Definition Of Sport Sponsorship
Sport Sponsorship is a powerful and impactful marketing technique. It consists of the association between a company (sponsor) and a sport club or event (sponsee). The main goal of this partnership depends on the party of the equation:
- Sponsor: he aims to generate brand awareness and customer loyalty.
- Sponsee: his main objective is to find a financing source.
A popular example is a brand logo printed in a team’s jersey. Visibility and media exposure are guaranteed. Also, it gives you a chance to stand out and differentiate. That is, companies rarely want to miss the opportunity to allocate a slice of their marketing budget in this area.
Breaking Down Sport Sponsorship
Sport has always represented a huge profit-driver for brands all around the world. Let’s think for one moment at one of the most classical example: a football match. Have you ever attended a game where you didn’t come across a famous brand? I bet you really have to struggle to find a similar episode. As a matter of fact, every week we are bombarded with multiple logos while watching a game. And the reason is simple: companies see in these events the chance to gain visibility in front of a large audience with disposable income and high purchase power. Also, since they are addressing fans that identify themselves with one team, leveraging their loyalty brings tangible and long-term competitive advantage.
Sorting Out Sponsors
As aforementioned, every time we attend a tournament or watch a basketball game we bump into a brand name or logo. Nevertheless, the position and the visibility change and depends on a lot of factors (such as the investment made). Hence, let’s see the different kinds of sponsors we can find in a sport event:
- Main (title) Sponsor: it’s the most important sponsor and represents the highest contributor for a sponsee. Think of global soccer teams such as Real Madrid or Manchester United: brands are willing to spend up to $50 million a year to be displayed in their shirt.
- General Sponsor: a huge contributor (up to 50% of the total sponsorship revenues), this kind of sponsor can enjoy extensive media coverage and license rights.
- Official Sponsor: it’s a smaller contributor and it’s usually acknowledged by its category: official insurance partner and so on.
- Informational Sponsor: official partner taking care of PR, media coverage and more.
Sport Sponsorship Benefits
- Increase brand awareness/visibility: whether you are a newborn brand or a well-established company, sponsoring is an activity that can help you gain awareness or increase your visibility addressing a broader target.
- Increase your sales/acquire customers: this is the ultimate goal for every business. Getting to the top of the mind of new or existing customers not only increase awareness but can also directly drive sales, according to how the sponsorship is coherent with your marketing plan.
- Gain publicity: can you imagine a startup that get to be the sponsor of an important event or sport club? It seems indeed like a natural consequence that media will talk about this. Furthermore, people will share news on social networks. As a result, you can gain good exposure – all this for free!
- Differentiate from the competition: if you find yourself in a very competitive and profit-shrinking market, being the sponsor of a big event or organization can give you the chance to stand out as a leader in your field
- Increase brand loyalty/premium prices: true especially for sport sponsorship. In fact, it is statistically proven that, for example, fans of a particular team are more willing to buy from the sponsor than from its competitors. This leads to brand loyalty, which leads itself to customers being less sensitive to premium prices.
How to gain those benefits? Taking the best sponsorship practices in sport as example is a good start!