If you’re considering adding sponsorship into a future corporate marketing plan, you’re probably wondering what the advantages and disadvantages are of investing in sports sponsorship. What are the benefits – and risks – of tapping into this strategy? And, does sponsorship work?
Luckily, at RTR Sports Marketing we have over 25 years of experience helping clients effectively target consumers with this approach. We’ve learned a lot and are happy to share our knowledge with you.
Why Is Sponsorship Important?
First of all, sponsorship is an important piece of a well-rounded corporate marketing plan especially for those companies with large, international communication strategies. Thanks to its global reach and appeal, sportsmen and sportswomen are very effective no matter where you are and no matter what your target is. Instead of setting up many campaigns to better engage with different cultures, sponsorship provides your company with a solid, unique image.
Moreover, sponsorship allows companies to engage with their customers in a an inclusive, rather than intrusive way. A good sports marketing program puts brands and firms at the heart of the action, right where the passion and the attention of the fans is. It’s a clever way to overcome the customer’s cognitive defensive barriers, which on the other hand are on the ready with any form of advertising.
If sponsorship is an idea you’d like to pursue, it’s most beneficial to work with a sports marketing agency that will be able to guide you through the process and answer any questions that you might have.
Advantages of sponsorship in sport
Sports sponsorship is a lucrative, worldwide industry – so it makes sense that there are a wide range of benefits that you can reap when you delve into this arena.
A 360° Marketing Tool: Sports sponsorship truly is a 360° marketing tool, and can allow for content marketing, digital media, B2B programmes, PR, hospitality opportunities, and much more.
Consumer loyalty: The passion ignited by riders (in MotoGP), or by teams or athletes in other sports, can’t be rivalled – and often their audiences and fans have longstanding and deeply-rooted allegiances. If you can find a sports team or individual to sponsor that matches your brand’s ethos, and appeals to your target market, you’re well on your way to seeing increased consumer preference and loyalty.
Sales: Sponsorship provides a strong increase in sales, better brand positioning, and a higher brand awareness.
Media / Social Media Exposure: Also it is a very powerful weapon in you social media storytelling strategy (think of the excellent job done by Etihad in the Premier League, or Repsol in MotoGP). In short, the advantages are numerous – and all of these things can combine to achieve real ROI for your brand,
Disadvantages of sport sponsorship
So, we’ve talked about the good things that can come of successful sports sponsorship campaigns and the numerous sponsorship benefits- but what about the disadvantages of sponsorship in sport?
The reality is that as long as you do your homework, plan in advance, and activate your sponsorship plan the right way, there are very few downsides. You should be aware of your budget and what this will allow you to achieve, and that teams or riders/athletes might fare better one season to the next – something that shouldn’t necessarily cause you too much of a problem.
Are there any other disadvantages of sponsorship in sport? The answer is no, as long as the team or athlete you’re linked with does not get involved in scandals or disgraceful situations. We’ve covered this before: what if the athlete or team we sponsor is caught using performance-enhancing drugs? What if in the middle of a game or a race the behaviour of your team is disgraceful? Head over to our article here if you want to know more about how to handle it.
Performance-wise, on the other hand, of course your team or your athlete might have some bad days. It happens: riders crashing out of a race, your team losing an easy match, a basketball player shooting the ball poorly or a boxer being KO’d after a couple rounds. However, good sponsorship programs do not rely on on-court performance to be successful. More than that, you can actually make a great storytelling out of a miserable night: the story of how we fall but get back up, train harder and come back again stronger. Think the famous Nike campaign with Michael Jordan “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career…”
What sport should I use for my sponsorship campaign?
There are many different types of sponsorship in sport and, as experts on the advantages and disadvantages, we can recommend the extremely lucrative world of MotoGP as a great place to start. MotoGP sponsorship means multiple races per year, hundreds of thousands of viewers, and an international reputation for high-quality racing. That’s before we even get into the B2B, hospitality and digital activation opportunities that are available. Invest in MotoGP and you’ll be well-insulated from any of the problems that you might encounter elsewhere. Besides MotoGP, there are many types of sponsorship in sports, such as Formula E Sponsorship.
The benefits of working with a leading sports marketing agency
Since 1995 RTR Sports Marketing has been a sports marketing leader with a core business in MotoGP, one of the most effective sports to enter if you’re looking to invest in sports sponsorship.
If you’re unsure about your next steps, you may want to have a chat with one of our consultants. We will be more than happy to talk you through all the advantages and risks involved in sport sponsorship.
We will be able to answer to your curiosities and we are willing, given a specific (marketing and/or commercial) objective and a budget, to study for you a specific sponsorship programme capable of reaching your objectives.
We are confident that the benefits of sport sponsorship will then appeal to the savvy marketer. If you want to talk more about what the ups and downs of sponsorship are, just give us a call – we’ll be waiting!
Read more about Sponsorship Activation