The sponsorship world has gotten more and more scrutinized at the same time that competition within sports has never been more fierce. This has created a necessary dynamic for teams, series and venues to be extremely diligent with how they spend their time and money.
Often that plays out to a service-heavy sales and acquisition process for new sponsorship where you may feel very well looked-after, followed by a sometimes tricky “stage 2” where you want to start building and activating.
Rights holders are under the same amount of pressure to raise money as you are to deliver ROI on behalf of your marketing team. It is critical to understand that these rights holders ultimately have a primary function. Whether that be to compete, deliver entertainment or host hundreds of thousands of guests, they cannot be expected to manage details of each sponsor’s needs surrounding the event. It is unrealistic, and the expectation for a sponsor going in shouldn’t be that everything will be automatically taken care of.
The realities of having many sponsors involved with a particular team are that the most popular assets can get crowded and it is not always straightforward or fair how they get assigned. You are still the customer in this relationship, as you are purchasing the right to access all of the assets. In this case, your role happens to go a bit further in that you need to make sure you are still getting what you paid for.
The ROI you are looking for in sports marketing will require strategy, attention, consistency, activation and an accurate scope of work.
These behind-the-scenes necessities are why we highly recommend retaining support to help you manage your new sponsorship and maximize the value. We aren’t just saying that because we are an agency ourselves. All we want is for you to find the success you are looking for in your marketing work.
There are many highly-talented agencies in this space that will help you, and we would be thrilled if they deliver what you need. We would be the first to tell you if we don't have what you need, but if you are performance-minded, looking for a specialized relationship and only want to deal with senior people, then we might be the ones for you.
Where you go from here
We believe that sponsorship is one of the most value-rich marketing platforms that is available to brands today. Integrating a mix of sponsorship assets into your marketing stagey can produce a formula that will strengthen other creative, campaigns, tactics and promotions you have going on.
Have a look at some different ways that this has played out for our clients recently.