Steve Lesnard: The Brand Marketing Guru Who Figured Out the Modern Sports Consumer
Over the past few decades, Steve Lesnard has become one of the most influential and insightful brand marketers in the sports world. His wisdom is helping brand understand how to effectively run campaigns and understand their consumers in the modern era.
Lesnard’s Sports Marketing Journey
Lesnard grew up with a strong passion for sports. When he was in business school in France, he was the president of the sports club. He also organized a large number of the sporting events that took place at the school. After he graduated from business school, Lesnard moved to the United States to complete his MBA in entrepreneurship at Babson College.
After completing graduate school, Lesnard briefly worked at Wolford, a luxury fashion brand in New York City. After this, he moved west and got his first job working in global sports marketing and product management. In this role, Lesnard got to realize his dream of working in sports marketing, and he started advancing very quickly. Lesnard completed tasks such as creating seasonal products, planning lines, and signing athletes for the Winter Olympics.
Following this endeavor, Lesnard moved into developing products for elite and everyday athletes. According to Lesnard, this “was a great learning experience on how you bring a concept into a physical product that consumers will use.” Lesnard took the lessons he learned in this role with him for the rest of his career. He moved into branding after his stint with product development.
Throughout the next two decades of his life, Lesnard worked in a variety of sports marketing positions and roles. He grew brands, developed industry-altering products, and led a number of different Olympic campaigns. All of this brand marketing experience gave Lesnard a tremendous amount of insight into sports marketing and the sports marketing consumer.
Technology and Sports Marketing
One of the reasons why Lesnard has been so successful in his brand marketing career is that he relied on technology and data to generate key information that he could use to his company’s advantage.
Reflecting on the ability of technologies such as big data and AI to influence sports marketing, Lesnard says, “I think that the brand landscape is evolving really fast by bringing data through artificial intelligence and a bunch of other ways to actually help marketers and help brand market data and insights to deliver meaningful services.”
In other words, Lesnard believes that in the modern business climate, brand marketers need to use technology to drive data that gives them insights into the needs and wants of their consumers. This can help brands stay ahead of their competitors.
Understanding the Modern Sports Consumer
According to Lesnard, the modern sports consumer is impatient. Because of this, it is more crucial than ever for sports brands to quickly and efficiently figure out what their customers want and respond to this information.
Lesnard also believes that modern-day sports consumers have increasingly high expectations for brands. “The rising of consumer expectation is going to continue to force brands to innovate and stay up-to-date with what consumers’ expectations are, or I think you’ll see a lot of big shifts with brands that won’t be able to adapt quickly enough, and other brands coming and changing complete industries,” says Steve Lesnard.
To get the most out of marketing campaigns, Lesnard believes that it is crucial to place the consumer at the center of the strategy. He believes that it is important to be very clear about which problems you are solving for the consumer, regardless of whether these problems will be solved digitally or in a brick-and-mortar environment.
Lesnard also believes that videos are a particularly effective way to tell stories and relay information to consumers. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words – a video is worth a million.
Additionally, Lesnard believes that influencer marketing can be an extremely powerful way to connect with consumers. Many consumers are highly responsive to influencers as long as it is done in an authentic way. This creates tremendous marketing opportunities for brands to use influencers to get their messages across.
In the modern day and age, sports consumers are extremely demanding, quick to shift back and forth between brands, and have high expectations. However, they also generate large quantities of data, which marketers can take advantages of, and are heavily influenced by influencers for their sport of choice.
According to Lesnard, it is of pivotal importance for brands to adjust to these marketing conditions to get the most out of their campaigns. Brands that can do so effectively can dominate the modern sports marketing environment.