perhaps somewhat appropriately, a lot more competitive.

And with many different industries, such as iGaming brands, adopting the PR strategy of building backlinks, this makes being creative with your own strategy is imperative because many campaigns which may have experienced success in the past may very well struggle to make an impact in today’s market.

Therefore, it’s important to implement a strategy which allows you to plan content around major events and react to ongoing news within the industry; allowing you to maximise your outreach potential.

Here at connective3, for example, we do this by implementing what we’ve dubbed our ‘always on’ approach to digital PR, which typically consists of rolling out a combination of planned, proactive, and reactive campaigns.

For a comprehensive overview of this approach, you can check out our YouTube video covering how to run PR campaigns for sports and iGaming brands.


Pitching in each territory and which sites to focus on

Understanding what is received favourably in the media is important, especially when working in several territories. Whilst there are many similarities, campaigns which work in the U.S. may not be as successful in the UK, so adjusting your strategy is crucial.

That’s why, at c3, we adapt and localise all of our campaigns to best fit the media of the countries and regions we target. We make time to properly research and understand our client’s target audiences and goals to create campaigns that will have an impact and drive engagement.​

Our deep understanding of sports in different countries and regions helps inform all of our outreach and campaign creation, to ensure content is interesting, localised, and can be understood by our client’s intended audience.


Sports PR in the U.S.

(Key sports/leagues to focus on (in order): NFL, MLB, NCAA, NBA, NHL, MLS, NASCAR)

With the U.S. being home to four of the top five biggest sporting leagues in the world, the potential of its sports market is huge. And due to the sheer size and number of publications and journalists, there’s plenty of scope to create a vast number of exciting and different campaigns.

Topics we’ve seen perform most consistently focus on the NFL and are tied heavily to the finances of players, teams, fans, and more. However, more ‘fluffy’ campaigns which rank teams against each other, often perform well. Fan sites in particular love seeing their rivals rank lower than themselves.

When creating generic outreach angles, there are several dream publications we regularly pitch to in the U.S., including:

  • ESPN
  • CBS Sports
  • FOX Sports
  • NBC Sports
  • The Athletic
  • Bleacher Report
  • The Sporting News

However, in the U.S. there’s also a plethora of sites discussing individual teams which are imperative for landing large numbers of high authority and relevant backlinks, i.e.:

Sports Illustrated (Fan Nation), USA Today (Sports Wire Sites), Fansided (Fansided Network), SBNation (SBNation Communities), CBS Sports (247 Sports), The Hockey News (Fan Sites),

On top of these, all across America, local/regional radio stations also have their own sites, which in turn have sections dedicated to discussing each sport/team in that area, such as:

Audacy (Sports Stations) BBGI (Sports Stations), Townsquare Media (Sports Stations)

Finally, regional TV stations and news outlets also tend to have similar areas on their sites, with dedicated writers focussing on their local teams, for example:

Nextstar Media (TV Stations), TENGA Media  (TV Stations), McClatchy (News Outlets), Media News Group (News Outlets).

However, with such a vast number of publications and journalists to outreach to, you need to make sure your pitches are bespoke to each contact by pulling out key data that is relevant to them.

For example, when we create a campaign which has data for all 32 teams of the NFL, a unique outreach email will be created for each one; allowing us to reach out to a larger pool of people.

Again, we go into much greater detail on this topic in our article examining how to run a digital PR campaign in the U.S.


Sports PR in the UK

(Key sports/leagues to focus on (in order): Premier League, EFL, Boxing, UFC)

Compared to the U.S., the UK market is a bit more challenging when it comes to building sports links. And one major reason is the smaller number of publications, especially fan sites.

For example, in the US, Sports Illustrated’s Fan Nation alone has over 150 unique fan pages; most of which have multiple writers. This is similar to USA Today’s Sports Wires and SBNation’s Communities. UK publications, on the other hand, have nowhere near this number.

Furthermore, the UK market is far less responsive to “fluffy” campaign ideas that dive into the likes of social listening data or ranking teams against one another, which is why we incorporate highly relevant and timely interviews into our strategies.

From current sports stars to ex-athletes and famous faces within the world of sports, setting up interviews to discuss relevant topics is an incredibly effective way of building backlinks in the UK market and is effective for several reasons:

  • Unique Insights and Perspectives: Interviews with big names offer unique insights and perspectives which are great for quotes.
  • Credibility and Trust: They can also hold a high level of credibility and trust within the media, which can be beneficial if you’re client is slightly unknown.
  • Nostalgia Factor: Fans often have a strong emotional connection to these stars, which can drive significant traffic and engagement to the platform featuring the interview.

(Top tip: Always try to reach out to relevant journalists before conducting your interview to see if there are any questions they would like you to ask on their behalf.)

However, it’s important to know that this can be a challenging approach to master due to the media spend that can be required and the unknown quality of the interviewee.

When creating generic outreaching angles, these are the leading sites we pitch to across the UK:

  • BBC Sport
  • SkySports
  • GiveMeSport
  • TalkSport
  • SPORTbible
  • DAZN
  • The Athletic UK

Whilst the UK has far fewer fan sites to outreach to compared to the US, there is still a market here. Many of these sites are community forums, however, some teams have active fan sites talking all things rumours, transfers, and everything in between, such as:

On top of these, with many of the fan sites focusing on football teams in the Premier League and EFL, Feedspot is a fantastic website for finding relevant blogs. A full list of which can be found on their FeedSpot article list.

Moving away from fan sites, there are also many sites across the UK which focus on individual sports, for example:

Additionally, many of the leading news outlets across the UK also have dedicated pages covering football, darts, snooker, golf, horse racing a more, including:

Daily Mirror (Sport), The Guardian (Sport), Evening Standard (Sport), The Independent (Sport), Daily Mail Online (Sport), The Sun (Sport), Daily Express (Sport), Metro (Sport), Daily Star (Sport)

And of course, more regionally/locally focused news outlets often focus on specific teams/athletes, i.e.:

Manchester Evening News (Sport), Liverpool Echo (Sport), Birmingham Live (Sport), Chronicle Live (Sport).


Sports PR in the EU

When it comes to sports PR across Europe, we adopt a similar approach to the UK where we incorporate a mix of planned and reactive (interview) campaigns.

However, it’s very important to research the media landscape in each country to form an understanding of the size of each market and the general cultural differences in each location.

For example, some locations have much smaller pools of publications and journalists, and pitching can be far more formal from place to place. So, take your time to figure out what and who makes the headlines in each country and guide your brainstorms around this.

To find relevant publications, you can use platforms such as SemRush to discover the most popular sports sites in each country and see what’s getting coverage, i.e.:

  • Germany:,, Sportschau,de,
  • France:,,,
  • Italy: it,, Calciomercato, Tutto Sport
  • Spain: Marca,, Mundo Deportivo,, Lagrada Online

From understanding the market to ideation and pitching, we hope this guide gives you a glimpse of digital PR within the world of sports and useful knowledge on executing your own impactful link-building campaigns that will deliver great results.

Of course, if you’d like any more information on digital PR and to see the amazing work the connective3 international team are currently doing, just drop us a or visit our ‘Digital PR’ page.

Contact us today to start achieving unprecedented results.