Sports Infographics: Visualizing Sports and Sports Data

From team data and player statistics to league timelines and industry trends, the sports industry operates on a continual stream of facts and figures. With eye-catching infographics, brands in this sphere can convey complex data in a quick and compelling way. Discover how to create attention-grabbing sports infographics and learn how to make this type of visual content work for your brand.

Establish Key Objectives

Image via Flickr by PMillera4

Although infographics work well for brands in many industries, they’re particularly well-suited for the sports brands. Since infographics synthesize data and images, they capture the best of both worlds. Infographics can tell the data-heavy stories that dominate the sports world, but they can do so without burying facts and figures in a wall of text.

Instead, they highlight essential information and use icons and graphics to attract attention and boost understanding. The average person can process an image after seeing it for as little as 13 milliseconds, so infographics can help sports brands get more out of their content marketing strategy.

Before you start creating your first infographic, consider what you want to accomplish. Naturally, your goals will affect the story you tell, the call to action (CTA) you use, and the promotional strategy you implement. For brands in the sports world, key objectives often include the following:

  • Growing Your Audience: New and longtime brands alike can use infographics to reach new audiences and expand awareness of their offerings.
  • Establishing Brand Authority: Developing a professional infographic that features cutting-edge information or provides insight on a trending topic can enable you to shine a spotlight on your company and establish brand authority.
  • Generating Leads: Whether you offer an app for fans or you’re seeking new clients for your sports consulting business, a well-executed infographic can drive new interest in your products and services and generate leads for your brand.

Decide on a Topic

Once you’ve narrowed down your objectives, you can begin the ideation process. In many cases, you won’t have to look far to settle on a topic for your infographic. You can celebrate newsworthy players by highlighting their accomplishments or tell the story of a team by featuring its stats from the past few seasons. If the social and historical stories are more relevant to your brand, call out key ways a sport has changed over the years or showcase the innovative ways teams use social media.

If you’re struggling to come up with a relevant topic, try browsing examples of sports-related infographics. You’ll get insight into the range of topics that infographics can cover in this industry. As you peruse successful examples, you’ll also get a sense of the most effective layouts and designs.

No matter what topic you choose, make sure your idea is original. After all, you want to get the most traction possible out of your infographic, and repeating one that another brand has already produced isn’t likely to help you meet your objectives.

Source Current Data

Accurate, up-to-the-minute data can take an infographic to the next level and boost your brand’s authority, so always take the time to source the highest quality information for your content. You may rely partly on in-house data and research, but you shouldn’t hesitate to incorporate third-party data sources into your content. Some helpful sources for sports-related data include the following:

  • Baseball: Major League Baseball (MLB) has historical stats for players and teams, some dating back to the 19th century.
  • Basketball: The National Basketball Association (NBA) offers a complete set of player and team stats for seasons dating back to 1996-1997.
  • Football: The National Football League (NFL) offers player and team stats from the 1930s to the current season.
  • Hockey: The National Hockey League (NHL) has a range of team and player stats for the current season.
  • Olympics: The International Olympic Committee provides statistics for events, sports, and countries for all Olympic Games in the 21st century.
  • Trends: Pew Research Center offers an array of data sets on social trends and global attitudes toward a variety of topics, including sports.

Whether you use one or many data sources, always keep track of where you get the information. You’ll want to include source links at the bottom of any infographic you create both to provide credit and to assert the accuracy of your material.

Sketch an Outline

With your data in hand, you can start visualizing the story you’ll tell through your infographic. You don’t have to be a design expert to begin mapping out the basics of your infographic. Keep some of the following basic infographic guidelines in mind as you sketch a digital or pen-and-paper outline:

  • Start With a Great Headline: While the graphics you use throughout the infographic will certainly capture your audience’s attention, draw them in with a compelling headline. Keep it short and sweet and use large type and an easy-to-read font to make your headline as effective as possible.
  • Keep Text Minimal: All infographics feature a mix of text and graphics, but you should make sure the balance doesn’t tip too far toward a text overload. If the volume of text makes your infographic too hard to consume quickly, consider splitting it into two or more pieces of content.
  • Create a Natural Flow: To get your point across, you’ll need to guide readers through your infographic effortlessly. Consider numbering each section, using different backgrounds to convey a pathway, or placing arrows to ensure your audience doesn’t get lost along the way.
  • Put Your Brand in the Spotlight: Never hesitate to feature your brand prominently on your infographic. Both new and old audience members should be able to identify your brand right away though strategic placement of your logo and use of your brand colors.
  • Don’t Forget the CTA: Without an effective CTA, even a great-looking infographic may not meet the objectives you established. Clarify what you want readers to do after consuming your infographic, from subscribing to your blog to contacting you with questions and reading more about your brand.

