e-commerce with sports events blog header

Why are e-commerce ads your best choice during 2021 summer sports events?

1080 753 Alistair Bishop

E-commerce as a vertical experiences seasonal peaks in traffic whenever an occasion occurs, like the ones around Q4. While this means that you need to keep on top of your ads by updating them to fit with the latest trends, this also means there is always an opportunity to make money with the e-commerce vertical.

During this summer the seasonal peak comes in the form of many sports events which are dominating our desktop, mobile & TV screens. And since consumers are looking for products and services to go along with their sporting fun this summer, this means that it’s time to prepare your e-commerce niche campaigns. 

Read on to find out how to make money with the e-commerce niche during 2021 summer sports events and score that conversion gold!

Can you still make money with E-commerce ads in 2021?

There is a simple answer to this one, yes, of course, you can! According to Statista, the global e-commerce retail sales will be worth over $4 billion in 2021, and will likely be above 6 billion by 2024 if it keeps growing at its current rate.

Statista graph for ecommerceSource: Statista

Although we don’t mean you will be the one making billions there still is a chance to earn big bucks with the e-commerce vertical. Especially that the payout per item continues to be one of the highest in the affiliate industry.

How exactly do you make money with E-commerce ads?

First, you will need to head to an affiliate network or program and find an offer for your customers. Then, you will likely have a few options of how to get paid when you deliver your conversions. These payout methods are known as CPV, CPA, RevShare payouts, or more likely, CPS in e-commerce.


The most common type in e-commerce is Cost per Sale (CPS). Cost per sale is a payout model in which you earn a commission for every sale you make. This method is characteristic of e-commerce offers where the only goal of the funnel is to convince a user to purchase the product you advertise.


Then there is the CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) model. This means for every customer you get to complete the desired action, for example, signing up to your partner company’s newsletter, you get a kickback of commission. So, now it’s your job to get as many signups to be completed in the period that you are running the offer. The more signups, the more money you can make.


Another payout model in the affiliate industry is CPV (Cost per view) that works by giving the affiliate commission based on the number of views that they can bring to an ad. Pop, domain redirect, and injection traffic work on the Cost-Per-View cost model within Zeropark. 


However, there is another model reserved for only some e-commerce transactions, which is the RevShare (revenue share) model. So, you will get a percentage of the total online shopping basket of your customer, this is paid to you from the company they are purchasing from, for convincing them to make a purchase. This is a common practice in affiliate marketing programs such as Amazon Associates, eBay Partner Network, and other big brands.

This is an opportunity for you to make more money over a longer time period if the customer continues to use the purchase from your partner company. So, keep an eye out for these offers on affiliate networks as you could score big money with this option.

However, it’s important to note that there is sometimes a time delay for e-commerce transactions to make it through to affiliate marketers as the retailers have to factor in the time for their customers to return some items. This can be up to 60 days, so build that into your cash flow projections as you might be waiting for the money to be paid to you.

That’s why keeping an eye on payout frequency is a good idea. Different offers have longer or shorter payout times. We suggest you test out different payout times to see which works best for you, and your affiliate marketing campaigns.

Can keyword targeting boost e-commerce campaigns during sports events?

E-commerce affiliate marketers don’t need to be condemned to only making money via social media or email marketing. Pop ads, push ads, domain redirect ads, and search ads are all options that can help you boost your commission from e-commerce campaigns. What’s more, there’s also keyword targeting which can give your campaigns an added stimulus during sports events.

So, what exactly is keyword targeting in terms of affiliate marketing?

Keyword campaigns are a useful way to match your offers precisely with what users are actually looking for. They can be created for the pop and domain types of traffic in Zeropark. The keywords you choose to target in Zeropark are then matched with content and terms relating to website a specific user is engaging with. For pop traffic, keywords are matched with the content or name of a website that a visitor is on. Whereas, with domain traffic, keywords are matched with domain names, including misspellings. 

That’s why keyword campaigns are a great way to match your offers with the right traffic. If a user visits a page relating to your chosen keywords, they will be presented with one of your ads/landing pages, or led directly to an offer that is closely related to that topic. To put it simply, keyword targeting allows your ads to be matched with relevant traffic.

A couple of points to consider when using keyword targeting are: keep the keywords short, avoid spelling mistakes, remove the https:// if you are targeting domains, and avoid unusual word merges (e.g. sportclothing).

It’s an incredibly precise way to target your ads as it is based on specific keywords. In addition, the placements providing keyword traffic are chosen to offer the best quality of potential leads.

Let’s have a look at what happens when you begin a keyword pop campaign for a sports event campaign, with a sports kit offer, and choose to target the sports shorts keyword. If the content of a website a user visits is related to sports, then your sports kit ad will be matched with relevant keywords on the page. For example, keywords like running shorts, sports shorts, or basketball shorts.

