It’s a commonly accepted belief that some sporting events, championships or series are less important than others. Most sports fans would quickly agree that a Serie B game is less compelling than a Serie A, that a Moto3 race is less fun than a MotoGP, and that a GP2 Championship gives fewer thrills than the more extravagant Formula 1.
There are, of course, different championships for different skill level, popularity and audience size. Because of this it’s easy to believe that the scale of the championship corresponds purely to talent – but this isn’t always the case.
Of course, football or basketball might have the most high-profile championship series – but in motorsport, for example, the distinction between categories is operated on technical criteria, including power of the vehicles. In boxing, the distinctions go either by weight order or by leagues or championships (WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO). In short, the distinctions are multiple – and are not always based on ability or skill level of athletes or drivers.
Having made this clarification, it’s important to talk about the benefits that are obtained in sponsoring categories that aren’t necessarily at the “pinnacle” of the sporting world – for example Moto2 and Moto3, GP2, Serie B, Lega Pro, and so on. The list of series at this level is potentially infinite, and can offer an exceptional sponsorship opportunity for brands.
Here we’ll look specifically at motorsport (and especially at Moto2 and Moto3 sponsorship), but the theory can be applied broadly across multiple other sporting disciplines.
Why Moto2 and Moto3 sponsorship opportunities have big potential
It’s clear that the amount invested in Moto2 and Moto3 sponsorship is decidedly lower than that invested in MotoGP. However, this is an error on the part of brands. With the money that’s needed just to ensure visibility in MotoGP, brands can undertake far-reaching campaigns in Moto2 and Moto3. The money, with which you can do so much in terms of effective sports sponsorship at this level, just doesn’t go as far elsewhere.
So, is it best to be big fish in a small sports sponsorship pond – or vice versa?
The question is clear: having a fixed budget of X Euro, is it better to invest in a smaller space and have clear impact within a more niche area, or invest in a big and visible brand that will mean smaller placements and a potentially watered-down campaign – albeit to a broader audience?
Sure, MotoGP has greater visibility and audience than Moto2 and Moto3 in terms of numbers – but it is equally true that if you use photos and videos for communication campaigns across the latter two series, it is more than likely that your logo and branding will have a much greater prominence for those that do see it. We’ll explain why below…
A focused, dedicated audience
The audience of the MotoGP is wide, transversal and international. This is obviously a big plus for those who offer products and services of large consumption, but it can be overkill for those companies and sectors that target very specific demographic, such as technical suppliers or manufacturers of accessories and spare parts.
In addition, unlike the MotoGP, which is seen by a truly polyphonic audience, lovers of Moto2 and Moto3 are passionate followers, constant in their viewing of the championships and very informed about their favorite drivers. They are a dedicated, targeted audience, rather than a wide and sporadic one – so if your brand aligns with their needs and interests, your ROI is likely to be higher than if you’d made a different choice.
They’re a sensible choice for brands who want to test the waters
Good sports sponsorship must be managed, activated and monitored with constancy and dedication. Management background, knowledge of the industry and the possibility to immediately follow with large sports sponsorship packages are already available in many companies. That’s why a first step in Moto2 and Moto3 could be useful to get a taste of what is needed to deal with more expensive, high-profile sponsorships.
How smaller championships and series can offer greater flexibility
While the most prestigious and lucrative series are unlikely to grant “extras” or break the rules of their very well-established guidelines and strict sponsorship programmes, smaller classes, such as Moto2 and Moto3, lend themselves more to experimentation and flexibility when it comes to sports sponsorship. The packages they can offer are often easier to compromise on or make bespoke, which can be a great advantage for companies looking to protect their own brand (and get a good ROI) whilst also elevating themselves.