- By Alex Bidwell
With the right idea and execution, sports marketing can be a hugely beneficial practice for brands wanting to increase their exposure. Live sports command a wide-ranging, passionate, and engaged audience, offering a brand a defined target market to advertise to. However, sports marketing is an established industry and can be complex for the uninitiated, as there are number of specifications and nuances where brands can fall short of achieving their objectives if they attempt to prioritise personal sports preferences.
Within this field there are dedicated professionals to help you create the most effective sports marketing campaigns for your brand. The professionals in this industry are sports marketing agencies that have tried and tested methods at their disposal, something the avid sports fan within a company keen to invest in sports marketing may not be aware of.
The sports sponsorship industry lacks a clear standardised blueprint of how brands can create sustainable partnerships. The differences within sports – from targets and exploitation opportunities to different communication objectives and values, can create further challenges for brands wanting to access the industry. This could mean that one’s favourite team or league is not necessarily the best option for their marketing campaign.
The number of variations in sports partnership structures and clarity required are exactly what sports marketing agencies address. Put simply, they understand the individuality, intricacies and goals of each project and facilitate contact with the most suitable rights holder. In turn, this produces tailored solutions for both brands and rights holders based on their needs and ethos.
Sports marketing agencies are highly specialised with a proven network and specific methodologies at their disposal, which saves time, effort and money for a brand, and are therefore an invaluable asset to have on side when embarking on a sports marketing project. This is not an easy market for the buyer and therefore sponsorship agencies act like a realtor and broker, providing strategic insight, valuable information, and access to the most suitable options available in the sports sponsorship market.
The process of creating a sustainable partnership for a brand’s sports marketing project is done through sports sponsorship selection, contract negotiation, rights management and measurement. All partnerships are weighed up against the unique partnership specification which ensures that both brands and rights holders have a similar ethos, goals, target market and fit within each other’s budget.
Whilst finding the correct rights holder is crucial, sports marketing agencies can also assist in the contract negotiation. They empower brands, helping them understand the value they can bring to a rights holder, and ensure that both sides have their needs met when negotiating marketing rights (rights management and sponsorship activation), which often appear complex and foreign for any brand new to the market. Once the partnership has begun the sports marketing agency can also assist in measurement of ROI and ensure a suitable plan for the future is in place.