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10 Commandments of sponsorship and sports marketing

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Sports sponsorship is one of the few tools offering complete,
across the board opportunities to marketing professionals.
Competitive events transcend traditional language and overcome cultural and linguistic barriers, speaking in a uniform and consistent manner to wide-ranging audiences. Sport, adored in all its diverse manifestations, is the perfect partner for all the marketing activities of a company – from visibility to positioning, from the conquest of new markets to strengthening relations with customers.
And more than that, because the brand name/company becomes an integral part of the show, it can bypass the psychological barriers that the viewer erects against traditional advertising and is thus particularly effective in creating preferences for companies and products.
In the following pages we offer 10 tips for maximising the
effectiveness of sponsorship and sports marketing programmes.

www.rtrsports.co.uk

Publicado en: Marketing
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10 Commandments of sponsorship and sports marketing

  1. 1. rtr sports marketing The 1 commandments of sport sponsorship getting the best out of sports marketing programmes by
  2. 2. Sports sponsorship is one of the few tools offering complete, across the board opportunities to marketing professionals. Competitive events transcend traditional language and overcome cultural and linguistic barriers, speaking in a uniform and consistent manner to wide-ranging audiences. Sport, adored in all its diverse manifestations, is the perfect partner for all the marketing activities of a company – from visibility to positioning, from the conquest of new markets to strengthening relations with customers. And more than that, because the brand name/company becomes an integral part of the show, it can bypass the psychological barriers that the viewer erects against traditional advertising and is thus particularly effective in creating preferences for companies/ products. In the following pages we offer 10 tips for maximising the effectiveness of sponsorship and sports marketing programmes. Recipes for success zero rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 2 Sporting events transcend traditional language
  3. 3. However simple and elementary it may seem, a clear reflection on business objectives is fundamental for anyone intending to use sponsorship as a component in the marketing mix. As mentioned previously, sports marketing has many weapons available and many opportunities for using them. When a company enters the sponsorship market, it must have a list of objectives and priorities on which all its future decisions on strategy will depend. If for example the business priority is to increase the worldwide awareness of the brand name, then it will be important to concentrate on sport, athletes and events for their international and wide-ranging audience. If however the company wishes to raise the profile of the brand, it will need to select disciplines with the right values. Be that as it may, it is important to start from the assumption that everything changes according to the objectives specified because there is no standard sponsorship strategy, only unique programmes custom made to suit the companies that implement them. Defining the objectives one rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 3 There is no standard sponsorship strategy
  4. 4. Putting the elements of sponsorship together is a process too often underestimated. Sports and athletes are sometimes chosen out of a gut feeling according to the personal inclinations of staff, or the ill-concealed passion of fans. But it is a very different matter uniting a brand to a sporting event, to a team or to one athlete in particular. It is not just a question of fame but of more specific strategic elements. LeBron James, Manchester United and the F1 World Championship are three examples very well known in their fields but naturally, if a company is a leader in the technological field, F1 will be a better option than the Miami Heat. In the same way, if a brand’s area of interest is fixed in a certain location, it will be better to choose the football team of the city itself rather than, say, the prestigious rugby tournament between South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Athletes, Teams and Events two rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 4 Too often decisions are based on gut feelings
  5. 5. One of the commonest questions from the company that wants to enter into a sponsorship programme and sports marketing for the first time is “how much does it cost?”. It is an understandable but misleading question. Far from being a ready-made and fixed package, a sponsorship programme is a very flexible communication tool that necessarily depends on the marketing budget of the company. You can for example choose less visibility on the motorcycles or the riders’ suits and invest a lot instead in the communications activities that allow you to exploit the many image rights obtained. In each case, whatever the strategy followed in the sponsorship programme, each euro invested in sports marketing will generate investment returns higher than any kind of traditional advertising and communications. Costs and benefits three rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 5 A flexible communication tool unique to each company
  6. 6. Sponsorship exploited to the full can operate effectively and in a homogeneous manner on all platforms, in every nation and on any medium. From television spots to out of home, from window decals to websites, it is important that the entire business marketing operation is clearly aware of the limits that they must respect. It is therefore appropriate that, on signing the sponsorship agreement, especially when the company has locations in different nations, the head of marketing/communications draws up a sponsorship operating manual in which the list of benefits and the operating rules to be followed are included. A practical example: at its official opening, a foreign branch of your brand wants to put on show inside the branch building the show car of the F1 team that the company sponsors. The sponsorship manual will provide useful directions on the dimensions and the weight of the car, the cost and the procedure for transportation, the staff necessary to set it up and the alternative uses that can be made of the car. The sponsorship manual four rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 6 The manual makes sponsorship understandable and usable by everyone
  7. 7. “Does a tree that falls in the middle of a forest make a noise if there is no-one to hear it?” It is a question as old as the world, often used in the world of business, to make the point that any activity of marketing, however bright, is ineffective if not correctly communicated. In the case of sponsorship, the same applies and it is fundamental to communicate the sponsorship both inside and outside the company. Internally, it is essential that employees and contractors are informed and involved. Explaining to staff why we have chosen to tie our name to a MotoGP team or to an Olympic athlete will generate enthusiasm and participation in every business area. Communicating internally tidbits normally reserved to the experts can also strengthen team spirit. Externally, communicating the signing of the agreement through press releases and a press conference is always important but remember too that one of the great benefits of sponsorship is the capacity of sponsorship programs to generate communications coverage automatically. It is unnecessary to constantly reconfirm the partnership of a brand with a team if each Sunday the company logo appears loud and clear on the fairing of a motorcycle broadcast to over 100 Nations around the world... Communication is important five rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 7 it is essential that co-workers and stakeholders are involved in sponsorship
