Sponsorship, or a commercial agreement between a business and another party designed to promote their mutual interests via exchanging financial support for exposure opportunities, is a very popular way to fund sports (from individual athletes and teams all the way to large-scale international events). By funding sports, businesses get to promote their goods and services via use of their name in commercial activities of all sorts. The exact ways to get promoted are only limited by one’s imagination and commonly include things such as:
- Displaying the brand name around the venue on posters, banners, and promotional stalls
- Incorporating the brand logo on staff uniform
- Conducting promotional events and giveaways on the day
- And last but not least – displaying the brand logo on athletes’ attire!
Speaking of the latter, getting a spot on athletic attire is perhaps one of the best bets to get maximum exposure, as not only it will definitely get seen on the day, but will also be photographed and hopefully shown on TV!
However, there is a catch – getting a spot on actual gear is not always possible, and even if it is, it may be very competitive and expensive. In addition, chances are a particular set of clothes won’t last for much longer after the event is over.
Fortunately, there are some clever ways to display your logo on uniforms! For instance, in most sporting events athletes will need to attach bib numbers to their uniforms somehow. Traditionally, it’s done with safety pins – but what if we told you there are amazing safety pin replacements available which are much more convenient, come with zero risks of jabbing or poking and can display large logos?
We’re talking about BibBoards – simply snap them on. They have two parts, and the exposed part is a large flat surface which is perfect for business logos. Four race bib clips are required per each bib number, which makes it four exposure opportunities per athlete! BibBoards are also reusable, which means athletes are likely to incorporate them into their routines even after the event.
No money? No problem
Keep in mind that even if your business doesn’t have spare finances to sponsor sports, BibBoards has a platform to profit share with you and or you may still be able to help via in-kind sponsorships. For instance, you could donate equipment, services or professional expertise in exchange for getting sponsorship benefits. While this doesn’t always work, it’s always worth asking!
But what are the actual benefits?
Not going to lie, sponsorships can be a somewhat risky business in a sense that you are not guaranteed anything in return for your financial support and efforts. But if you do your research and pick events wisely, potential benefits tend to outweigh the risks!
The most important thing to consider here is that sponsorships have huge potential to add value to your brand. By promoting goods and services during sporting events, you are capturing the attention of consumers by occupying a unique niche in their minds.
You can achieve great results by offering sponsorships, regardless of what your goals may be:
- Building brand awareness – sporting events provide a unique opportunity to put your name in front of a highly engaged group of potential consumers for a prolonged period.
- Creating positive corporate image by sponsoring an event that people love
- Facilitating a dialogue with potential customers – there are many “meet and greet” opportunities during sporting events.
- A benefit that often gets overlooked is an “employee pride” factor – sports sponsorships encourage company pride and loyalty, helping retain staff and increase employee satisfaction
- Building valuable community relations
Small business? Fear not!
Smaller companies can also yield great benefits from providing sports sponsorships – it’s not about the pros as such, it’s simply about the scale of events. Besides, small businesses tend to be approached quite often as big companies receive way too many sponsorship offers and only accept a tiny percentage, sometimes years in advance. No matter if it’s a local, regional or major international event, there is always room for sponsors, big or small.
Without a doubt, sponsorships are now an integral part of successful marketing strategies. Some companies fail to reap the benefits, but it’s usually due to making fundamental mistakes such as picking events that don’t really align with your vision.
Provided you’re picking sports to sponsor wisely and don’t invest beyond your means, you will likely find that sponsorships provide an amazing opportunity to connect with highly engaged audiences, meet and greet potential customers and even spark pride in your own employees. In this sense, sponsorships are much more than plain dry financial agreements – they are an opportunity to fund something you truly love and believe in and discover people who share your values.
Consider the points and tips above, do your research rigorously – and you are bound to succeed as a sports event sponsor.
So…is it worth it? Yes!