Do you see how keyword targeting will help you get the edge over your competition in your e-commerce affiliate marketing campaigns during sports events? It’s worth taking a shot.

Did the pandemic make it harder to run E-commerce offers?

Put simply, no. E-commerce has benefited from nearly all transactions taking place online since people have been trapped inside. In fact, brick and mortar stores declined on average 5.7% globally with roughly 3.2 billion euros being lost in Europe alone. However, while some sales are lost from in-person transactions, they are being made up by online sales which have seen exponential growth in the last year. 

In fact, the e-commerce market has witnessed a boost due to more than 18% extra time being spent online as a result of the pandemic in the USA, according to Statista. The same can be said globally, with much of the world experiencing some form of lockdown period in the last year. And Black Friday was one of the biggest on record according to Adobe, which measured that 9 billion dollars was spent online during Black Friday alone. So, don’t forget that this is the biggest opportunity for e-commerce ads in the whole year.

This means that the chance to make money with e-commerce has been higher than ever during the coronavirus pandemic. Another aspect of the pandemic market has been the work-from-home environment, which allows more time for people to spend on shopping sites during their working hours, as they are online in the safety of their own home.

So, overall the covid-19 pandemic has been a profitable time to run e-commerce offers to customers in the affiliate industry. And given that e-commerce vertical has always been a safe bet for affiliate marketers, it will continue as such even in the new, almost post-pandemic times.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics summer of Champions bannerWhich E-commerce offers are popular right now?

Have you been searching for which products to promote that can make you money as an affiliate marketer? Well, search no longer, we will answer all of your concerns! And if you are looking for mobile or desktop e-commerce offers to promote throughout the sports events this summer, then you are in the right place. 


In 2021, 53.9% of all retail e-commerce is expected to be generated via m-commerce (mobile e-commerce).

So, getting your customer to complete a transaction on their mobile is one of the possible ways to earn your affiliate commission. We also recommend that you split your campaigns by device type to maximize your promotion potential. You don’t want to be showing your desktop creatives to your mobile users as that’s quite a rookie error.

Another way to score well with mobile devices is push ads People engage with their mobile devices during sports events all the time, so receiving a well-targeted ad in the form of push notifications ads suits the occasion. And don’t forget to time your push ads for the day of the sporting event you are targeting to highlight the link between your promotion and game day!

Examples of the best sports-related items to purchase online are described below, but we recommend looking for products already sponsoring the sports events you’re targeting. 


We all watch sporting events on our computers from time to time, and it’s easy to create ads that are perfect for users watching the games from home. That’s why we recommend using pop or domain redirect ads. 

Pop and domain redirect ads can be displayed, for example, already while people are finding their favorite sports streaming site and can feature a related offer that users may be happy to engage with — especially if keyword targeting is used.

That’s not to say you have to select only one device type you want to target in your campaign setup. You can focus on either mobile or desktop, but combining both has proven to bring the best result. Especially if properly tested at the very start. Being able to target both broad or narrow just means that the size of the market has grown. And so has the size of the opportunity.

Examples of the best sports-related ecommerce items are listed below but what traditionally performs best for desktop devices are TVs and electronics.

Which sports should affiliate marketers with E-commerce campaigns focus on?

In short, the answer is all of them. But obviously, it makes sense to focus on sports that you yourself are interested in to get a better understanding of your target consumer.

Sports events calendar 2021

As you can see from this picture, we have already had a few sporting events to make money from with affiliate marketing, and we are currently in the midst of the biggest one — the Olympic Games. So, if you needed a sign to start preparing your campaigns for the summer sports events this is it, don’t miss out!

As we have said previously, every sporting event these days is showcased on multiple television broadcasts, which have also made their way online. So, it comes as no surprise that streaming platforms receive more traffic than usual during these sporting events. And the advertising space on such streaming sites is the perfect spot for your affiliate offers that are linked to the games.

This means that you’ve got a chance to get your affiliate ads in front of your target audience no matter which sporting event you choose. 

Which products should you promote during these sports events?

We suggest you do your research to ensure you are promoting the most popular products or services that your target audience would want to buy during sports events. But if you want a head start, just take a look at the list below.

Examples of products to promote during the games:

  • TVs & Electronics to watch the game on.
  • Sports equipment as people see the level of fitness achievable by athletes.
  • Team merchandise is always a safe bet to target fans of the sport.
  • Travel to the cities hosting the sporting events but do check current travel restrictions.
  • Flags to support the countries competing during popular events like UEFA & Olympic Games.
  • Products that are already sponsoring the sporting event you are targeting.