Create an Eye-Catching Infographic

After combing through your data and visualizing how it all works together, you’ll be ready to start creating your infographic. Whether you want to hire an experienced team to produce a professional infographic for your brand or you want to try your hand at DIY tools, you have several options to consider.

CopyPress

Whether you’re creating your brand’s first or 50th infographic, contracting CopyPress for the job is a smart decision. CopyPress not only handles the entire creative process, from ideation and research to design and development, but also enables clients to rely on this experienced team to create eye-catching sports infographics that audiences won’t find anywhere else.

Naturally, when you hire a team of creatives, you can expect to end up with an infographic that’s completely distinctive, which can elevate your brand and help you stand out from the crowd. In contrast, using DIY tools and premade templates can give you total creative control but may result in your infographic looking similar to countless others.

Easelly

If you’re seeking an inexpensive way to create your own DIY infographic, Easelly offers an easy-to-use app that’s packed with straightforward tools.

After signing up for an account, you can choose from dozens of premade templates, some of which are designed specifically for sports-related topics. You can also create your own infographic layout using the app’s selection of sports icons and its library of fonts and design elements. For access to exclusive templates and more options for customization, you can also pay to upgrade to the app’s premium membership level.

Envato

If you have basic design skills and the time to create an infographic from scratch, consider using an app such asĀ Envato to get started. You can download dozens of icon and graphic sets that feature sports equipment, players, uniforms, and other fitness-related items to illustrate your infographic. Import your choice of vector sets into a graphic program and create your content using these graphics and the text you’ve outlined.

Freepik

Freepik also offers access to vector sets, many of which apply to sports and fitness topics. This app’s database is extensive, featuring hundreds of thousands of vectors that you can download for the cost of attribution only. You’ll need to use a graphic program to lay out the vector sets and create your infographic, so this option is best for brands with design abilities.

Sidearm

If you want to use a design app that’s specifically designed for sports-related content, Sidearm could be what you’re seeking. This program provides a limited number of premade templates, but each one is designed with a particular aspect of sports. Start by selecting your sport, then choose from pre-game, season, and other scenarios. From this point, you can choose a template and customize it until you’ve zeroed in on a format that’s ideal for telling your story.

Visme

With hundreds of templates and millions of icons, Visme offers countless options for creating your own custom infographic. Getting started is easy, and this app allows you to incorporate charts and graphs to add more depth to your story. Embed audio or video elements to make your infographic interactive and help it stand out more. While this app invites you to test it out by creating basic infographics for free, your team will want to sign up for Visme for business to take advantage of collaboration features.

Visually

If you have firm ideas about how your finished product should look, but you don’t have the design savvy to make it happen, Visually could bridge the gap. This service requires you to complete a creative brief detailing your idea, then it matches you with a group of freelance contractors who can bring your infographic project to life.

Follow Through With Your Marketing Plan

Even the best sports infographics can’t market themselves, so you’ll need a plan to promote your new content. Follow these simple steps to market your newly created infographic:

  1. Publish on Your Website: No matter how you choose to develop your infographic, you’ll need to publish the finished product online. Create a landing page that features a brief introduction to accompany the infographic. Allow website visitors to enlarge the image file so that your audience can easily absorb all of the data you’ve shared.
  2. Develop Related Content: After dedicating significant resources to creating a great-looking new infographic, you’ll want to make sure you get maximum return on investment (ROI). You can drive more traffic to the infographic by highlighting and linking to it in a series of branded blog posts, articles, case studies, and other types of content.
  3. Promote on Social Media: Create customized social copy that calls out key aspects of the infographic or includes various CTAs to make strides toward your original goals. Since detailed images can be difficult for your followers to read on most social platforms, crop key parts of your infographic and share snapshots rather than the full graphic.
  4. Share With Your Subscriber List: Don’t forget to share your new content with your subscriber list, too. Create a dedicated email highlighting some of the most intriguing pieces of data and encourage readers to learn more by clicking through to your infographic landing page.
  5. Conduct Industry Outreach: Don’t stop at promoting your content to your pre-existing audience. Reach out to bloggers, influencers, and other important sports industry figures and ask them to feature your infographic. Rather than depending on them to create content around your infographic, pitch yourself as a guest blogger who can write great content that appeals to their audience.
  6. Promote in Infographic Directories: Publishing your content in an infographic directory gives your brand yet another outlet and an opportunity to reach a wider audience. Make sure your infographic includes relevant tags to increase your chances of attracting an engaged audience with an interest in your brand of sports.

For brands in the sports world, infographics are helpful tools for communicating lengthy data sets and complex information. Whether you want a professional team to tackle the creative process on your behalf or you’d rather use DIY tools to develop content, you can create an array of attention-grabbing sports infographics.