Components of the Event Triangle in Marketing

Instructor: Jesse Richter

Jesse holds two masters, a doctorate and has 15 years of academic experience in areas of education, linguistics, business and science across five continents.

Need a quick introduction or refresher about the Event Triangle in marketing? This lesson describes the three different components of the model, including relationships between the components and implications for the marketing process.

Planning An Event?

Suppose you are an event manager tasked with the successful planning and execution of an athletic competition. This may be in an arena, stadium, or, perhaps, in a more open environment, such as a marathon course through the city. From a planning and logistics point of view, how can you be sure that all the right components will come together so as to facilitate a successful event? Let's look at a proven model that aims to accomplish exactly that.

The Event Triangle

The Event Triangle in Marketing

The Event Triangle is a marketing model generally discussed in the context of sports events, but may also be applied to other social and community events, such as a county fair, a reunion, a parade, or a concert, amongst other possibilities. The three sides of the Event Triangle represent the three different stakeholders: participants, spectators, and sponsors. For purposes of this lesson, we will consider a sports competition.


In sports, the participants are the athletes who compete in the event. In professional sports, the participants normally hold contracts and are paid an annual salary, or they may be paid per event. This is an important component of the Event Triangle since athletes' salaries are part of the overall financial picture.


In the same context, spectators are those individuals who go to watch the event. Spectators often pay a fee (i.e. purchase a ticket). Spectators are perhaps the most important component of the Event Triangle, as they are the primary financial support necessary to fund the event, in addition to money made from advertisements. Spectators view the competition from a nearby location, such as the sidelines of a playing field, the bleacher seats of a stadium, or from behind some sort of fence or tape barrier such as is common with triathlons. Spectators may also view the event via television or the Internet. These distance spectators also contribute to the financial component by virtue of paying for television and Internet services.


Lastly, sponsors are individuals and/or organizations that pay money to the event organizers in order to promote their products and/or services. These advertisements are typically targeted directly towards the spectators and are intended to increase brand visibility and, eventually, generate revenue from sales.

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