In Sport Sponsorship

Is your brand looking for a safe tool to get noticed by audiences? Sponsorship is your solution!

What does a brand need to do to stand out among all other brands? How can audiences become familiar with the brand to such extent that they recognize it and associate it to specific products? How can the brand be top of mind at the right time, i.e. the time of purchase?

Getting noticed is the starting point, the base for the success of each commercial action, and this is what can make you lose sleep. Paying attention has become a rare quality: we only do when we are interested in something. The conventional advertising machine, however, does not seem to be taking this aspect into account and continues to address its ads to everybody, whether they are interested or not. I am quite sure that you happen to meet people in your daily experiences with their eyes stuck on the screens of their mobiles and you probably step aside to prevent them from bumping into you. They are miles away from what is happening around them: they only pay attention to their devices where they frantically check their emails, the latest posts on Facebook, the shots on Instagram, a gossip website, etc. And they do so while they are waiting for the train and/or the bus or while they are lining up to check out at the supermarket.

When they are not focused on their mobiles (where they are constantly bombarded by non-requested ads), they are the targets of a load of external stimulations taking the form of posters, billboards, radio commercials, texts, emails, telephone calls from call centers, and so on and so forth. Needless to say, the effect of all such stimulations on the audience is that they “raise barriers” and become impermeable to the messages they receive.
The audience’s level of alert to certain products or services rises again when they need to buy them. For instance, if you wish to buy a new car and you like one specific model, you start noticing it more and more frequently on the roads. Similarly, if you wish to change your hairstyle and you draw inspiration from someone wearing bangs, you will start noticing lots of bangs around you, and so on. It is like your radar switches on and detects what you need exactly when you need it: the rest is all background noise!

The examples above show that getting noticed sounds like a mission impossible in which only a handful of fortunate brands which have unlimited budgets manage to succeed with conventional advertising.

Everybody’s attention has become very hard to catch, and this is a result of our need to defend ourselves, to escape the spots that are constantly bombarding us although we are not interested in them and actually feel oppressed by them every day. We can do without them in our lives until we need something, and this is exactly what prompts us to google and find the products we wish, to make comparisons, to look for information on their prices and the supplier’s customer service.

What should a company do to communicate with its prospect customers? How can a company make its own way through the crowd and step out of the background noise? Sponsorship is one possible answer – possibly sports sponsorship.

Find out how sponsorships work

The concept is very simple … as simple as with all things that work well.

You need to reverse the current process: do not seek attention and have the audience find you, instead! How? Well, BE INTERESTING! Sponsor a cultural initiative or a charity event, a sport or a team: this is the best way to attract the attention of consumers spontaneously, without bothering them.

You need to sponsor events or people – a charity, sports, music or cultural events – that your target customers appreciate and follow for their personal passion and interest, regardless of your being engaged in and with them: events or stars the consumers like and/or find extremely appealing, something your target customers focus their attention on and perceive as pleasant.

Of course, you need to be selective in your sponsorship decisions. You have to choose exactly what your target customers like: each sport is different and has a different target audience, as any other communications tool. The readers of The Financial Times are different from the readers of local newspapers such as The Mail or the Cambridge News in the same way as golf and sailing audiences are different from the audience of motocross.

The helmet of a much-followed rider, the shirt of a dream club

Your brand should be an active player in the show which consumers have decided to watch, in the initiative they believe in and wish to support, and you have to enter their world on tiptoes, offering assistance. This is how you will make your way through in a non-invasive manner and, over time, you will be preferred to all the other brands because consumers will associate you with their passion.

At a time when we are constantly offered any possible product, the only items which we really value are those connected to our passions. How about all the rest? Well, it is just a bore and a nuisance, I would add.

If you want to know more about this topic, give a little of your precious time and attention to this link


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Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo Tafà
Managing Director for RTR Sports, Riccardo graduated in law at the University of Bologna. He began his career in London in PR, then started working in two and four-wheelers. A brief move to Monaco followed before returning to Italy. There he founded RTR, first a consulting firm and then a sports marketing company which, eventually, he moved back to London.
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