You can deliver big-time ROI with the right sponsorship activation in place. We define sponsorship activation as what you do with what you own. Simple as that. We also consider activation to be the driving force behind the ongoing value you expect to see from your sports marketing programs.
This can take many forms, but it is bringing your brand to life from things as simple as booth spaces at an event to more sophisticated programs like employee engagement initiatives, sales contests, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and customer celebrations.
The what you have portion is defined by the rights you acquired when you became the "official brand of the best property ever." When your brand sponsors something, what you really bought is access to assets that exist on a particular platform, but that's it. Whoever sold you that sponsorship more than likely isn't going to continue knocking on your door making sure you use what you bought.
Motorsports sponsorship requires strategic activation at various levels to maximize the value you can get from it.
At the Event
The last few months have made activating "at the event" anywhere from difficult to not possible. Our work to fill this gap has primarily been building ways to connect guests to the track via Zoom meet & greets, unique behind the scenes footage, and virtual victory lane celebrations complete with customized gift box delivery. Everyone misses the actual event, but some properties, such as The Masters, have found ways to keep the emotion alive.
Away From the Track
You can integrate the most important stakeholders in your business such as your employees, partners and customers by bringing the excitement to them. For your customers, you could bring a replica showcar to high-traffic areas like a retail store or a shareholder meeting that gives them surprising and unique access to your brand.
Something like a driver meet & greet in a business setting is a great way to reward high-performing employees. The metaphors that can be taken from the sports world to the business world can engage your team in new ways. It’s one thing to see professional athletes on TV sporting your brand’s logo, but for them to see their favorite driver in-person singing the praises of your partnership, now that’s something special.
Leveraging Digital Media
Whatever you decide to do with your sponsorship property, make sure that you document the process. This can take one event and allow you to extract year's worth of marketing value from it by creating thank you videos, sharing photos from the experiences you have created and more. Fans love to see what types of things your brand is doing in the real world, so by sharing you are in the middle of some of all this can earn your brand respect that is hard to come by.
Engaging brand ambassadors to document their experience can be a great way to organically reach additional audiences that you may not have had access to previously.
Giving Back to the Community
By engaging with the local communities around your brand, you’ll forge a deeper bond with those who matter most. Hosting events that inspire students and other members of the community can help you get to know your audience infinitely better than regular market research can accomplish. Inviting the team or driver you are partnered with can be a great way to enhance the value of your event. Other elements of your marketing strategy can then be brought in to make your brand look larger than life, and a chance for you to get to know your neighbors in a meaningful way.
Expecting results just because you’ve spent money on one particular property won't get you far. It is what you do with the property that matters. As a general guide, spending $2 on activation for every $1 spent on a property will deliver the most value to your program.
Updated for added value.