Many sports brand companies opt for sports sponsorship because it is one of the most effective ways to get their brand the right amount of publicity and exposure. Sports sponsorship has become more than just collaboration between business corporations and sports leagues. In exchange for money, sports brand companies get to have their brand names prominently displayed in sporting events or on the back of an athlete’s uniform.
The effectiveness of a sports sponsorship deal is generally influenced by many factors. Sometimes a big amount of money spent cannot guarantee success. By identifying the key factors that may increase the chances of product image enhancement, an investor can successfully plan out their marketing strategy through a sports sponsorship program.
Many sports brand companies nowadays find sports sponsorship as one of the best ways to market their brand name. They can reach their potential customers and loyal patrons better by sponsoring a major sporting event or an athlete in a game. The Asian sports arena is also becoming the focus of many international sports brand. This is because there are so much potential and unexplored possibilities in the Asian market. Sports sponsorship benefit both the sports brand company and the event or athlete they are sponsoring. Of course, the success of sports sponsorship relies on many factors.
Asians, in general, like winning athletes or teams as much as the rest of the world. Local athletes who have won international sports title like Malaysia’s squash darling, Dato’ Nicol Ann David, are often treated as a hero. Therefore, it only makes sense that a sponsorship will probably be more successful if the athlete or team that they are sponsoring wins. This is due to public perception. A brand associated with a winning athlete is often perceived as a good brand, and vice versa. The brand in question may be a moderate brand in reality but associating it with a champion will definitely put the brand in a different light.
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Another thing that sports sponsorship can guarantee is visibility and recognition. When Yonex became one of the major sponsors at the Thomas Cup Badminton Championship, they immediately get their brand name mentioned in almost every game. Their logo can be found on every single banner and they gain international recognition which lasts years long. The Thomas Cup may only take place for a few weeks but the impression Yonex made in the public eye extends beyond that. It is these lasting impressions that many sports brand companies find to be priceless. It is definitely worth spending their money over.
Sports sponsorship programs also usually target a certain demographic, suitable to the product or brand name they wish to expose to the public. This is why many investors believe that the event they are sponsoring should also cater to their own target niche. For example, if Nike is promoting a product that caters to a younger demographic, it is probably not a good idea for them to sponsor older athletes that their target market cannot relate to. Instead, they probably will get better results by sponsoring an athlete that belongs in the age group of their target niche. Different target groups need to be reached in different ways. Otherwise, the whole point of sports sponsorship would be moot.
Generally, sports sponsorship aims towards creating optimum exposure of a sports brand company and sending their message to potential customers effectively. The right approach is necessary to ensure that every single cent they spend on sponsorship will bring in more than enough revenue than simply to break even. By knowing their target market and their sports hero, a sports brand company can achieve more than just fame and recognition. They can also maintain their reputation as a winning sports brand that is often associated with prestigious sporting events. That in itself is priceless.
Larry Lim is a business writer based in Southeast Asia. He is currently researching the effectiveness of sports marketing and sports sponsorship in Asian sports.