This is a big dilemma, shall I follow my gut or should I look into the numbers? Well, I will look into the numbers, they don’t lie. But before that, the main suggestion is: go for something fun and engaging. Something that will have the fans jump on their sofa and craving for more.
Sport is entertainment and you cannot afford to associate your brand with a boring show. Have you ever been to the movies and watched an indigestible film? I am sure you did not suggest your friends go and watch it afterwards. If you are unsatisfied you do not only do not encourage people to go, you actually discourage people from doing it because you care for your friends.
It happens with the sport as well and it could slash the potential results of your sponsorship program.
So the last thing you want is to be associated with a show that doesn’t entertain and, sadly, I have to say that one of my favorite sport ever, F1, is going through a big crisis in this respect, to the point that some of the most important drivers have openly declared that they were bored as well.
I attach some of the articles I read about F1 lately
How to choose
But which are the characteristic a sport should have in order to be a great tool for a company?
- Engaging and fun
- Events shouldn’t be too long; the attention span nowadays is shorter than in the past.
- International (especially if a company operates in more than one country)
- Large TV coverage (big audience and preferably some or most events should be transmitted by generalist TV and not exclusively by pay TV)
- Strong presence on social media
- Alternative Digital platforms to view the show – Streaming
- Clean (certain disciplines are less affected or not affected at all by doping)
- Sustainable. Some sports are implementing strategies to offset the carbon footprint or are going electric
This is the basis you should look for when choosing your sport and it could be any sport if you can tick most of these boxes. When you have shortlisted the sports with these characteristics the next steps are linked to the value of the discipline, you can go for something aligned with your brand or you can choose something that will help to reposition it.
At the same time, we have to think about our commercial and marketing objectives. Last but not least comes the budget. We must make sure to have enough budget for the implementation of the activities during the year.
Communication, promotion, competitions
Finally, we must think about the set-up of all the tools to measure the ROI. Now you have selected an engaging sport with all the right features and you are in the right position to build a sponsorship plan to exploit all the opportunities that come with the programme to the fullest. Any company is different and has different needs so any sponsorship plan is bespoke if you would like to have a scheme that encompasses a general example follow this link: what is a sponsorship plan
In the meantime have a look at how people compare F1 and MotoGP.