  8. 8. Hugo Boss, the famous brand of clothing, has been a sponsor of McLaren F1 since 1981. The length of the partnership is a clear sign of its success but its visual expression is limited to a minimalist sticker on the two single-seaters from Woking. Where then does Hugo Boss find its much-envied ROI? The truth is that the German brand, a leading authority on sponsorship, knows well that the real value of sponsorship lies not so much in square inches of exposure of the brand as in the exploitation of all the marketing rights related to the contract. A 360° view is therefore not just advisable but essential to get the most from the sponsorship. To this end it is necessary to study with particular care various aspects: • The opportunity to use championships as a movable communications platform • Use of images of athletes (or cars, or teams) in your own printed or digital communication materials • Participation in the digital activities of the team or the athletes • Use of the hospitality facilities and the buildings of the team for PR, B2B or B2C activities • Licensing opportunities, i.e. uniting the brand name of the team or the athlete to your own for the creation of ad hoc Taking a 360 degrees view six rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 8 Taking a 360° view is essential for a complete exploitation of sponsorship
  9. 9. products or services • Displaying show cars or show bikes at fairs, events, exhibitions • Presence of athletes at important moments in the life of the company • Creation and production of ad hoc merchandising • Production and sending of newsletters and communications to the databases of the team It is quite clear from these examples, that certainly have not covered the whole range of opportunities tied to a partnership with a team or an athlete, that the value, especially in terms of the financial return, does not lie just in the increased visibility that is obtained from displays of the brand name. rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 9
  10. 10. Along with the evolution of the discipline, the tools to monitor and track trends in the sponsorship programme have also evolved. Having a constant finger on the pulse of the situation, as well as giving an ongoing guarantee of the effectiveness of the road taken, allows for important fine tuning to get the best performance from the programme. RTR, as well as being an agency particularly attentive to the calculation of ROI, has always taken the advice of the best independent sports marketing research agencies. Far from concerning purely generalist considerations, the ultimate aim of their reports is to provide for the client a very precise measure of the return from sponsorship. More specifically: • Regarding the exposure time of the brand name on TV, it is converted, with the help of the best international independent agencies, into the equivalent monetary value for the same time of coverage on traditional advertising. • Regarding activations and activity in the field, the ROI is calculated using precise parameters of the value of each contact engaged. Reporting e monitoring seven rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 10 The ultimate aim is to give the customer a precise financial value
  11. 11. • On specific activations such as promotions for individual sports events the ROI is measured by calculating the impact on sales in the period following the marketing programme. • On digital activities and on social media the Return on Investment is calculated thanks to specific 2.0 monitoring tools and platforms. Thanks to data such as engagement, influence, size of the fanbase and reach, it is possible to estimate with precision the amount of money required to get a similar coverage via press office activities. rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 11
  12. 12. As well as the many benefits already discussed, bear in mind that there are other opportunities related to the world of sponsorship, less regular and for this reason less discussed. So let us start by stating the obvious: paddocks, stadiums and big sports events are often meeting places for the largest financial groups in the world. More than 80% of Fortune 500 Companies invest in sport and it is an active part of numerous sponsorship programmes. Being a sponsor, in this sense, means being able to enter into contact without barriers with an extraordinary number of national and international companies and investors. What’s more, the context is often informal, without the usual rigidity of business, where it is easier to develop new relationships and make new agreements. Opportunities to be seized eight rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 12 Being a sponsor means being able to enter into contact with the top companies
  13. 13. We live in a world that, communications-wise, is changing under our very eyes at a phenomenal rate. While Twitter tells us minute by minute what is going on in the world, the big influencers on Facebook speak to hundreds of thousands of people at the same time. Being active and present on the social media is not just a strategic choice, it is becoming more and more a business necessity. Sponsorship and sports marketing, in this sense, are an important driver for the success of social media activities. They not only provide themes, cues and content which is both enjoyed and sharable to sponsor companies but they can count on the support and drawing power of athletes and clubs with a high media profile. Sporting and show business stars are among the important personalities on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, with millions of followers and fans who are always eager to know the latest news about the stars. Social media can also be an effective tool for the creation of databases and the best place for producing User Generated Content. Old media and new media nine rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 13 Sponsorship is an important driver for the success of all social media activities
  14. 14. In the course of a sponsorship programme the reason why sports marketing works should never be forgotten, i.e. the great passion of fans and those who love sport, a passion that can change spending patterns and make sales rise. Sponsorship and its effectiveness are based on the reiteration of values and other things that stir positive feelings which can increase the preference for the brand name or the product on show and that ultimately drive the purchase of the same. As may be easily understood, these are psychological processes that require time and constant nurturing. Because it is not an intrusive marketing technique, rather an inclusive one, sponsorship improves over time. The longer and better planned programmes are, the more the experience is prolonged and the positive association reinforced. Many years after the event, everyone remembers the Marlboro sign on the McLaren of Senna, the famous Gauloises decal on the motorcycle of Rossi or the large-script Carlsberg on the red shirt of Liverpool F.C. Unlike other forms of traditional communication that over time become annoying and boring and have negative effects on Time is on your side ten rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 14 sponsorship programmes are always alive, always improvable, always engaging
  15. 15. marketing, sponsorship seems ever more natural as the months go by. And the more natural communication is, the lower the consumer’s resistance. And the greater the gain for you and for your business. rtr sports marketing www.rtrsports.com PG. 15
  16. 16. Do you want more information? Since 1999 we have been a leading agency in sponsorship and sports marketing www.rtrsports.com emanuele.venturoli@rtrsports.com /rtrsportsmarketing @rtrsports rtr sports marketing +39 051 305112

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