Motorsports Marketing and Brand Activation Blog

Why Sponsorship Works More Than Ever in 2022

5/17/22 2:45 PM

Sponsorship can be an integrated alternative to traditional media marketing and a platform where consumers are receptive to hearing your message. The data points to how motorsports, and also emerging sports, score much higher than the average messaging engagement figures captured by SportsBusiness Journal in their annual online survey.

Recent growth for motorsports across mainstream media and audiences has also been a boon for new sponsorship programs. Add-on value like Netflix's Drive to Survive and Race show how the on-track product can be enhanced through thoughtful storytelling in a different venue.

The SportsBusiness Journal online survey of 18 to 64-year-olds, found 23 percent of fans are “receptive,” or responsive to sponsor messaging.

Much of traditional media is “interruptive” by nature. It is unnatural, forcing you to view their pitch while you’d rather be watching/listening to something else. In sports, especially motorsports, sponsorship is enthusiastically accepted and intrinsically linked to a team/driver’s ability to compete. The challenge is to engage the audience, be authentic and improve the experience as a fan.

The more complete answer is that with sponsorship, you can activate your brand in such unique ways that are organic and integrated with the event. Activation is harder to accomplish, and certainly less organic, with other forms of marketing tactics. Unique sponsorship activation can take on several forms across sports properties.

The right partnerships have shifted this year to make use of "hybrid" activations mixing virtual experiences and live events. We expect this will continue for some time until people feel safe to attend large events more regularly. With a bit of logistics you can enhance your marketing budget to engage stakeholders in their homes while they watch the main event on TV.

Especially regarding millennials, that seems counterintuitive [that they would be more receptive to sponsor messaging],” Mike Reisman, MKTG president of sports and entertainment, said. “But while they demand a more authentic message, they see a brand’s relationship with things they are interested in as a demonstration of authenticity.”

Throughout the SportsBusiness Journal article, Reisman continually reinforced the ways that sponsorship, regardless of whether it is sports or entertainment, remains one if the most effective ways to target various groups of people. Looking at generational differences specifically, intriguing results emerged when examining demographic groups surveyed. The survey states how millennials (31 percent receptive) were considerably more open to sponsor messaging than Gen-Xers (22 percent receptive) or baby boomers (16 percent receptive).

Whenever you can integrate your product/service into the game or into the active performance, your message becomes much more believable to your target audience. The platform that allows your brand to come to life, and engage with your audience where they already are naturally, offers the most potential for sales growth and perception changes - arguably the two largest goals of any business in marketing as a whole.

Cover image courtesy of Cadillac

Topics: Sports Business Motorsports Marketing

Todd Stonis

Written by Todd Stonis

Todd Stonis brings more than a decade of client-side marketing experience to Sport Dimensions as our President, where he develops sponsorship strategies and oversees activation for a variety of high profile clients and events. He is based out of our Denver office and loves his time spent in the Rockies with his family.