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Motorsports Marketing and Sponsorship Activation Blog

SD Featured on BlackBook Motorsport: Getting ROI from Your Sponsorships

9/7/21 9:42 AM

We are a sports marketing and creative agency based in Charlotte, NC and Denver, CO. We seek to be an organic extension of your sales and marketing teams with a special focus on sponsorship activation. At our core, we represent brands that sponsor various properties across motorsports. We also help properties modernize their offerings so that they are best positioned to connect with what sponsors require. We believe that agreeing to sponsor a particular team, driver, series, or venue is only the first step and cannot generate the maximum return on that investment.

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Understanding your needs before you spend

Our first point is to understand what you need before you spend. We begin with nailing down what your objective with a partnership actually is. Your answer will be the first step towards what kind of partnership you should pursue. If you don't know your objective, how do you know what you need in order to achieve it? Connecting your objectives to the assets that you have paid for is the key to getting the most out of your investment. Because there are so many unique assets available in the world of motorsports, negotiating for the right ones to activate can sometimes be overwhelming.

Getting the right assets based on your objective is the key to fully leveraging them. It is common to be offered a package of assets that sounds exciting and may seem like a greater value, but since value is all relative, you may end up with assets that cannot be leveraged properly or may not even be necessary for your particular use case. Knowing the industry lingo can also be overwhelming. Understanding the nuances between F1 and INDYCAR, WEC and IMSA, NASCAR and NHRA is a lot of knowledge for a marketer to have right off the bat and can take years to master.

Achieving the correct alignment is foundational to how authentically your brand comes off. This is also why you see certain groups of brands sponsoring certain properties as they recognize the value of that audience match. Just because you are sponsoring something doesn't mean you will collect value from it automatically. The real value comes in with how you activate that partnership. The value continues when you tailor your story to different stakeholders starting with your customers, partners and employees.

Focus on your activation programs

Our second point is of course to focus on your activation programs. We define sponsorship activation simply as what you do with what you bought.

How do you use your assets?

You wouldn't buy a car and not drive it, so don't buy a sponsorship and not activate it. With sponsorship, you have effectively bought a unique platform for your brands to be connected with. You have bought an existing audience, an association, networking and maybe even a business relationship. The most meaningful work for your brand starts after you sign the paperwork for your partnership.

After having your objective and the right mix of assets connected, we then look to build authentic storylines to showcase. Especially with B2B-based brands, this element can be massively educational for your different audiences. We have worked with billion-dollar brands that provide critical products and critical services that people use every day of their life. That end user just doesn't know it like they would know a traditional household brand.

It is difficult for these B2B-based brands to run 30-second advertisements or traditional media campaigns to truly connect with the people that can make a difference in their business or sales cycle, which often is many months in length. Leveraging the right mix of sponsorship assets attributed to the right audience can not only connect with your audience but also bring real emotion and real excitement to your brand. This works so well in motorsports because sponsorship is a wholly integrated component of the sport. Fans recognize and embrace its importance for competition. Because of that, they build fierce loyalty to the sponsors who show loyalty back to the sport.

Sponsorship is not interruptive by nature and this concept should extend to how you activate. In what ways does your activation enhance the experience for everyone involved? How can you meet your audience where they are and provide them something relevant to what they are interested in?

Leveraging virtual assets

This has been extended with the surge of virtual assets, engaging digital platforms and even hybrid programs spanning multiple days for stakeholders to enjoy all over the world.

Now, more than ever, we are excited for the future of sponsorship. We believe that motorsports can be the ultimate differentiator for your brand. It is the perfect opportunity to tell your brand story and bring it to life.

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Topics: Sponsorship ROI

Austin Schneider

Written by Austin Schneider

Austin has built his experience around the world in digital marketing, business development and client service. He loves the fast pace of working in sports business and is always excited to collaborate on new projects. An avid motorsports fan of all types, the global and exact nature of F1 is still his favorite.