Types of Sponsorship in sport: How many are there?
As a brand that wants to move into the world of sports sponsorships, it’s likely that you have a lot of questions and that you wonder about how many types of sponsorship in sport exist- but don’t worry, because we get asked this a lot and we are ready to provide some much-needed answers.
Sports or team sponsorship can reap lots of rewards, but there’s no doubt that there are multiple things to consider. What are the advantages and disadvantages of sports sponsorship? How important is it really? Should you sponsor a specific team or sporting events? Are there any top sports sponsorship campaigns that you can learn from?
We won’t answer all of this today (although we’ll try to soon!) but we will focus on the different types of sponsorship and what it is that they can provide, as well as offering some tips on what you should be thinking about at the next stage of the decision-making process.
Different Types of Sponsorship in Sports
There are a few different types of sponsorship that you have most likely already heard about before approaching teams, individuals or sports organization. Categories of sports sponsorship include, but are not limited to, the following:
which one of these do you need? Only you can tell. It depends on your objectives and budget to start with. To explain this simply, it’s better to give some examples: let’s say you’re a brand wishing to use the sport team or individual’s name, logo and/or imagery as part of your campaign to reflect a positive and healthy image, but you are not interested in increasing your brand awareness since you are already well known. Let’s say that you would like to use the program mainly to build sales promotions for the consumers. In this case, you might want to consider becoming an official partner, rather than a main or title sponsor. It would be an overkill to invest a lot of money if what you really need is the opportunity to leverage on sports fans passion about that team in order to increase sales.
There is no need for big spaces on the Bike/car but the marketing right to run the promotion and an official partner can obtain that kind of rights.
Main or title sponsors might have the most reach in terms of numbers, but maybe you want to target a specific or niche area.
If that is the case – for example if you want to reach a community sports demographic, or fans of a local team – you don’t need this far-reaching audience. Your audience might need to be smaller, more specific, and more likely to buy into your brand as it plays directly into their interests or life. Maybe the right choice is to support youth sports at a local level and again Official or technical partnerships can give you this.
Long story short, different sponsorship packages with their different names are as good as they are capable to deliver against the given objectives. There are no good or bad sponsorship packages, just ones that suits your needs and others that are a mismatch. Always start from a market research to establish what you really need, invest in the right property and the plan and implement the sponsorship activations you need to reach your objectives.
What are the advantages of sponsorship?
Sport sponsorship is a significant marketing strategy employed by many businesses, big and small, for events of all sizes from the FIFA World Cup to the local Sunday League. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Brand Awareness: Sponsorship provides businesses with an opportunity to increase their visibility and reach a larger audience. Sports, being widely popular and followed by millions, offer a vast platform for promoting brands.
- Positive Brand Association: By associating with a popular team, player, or event, brands can align themselves with the positive attributes of sports such as teamwork, discipline, dedication, and success. This helps in creating a positive image for the brand.
- Customer Engagement: Sports evoke passion and loyalty among fans, and by sponsoring sports, businesses can tap into this emotional connection to engage with potential customers.
- Direct Sales Opportunities: Sporting events often provide opportunities for sales, whether through stands at the venue, links to online stores, or other promotional tie-ins.
- Targeted Marketing: Sports sponsorship allows businesses to reach a specific demographic. For example, if a business’s target audience is young and active people, sponsoring a popular sports event or team could be an effective way to reach that demographic.
- Community Involvement: Sponsorship of local sports teams or events can demonstrate a business’s commitment to its local community, which can bolster its reputation and customer loyalty.
- Exclusivity: Sponsorship often comes with exclusive rights in a particular category, which means competitors cannot sponsor the same team or event, providing an advantage over rivals.
- Media Exposure: Sports events, particularly high-profile ones, attract a lot of media coverage. Sponsors’ brands can be exposed to millions of viewers, listeners, or readers through this media coverage.
- Hospitality Opportunities: Sponsors often receive privileges like access to exclusive hospitality areas or events, meet-and-greet opportunities with athletes, and premium seats at events. These can be used to entertain and build relationships with clients and partners.
- Social Media Engagement: Athletes and teams often have a significant social media following. Sponsorship can include promotional activities on these platforms, further extending the reach of the brand.
Remember, however, the effectiveness of sport sponsorship can depend on many factors, including the choice of sport, team, or athlete; the audience demographics; the alignment between the sponsor’s brand and the sponsored entity; and the broader marketing strategy of the business.
I’ve picked which types of sponsorship are best – what’s next?
Now is the time to consider whether a sports team, a championship or an individual is best for you to put your brand behind. Where do you want to see your company name?
We’ll discuss this question in more detail elsewhere – but for the moment, it’s useful to think of sports as you’d think of a media outlet that you might advertise with, and this means asking a few more questions. Will my potential customers see my brand if I position it here? Will this sportsperson/team/event make its followers more aware of us, leading to familiarity, the development of brand preference – and ultimately the intention to become a customer? Does the team/championship/individual represent our values? Will this sponsorship campaign create an emotional link with the people I want to reach? Ultimately will sponsor sport help me grow my business? Are my sponsorship dollars well spent with this sports teams or is better to choose other sports event?
The agency will answer you to all these questions and on the basis of these answers will lead you in the right direction. The next things to think about when moving forward in the sports sponsorship process is the plan you have to devise to exploit the sponsorship to its fullest (Discover more about Sponsorship Activation).
To stay up to date with news and for further advice on this subject, and for more sport sponsorship examples, remember to keep checking out us. Since 1995 RTR Sports Marketing is a leading sponsorship agency with its roots in motorsports, such as MotoGP and Formula 1.