In today’s dynamic sports industry, effective sponsorship in the broadcast environment has emerged as a key strategy for successful sports marketing. A well-chosen sponsorship can provide a wide range of benefits, including increased brand visibility, audience engagement, and revenue generation. But how do you find an appropriate sponsorship in the broadcast environment and leverage it effectively?

Now, broadcast sponsorship might not have been the first choice for your brand. With sponsorship of teams, and sports properties being highly sought after, it can limit your own brand from getting the property you are looking for, but the opportunity to get in on the action through the broadcast of that property allows your brand another shot at the audience you are targeting. It is also a far more affordable sponsorship, while still delivering on favourable reach and return.

In order to achieve successful return, there are some important considerations when looking for the best broadcast property for your brand:

Start with a clear goal. What do you hope to achieve with your sponsorship? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, brand association, or drive sales? Once you know your goal, you can start to develop a sponsorship strategy that will help you achieve it.

Find the right partner. A successful sponsorship aligns the values, target audience, and brand identity of both the sports entity and the sponsoring brand. This alignment ensures a synergistic partnership that resonates with viewers and drives meaningful engagement. Consider your target audience when reviewing the broadcast property’s viewer demographic profile, as it is most beneficial to partner with a property whose audience and interests align with your own target audiences. Similarly, the brands’ values should also align to present a sponsorship that is authentic and credible.

Be creative. There are endless ways to use sponsorship to reach your target audience. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box. Standard creative on broadcast sponsorship tends to fall short. That is, content that is too copy heavy, or static. Use animation, consider utilising a theme in line with the property you are sponsoring, while making it relatable.

For example, Squeezebacks are a favourite element for brands within sports broadcasts because it is a greater guarantee of eyeballs being on the screen. However, if the squeezeback content is dull, the viewer’s glance is unlikely to shift from the action to your advertisement. Consider this example in relation to a squeezeback; when a soccer fan is watching their favourite team battle it out for the title spot and a squeezeback appears on screen, they instinctively follow the on-field action as that portion minimises. If they see a soccer ball on the left of the screen in their peripheral, scoring into a net, then this speaks directly to their interest, and they are naturally drawn to the squeezeback.

Take it one step further and consider using a soccer legend within your content piece, to further ensure the interest of the viewers and also give your brand credibility to the soccer viewers. Other elements such as stings and commercials could be more detailed content pieces, driving a clear alignment between the brand and broadcast property.

Leverage the sponsorship. A comprehensive approach involves integrating sponsorship seamlessly into the broadcast environment and utilizing it as a catalyst for meaningful interactions. It isn’t always easy to effectively leverage off of a broadcast sponsorship due to the restrictions on naming rights, but with some well-considered marketing stunts and campaigns, this can really land the association, and deliver a much greater return for your brand. Consider signing with a team, player or coach, or a legend of the sport that would naturally drive that association.

Audience engagement opportunities are also important to drive the best customer participation. This can be through competitions, social media campaigns to support the sponsorship, giveaways and so on. 

Encouraging fans to actively engage with the sponsoring brand enhances their overall experience and increases brand loyalty.

A wonderful example of this is the #IWasThere competition with Discovery Bank, where they enticed their consumers to spend more with Discovery Bank in order to stand a chance to experience the sponsored property live – a once in a lifetime experience for some!

Measure your results. It’s important to track the results of your sponsorship so that you can see how it’s performing and make necessary adjustments. Data analysis plays a pivotal role in maximizing your sponsorship’s effectiveness in this way. Through the broadcaster’s data collection, your brand can receive and analyze viewer data to gain insights into audience preferences, consumption patterns, and engagement metrics. This data-driven approach allows for targeted marketing initiatives, personalized experiences, and optimization of future sponsorship strategies.

In the fast-paced world of sports marketing, sponsorship in the broadcast environment holds immense potential for driving brand visibility, audience engagement, and revenue generation. Finding an appropriate sponsorship that aligns with the values and target audience of both the sports entity and the sponsoring brand is paramount. By leveraging this partnership effectively through engaging content, interactive experiences, and data-driven strategies, brands can maximize the impact of their marketing efforts, and reach new levels of success for their brand.

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