- Sports marketing can be a great promotional vehicle for your clients. Its not restricted to
corporate giants, either; companies of any size can participate in sports marketing.
- Sponsorship spending figures for 1999 are an estimated
$7.6 billion, a 12 percent increase over 1998. Two thirds of that total are attributable
to sports sponsorships.
- Sports sponsorships used to be simple exchanges of
money for event tickets or banner exposure. Now, they have evolved into multifaceted
cross-media marketing vehicles that include everything from media exposure to promotional
- A key starting point is to understand your clients specific
marketing objectives. You can ascertain these objectives by conducting a needs analysis
interview with the prospect before developing a sponsorship package.
Take Your NTR Across the Finish Line
Sports Marketing Can Benefit Your Clients and Your Station
Editors note: This issue of Radio Sales Today is based on an article by
Andrea Graham of info-now.com.
Nowadays, companies have to get creative to achieve name recognition.
Advertising on the Radio can help a lot, but greater opportunities for branding occur when
you supplement your clients ad schedule with promotional sponsorships.
Sports touches the lives of more people than any other promotional
vehicle. Sporting events have become a prime entertainment phenomenon worldwide; as a
result, corporate sponsorship of those events is exploding. Sports tie-ins, endorsements,
ads, and other promotional tactics have become the centerpiece of many corporate marketing
When many people think of sports marketing sponsors, they often think
of corporate giants such as Coca-Cola or ATA&T. However, your clients company
doesnt have to be a large multinational to benefit from sports marketing. The
smaller companies on your prospect list may well find it advantageous to tie in with such
local events as road races, marathons, local sports teams, and community and youth
leagues. Moreover, if your station takes an active part in building a roster of sponsors
for local events, you will benefit from the exposure as well as the advertising revenue
Some Key Statistics
The International Events Group (IEG) estimated 1999 sponsorship spending in North America
(both sports and nonsports) at $7.6 billion, a 12 percent increase over the 1998 figure of
$6.8 billion. Sports-related sponsorships account for two thirds of that figure, for a
total monetary share of $5.1 billion.
The Changing Face of Sports Sponsorships
Sylvia Allen, author of How to Be Successful at Sponsorship Sales (to be officially
released at RAB2000 in Denver next month), remarks, "Traditional sponsorship has been
around for a long time. However, it has changed over the years. In the 60s and
70s, sponsorship was a linear relationship wherein a corporation gladly gave money
in return for tickets to a performance, or for banner exposure. The sponsors handed the
money to the sport or event, got their benefits, and were happy. Thats no longer
"Todays sponsors are more sophisticated and recognize that
sponsorship is just another component of their marketing mix. As a result, sponsorships
must have a variety of components such as media, cross-marketing opportunities,
promotions, partnership recommendations, and event extensions to get the greatest return
on investment." With experience, your station can be the sponsors point of
contact for all of these components of the sponsorship.
Sports crosses over virtually every lifestyle category; no matter what
your clients target audience, there is a sporting event for them.
Launching the Campaign
Once youve decided what form your clients sports promotion will take, consider
the following points to help get it underway:
- Understand thoroughly the specific marketing objectives of your
clients company (you should have uncovered these during a fact-finding or needs
analysis session with the prospect).
- Identify your clients target audience. Different sports attract
different demographic and interest groups. A classical music station or a luxury car
dealership might want to think twice before setting up a sponsorship deal with a
monster-truck rally, for example.
- Integrate as many elements as possible into the clients
program. The best results (and the healthiest revenue!) come from promotions with a
variety of elements that build on each other. For example, you could sell your clients on
a package that includes a consumer contest, awarding prizes such as box seats for a few
games or even season tickets. To publicize the campaign, of course theyll want a
hefty schedule of commercials and promotional mentions on your station which
youll be all too happy to sell them.
The basic principles of sports event marketing are the same whether the
event is large or small. Sales professionals with the savvy and ambition to master sports
marketing will provide their stations and their paychecks with a new stream
of non-traditional revenue.
For more info about event marketing, contact RABs NTR/Co-op Department at (800)
232-3131, ext. 6786..