As you can see from the examples above, there are many ecommerce offers that pair well with sports events. This demand means that affiliate marketers are now in for a sporting bonus if they choose their campaigns right. 

Sports Events Calendar

Below you can also find the ultimate sports events calendar for affiliate marketers. Use this to guide you through every sporting event that is happening this summer. Take a look now!

It has something for every potential customer, whether they are into cycling, soccer, athletics, golf, or even tennis, and of course, the Olympic Games which includes every sport under the sun. This calendar provides all the key dates for when spectators might want to engage with your e-commerce offers while giving you heads-up as to when and where it’d be best to promote them.

TIP: If you choose to run ecommerce ads with push traffic, we suggest you target the specific dates of these sporting fixtures to ensure the best chance for success with your campaigns.

Sports events calendar 2021Affiliate programs for E-commerce ads:

It’s also worth having a look at these affiliate programs that have been selected for e-commerce offers that you can use with your sports events campaigns right now.

🏆 Sports round bonus:

We have one more sporting affiliate program to consider. Although this one is not strictly an e-commerce affiliate program, it might be worth checking out this summer…

GG.bet  is an affiliate program offering high revenue share deals with a platform that shows you useful data on your campaigns. More importantly, they have sports betting activities for every major sporting event as well as esports tournaments, so you won’t run out of chances to promote their offers. What’s more, is that they have design resources which help when promoting their products.

Now, we know affiliate marketing programs aren’t for everyone, but the ones above have been tried and tested to work well with paid traffic, so they are worth a try. If not, you can always get your ecommerce offers from an affiliate network like the ones below.

Affiliate networks providing E-commerce offers:

  • Maxbounty
  • Zeydoo
  • CrakRevenue
  • Clickdealer
  • Lemonads
  • Targeleon 
  • Mobidea

All of these affiliate networks provide e-commerce offers that you can use with your sports events campaigns right now. They should work well with pop, domain, search, or push ads and many of them have added bonuses just for being a Zeropark customer, too.

Do you want some suggestions on how to do that? Have a look at the end of the article for examples of eye-catching push creatives. But first, let us show you how to earn extra money with our affiliate network recommendations.

Zeropark Deals

If you’ve got a Zeropark account then, we have a bonus waiting for you. Zeropark Deals is a place that brings the affiliate marketing industry’s best networks, advertisers, affiliate programs, top offers, and tools such as trackers, landing page builders, and spy tools! And each deal has an exclusive bonus just for being a Zeropark customer. 

If you’re looking to make some extra profit this is the place for you. Just go to the Deals tab which can be found in your account dashboard. We update it regularly, so remember to come back and check if there is a new deal for you as we might have just added new partners. 

And if you’re only after affiliate offers, head to the Offer Wall under the Deals tab to see what’s waiting for you.

offer wallExamples of ad copy & creatives for the E-commerce

E-commerce has always been an evergreen affiliate marketing niche, and it always will be. The way that we market e-commerce items is via discounts and by relating products/services to each seasonal occasion. In this case, any of the summer’s hottest sports events like the Olympic Games. And that’s definitely a good chance for companies to boost their sales. So, make a calendar of the most important sporting events this year and try to make each one work for your affiliate marketing campaigns.

Although some e-commerce products don’t sound strictly sport-related, it’s all about how you spin it to the user. It’s just like the companies that sponsor the events, like McDonald’s or Coca-cola. We all know they are not the most healthy in the world, but you are always reminded about them during big sports games.

As you can see from the example, people always need things like a TV to watch the game, or team shirts to support their home country. Be on the lookout for these offers as they will likely make you some profit over the next month.

And as Steve Jobs said…

 People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

What’s more, the fear of missing out (FOMO) is an excellent motivator to use in your campaigns, so give it a try and see if you can score some commission. For example, 50 people have recently purchased, or Don’t miss out on supporting your team with this team jersey.

And don’t forget that a clear CTA (Call to action) goes a long way, too! We suggest Buy it now!

Another thing to remember is that you will also need to update the ad copy to highlight the need for your e-commerce items at a time when people will be using their devices for watching and streaming sporting events. Just remember to relate your copy to the sports events like in the examples below.


As you can see, e-commerce thrives off seasonal peaks that make it an even more profitable vertical. And the sports events taking place this summer are one of those times! As always, we suggest that you choose your affiliate offers carefully to match the sports events and so that your customers can find products they are happy with. Don’t forget that keyword targeting might just be the way you boost your sales during this sporting summer, too.

Now all that is left to do is to choose your offer, set up your affiliate campaigns, and make the most out of all the sporting action happening this summer!

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