Sports sponsorship can be observed and dated back to Rome and Ancient Greece where prominent society members supported the arts festival as well as the sports played. By support, it didn’t mean the proper sponsorship or patronage that was considered as a marketing tool. It rather meant continuation of such festivals and athletic events for entertainment.
Today, however, sponsorship through sports has become one of the most popular kinds of sponsorship due to the amount of exposure it can get for both sponsor and sponsee. Sponsoring an athlete or sport means that the sponsor is exchanging products or money for the right to link and associate the company name with the sporting event or athlete.
Why do organizations sponsor sports?
Aside from the popularity tag sports sponsorship gives, a number of other benefits also appeal to the company’s interest. Some of the most common benefits are given below:
Added value to brand
Companies that sponsor sports want their product or range of products to have added value when attached to a sports event or group. By value, this points to product quality, price and/or content. Companies use sports as a leverage to stand out among other competitors, and in turn create for themselves a top position where consumers can remember the name, and possibly have permanent brand recognition.
So what exactly do sports have that other types of sponsorships don’t necessarily offer? To view in terms of goals – sporting events have always had one definite output, and that is there is always a winner in the end. There is always competition; a test of which team or athlete will overcome the other, proving who is superior.
Gold medals, trophies, world records, global awareness are involved in sports and are the symbol of status of teams or athletes in a particular sport. Winners become popular enough to become household names, and this is what appeals to corporations who want to give out sponsorships. They want their name attached to that household name – which will in turn become a household name.
Major corporations such as Gatorade have applied this kind of sponsorship and come out as one of the most popular brands for beverage products. They attach themselves with major sporting events and give relevance by pointing out the benefit of the product to the athlete. This then sticks to the minds of consumers and sports enthusiast about which sports drink is the one to stick to.
Sports sponsorship does not only apply to major companies, but also to small businesses as well. The general idea of brand awareness is still applied and the only difference is the level or scale it covers.
All in all, organizations support sporting events with specific objectives, each of which is addressed below:
Brand Awareness – this objective seeks to let consumers become aware of the product name.
Brand Image – this objective attempts to create a specific style and/or personality that distinguishes a brand from its other competitors, and in turn may give premium pricing
Consumer relations – corporations support sporting events to directly involve themselves with consumers and potential clients, proving that their company is capable of providing proper services and/or products
Community relations – A more altruistic approach is for this objective wherein the company is concerned about the welfare of a community; and so supporting a sports event can make themselves know to the community
Employee relations – this objective for a corporation is to promote employee loyalty that will in the long term be very beneficial to the business