Never before has more cash been put into marketing with sporting events, sports teams, and athletes. In an era when we are bombarded with targeted ads that all look alike, sports offer something of great value: real emotions!
Even though most sponsorships are aimed at increasing the customer base of a certain company, there’s so much more to it. It’s also about the connection created, and not just about the number.
Figures are not predictable. But, when the necessary connections are there, the way forward is predictable. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these types of sponsorship so popular.
Who doesn’t love a good story? Exciting stories generate attention. Storytelling has always worked. Stories require authenticity, as well as creativity. The perfect message fits the audience, the spokesperson, and the sponsor equally.
After France had won the World Cup, Nike, their team’s supplier, seized the moment. Their outstanding “We won it in France” campaign was so simple, yet so effective. It touched the hearts of many.
The narrative was quite simple: Since players like Pogba and Mbappé had begun playing in the streets and soccer fields of France, that’s the real place where the title was won.
Good storytelling isn’t limited to giants. Small businesses can do it just as well. Online marketing has given regional brands a chance to reach a larger audience.
A business can leverage plenty of marketing perks from a sports event, team, or athlete. Sponsorships and endorsements of that nature are highly visible.
It’s a sure way of reaching millions of people. Who would not want that kind of exposure? For instance, signing a deal with an MLB team, like the Yankees, means your tagline and logo will be shown on banners and signs inside their stadium.
The stadium itself can accommodate fifty thousand fans. Not to mention that their games are always televised.
When a business expands into a new area, partnering up with a local team or athlete is one of the best ways to announce their arrival. Back in 2018, the prestigious Betfair Casino signed a deal with Sevilla, one of the oldest and most famous La Liga teams. At the time, they also sponsored Barcelona.
The company had previously anchored themselves pretty well in the Anglosphere, mostly in the Commonwealth nations. Their new foray into the Hisphanosphere opened a door to a new market. A market that’s rife with millions of LA Liga fans who are spread across the globe.
This works on a minor scale as well. For example, a small business that’s opening new stars can have the local varsity football stars attend the opening event and help promote the brand in the area.
Athletes are not much different from rock stars. Big athletes love flashy things! Who can blame them? Most people like fashion, gadgets, and luxury goods, and athletes can afford all of that.
Businesses can use athletes as a gateway to their elite community. In the world of athletes, word of mouth marketing works wonders. It can be through locker room talk, or just by seeing what the clothes the others are wearing, products they are using, etc.
Sports sponsorships and endorsements are direct sales drivers. All it takes is a few concessions on the team’s part. A booth at a sporting event or a stand at their stadium can go a long way. Athletes can even promote E-commerce, Amazon, Indiegogo, or Kickstarter campaigns.
Sports offer a chance for establishing new relationships with affiliates, business, and trade customers, and perhaps most importantly, the community. Those are relationships that go beyond day-to-day operations.
A sports sponsorship can be a platform for networking and exposure. Sporting events are great chances for sponsors to get to know the other stakeholders better and even forge new alliances between each other.
A Sponsorship deal can be proof that a business is fulfilling its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). Research shows that a person’s intention to purchase, brand choice and preference for products are related to the amount of CSR activities done by the brand.
Perhaps the biggest reason sports sponsorships are so popular is that they are fun! Sports fans get emotionally involved even when there’s nothing at stake for them.
Sponsorships and endorsements are a way of giving back to the sport itself and getting even more involved. What’s a better way to show appreciation for Moto GP than by sponsoring an up-and-coming Moto GP racer?
Entrepreneurs and managers can be just as big fans as the rest of the bunch. It’s a chance to be even more involved with their favorite sport or team. As mentioned, it’s not always just about financial gain.
Marco Lopo is a Sydney-based business consultant and a marketing analyst. He writes about business and lifestyle. He thinks that’s the perfect opportunity to present himself to a wider audience and receive recognition. In his free time, Marco enjoys music, travelling and also is a big reading enthusiast.