January 9, 2020
Interacting, engaging, signing and developing long-term relationships with brands is becoming more and more challenging.
As sports organizations, we seek for attention and trust in a more competitive environment. We not only compete with other sports stakeholders but also with any source of entertaining content that could serve a potential sponsor to reach a specific audience. Why? Because we are in the business of entertainment, beyond the business of sports.
The old days of awareness are gone, top brands look for engagement. An opportunity to play an active role in the most emotional moments that sports delivers through passion. And we, as sports properties, should obsess about knowing as much as possible about the potential sponsor. About figuring out how we can become a strategic branding asset for that company.
Sponsorship becomes an art when there is no magic formula to replicate. A story that sometimes resonates, and that often is ignored. This is why perseverance is one of the most precious soft skills to succeed as a sports marketer, together with empathy to put a valuable proposal on the table and creativity to achieve more with less. Perseverance, empathy and creativity, the closest to a formula we will find in sponsorship.
It is also true that sports marketing is also shifting to a paradigm where brands demand a 360º approach, where clubs, competitions or athletes need to become a committed partner without demanding too much time from the brand. That means presenting proposals where added value is easy and worthy for the sponsor. Like an ad-hoc project that delivers valuable insight for their marketing department.
Nevertheless, in sponsorship proposals there are some key aspects which are essential and must be included. Some ingredients that will hook your potential client to ask for more information. A sponsorship proposal should include:
1. Who we are. What is our story, values and best highlights.
2. What we do. What is our daily activity and its benefits.
3. Impact. What is the social, economic and media footprint of our brand.
4. Audience. Who is engaging with our brand and what is their world view.
5. Opportunity. Why would it be worthy to connect with our brand.
6. Proposal. A detailed action plan addressed to the sponsor’s goals.
This structure is not a guarantee for success, but perseverance and analysis are.
For instance, we have seen how Rakuten, FC Barcelona's main sponsor and through its platform Rakuten TV, has recently launched the series called “Matchday” to deliver exclusive content about the players’ daily lives. From 8 to 45 minute episodes and narrated by John Malkovich, a true source of engagement and entertainment, particularly in the digital landscape. Earlier this year, FC Barcelona launched Barça Studios to centralize the creation, production and commercialization of FC Barcelona’s audiovisual output; a new strategic asset to add value to partners as Rakuten.
Start by crafting a remarkable product that people are proud to recommend and engage with, rather than focusing most effort on communicating first. Developing an attractive product means creating a consistent and authentic story that can be sustainable over time.
So, what is your story?
This article was writting by Xavi Bové. Xavi is a Marketing Consultant at SBI and specializes in sports marketing in the sports industry. You can contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org