In Sport Sponsorship, Sports Marketing

It’s a term you’re likely to hear over and over again when it comes to sports sponsorship, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you know its definition. So, what is sponsorship activation? And how can you ensure that it goes well when it comes to your own sports sponsorship campaign?

What is the sponsorship activation?

In short, sponsorship activation is the system of actions you need to put in place in order to get the maximum value out of your sports sponsorship campaign: kicking it off into the world, whether that’s via the release of digital or physical marketing materials, the posting of content on social media, the unveiling of billboards or banners at sporting events, taking guests to races or matches or any other aspect of your campaign.

For a more comprehensive definition that answers the question “What is sponsorship activation?” see our article here.

The importance of timing in sponsorship activation

One of the most important things you need to be aware of when it comes to sports sponsorship activation is timing – that is, ensuring that you begin spreading your message at the exact moment that potential customers are most likely to receive and engage with it.

For example, if you’re sponsoring MotoGP your activation is unlikely to be best positioned if it begins in the off-season – you’re much better advised to launch your campaign with the start of the year’s races, when all eyes are on the riders and teams are gearing up to compete fiercely for the months ahead.

Timing your digital activation

It also stands to reason that you will want to activate the digital and/or social aspects of your campaign at the same or at a very similar time to your physical assets – that way, fans searching online after games or during tournaments (or via the now-famous second screen) are at an increased likelihood of coming across your branding once more, thus reinforcing your message.

How to make sure your sponsorship activation goes according to plan

 There are a few things that you can do to make sure your sponsorship activation offers a successful start to your campaign:

  • Make a very clear plan, so you’re aware of your budget, audience, and the duration of the activation
  • Ensure you have the rights and appropriate credits for all assets that you plan to use throughout the activation
  • Know what success looks like, and have measurements (views, engagements, clicks, etc) to determine whether the activation has been successful

What is sponsorship activation when it’s done well? Some examples

An example of great sports sponsorship activation in the world of MotoGP is that of Italian pharmaceutical powerhouse SIFI, which utilized well-known faces from MotoGP in billboards, videos, and social storytelling to explain a brand story successfully.

A recent activation has come from Monster Energy, the new sponsor of Yamaha Factory Racing’s MotoGP team after the departure of Movistar, who have in the past exploited their partnership with Valentino Rossi with a special edition of their can and beverage along with various other actions. It’s a partnership that we’ll be eagerly waiting to see more of as the 2019 MotoGP season gets underway.

Sports sponsorship activation might seem complicated, and it’s true that there’s a lot to consider – which is where a Sports Marketing Agency like RTR Sports Marketing can really help you out. Get in touch with us today!

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Silvia Schweiger
Silvia Schweiger
Associate Director, Executive Marketing and Commercial at RTR Sports Marketing, a London-based sports marketing company specializing in motorsport for over 25 years.
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