Motorsports Marketing and Brand Activation Blog

So Many Marketing Opportunities for Your Brand...Why Sponsorship?

11/14/17 11:22 AM

The short answer is because sponsorship is a full 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.

The SportsBusiness Journal online survey of 18 to 64-year-olds, taken in June and July 2017, 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.

Successful sponsorship activation examples

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. From technical partnerships to full B2B relationships that extend far beyond the playing field or race track, here are a couple of case studies demonstrating success far beyond the logos you see on TV ↓

Pennzoil & Team Penske B2B Partnership: NASCAR, IndyCar, Australian Supercars, IMSA

lat-lepage-160522-indy_635.jpgAcross numerous sports, Pennzoil partners with Team Penske for performance on the track and business success on the road. Learn more about their work together in this article from Forbes.

Arrow Electronics & Schmidt Peterson Motorsport: IndyCar

Arrow Electronics leverages their sponsorship in IndyCar to create a remarkable vehicle to support paralyzed individuals. Learn more about how racing knowledge and technology pushes them forward.  

Microsoft & NFL

microsoft-nfl-activation.jpgAmong many other applications, Microsoft has helped NFL teams improve player safety and has enhanced the home-viewing experience for fans. Learn more here. 

Williams F1 Advanced Engineering

williams-f1-advanced-engineering-activation.jpgWilliams F1 has built an entire division around bringing race-learned technologies to the end consumer. By working closely with team sponsors and partners, the group has built amazing things for the world to use. Learn more.

IBM & Tennis

watson-cognitive-highlights-ibm.jpgThis partnership is a fantastic showcase of IBM technology through various aspects of the sport. IBM's Watson has also gotten many chances to develop through this partnership. Learn more about where this technical partnership is headed.

“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.”

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.

Throughout the SportsBusiness Journal article, Reisman continually reinforced the ways that sponsorship, regardless of whether it’s 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).

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, where he develops strategy and oversees sponsor activation for a variety of clients including Shell, Pennzoil and Quaker State. He also spearheads the Shell Eco-marathon Americas collegiate fuel efficiency competition.


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