Investing in a sports sponsorship is a great option for brands seeking to create instant equity within a market.
Not only does this show that you’re supporting the hometown team, but you’re also tapping into your customers’ passion via sports marketing. This leads to greater interest in your brand and engagement from your customers just by association.
Since both buyers and retailers are sports fans, partnering with a team is a unique way to get them excited about your brand. And while it’s a great option to boost engagement, sports sponsorships can be a big investment. That’s why we recommend operating any sports marketing campaign alongside a robust, relevant strategy.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when establishing a successful CPG sports marketing plan.
The Sports Sponsorship Do’s
Sports sponsorship for CPG brands can be very effective when done right.
Engage Fans with Consumer Promotions
When you’re working with the sports team, be sure to negotiate for assets that can be built into a consumer promotion. Think about experiences that your customers would enjoy, like tickets to a game, meeting their favorite player, mascot appearances at an event, or winning the chance to throw the first pitch.
These are just the tip of the iceberg for getting your customers and retail partners excited about working with your brand in a sports related campaign.
Leverage Consumer Sampling
Whenever possible, utilize consumer sampling opportunities within your sponsorship. As an experiential option, this lets the fans try your product at a game which is always a great way to build brand awareness and enhance the customer/fan experience at any sporting event.
Remember that many stadiums have size restrictions on samples, usually 2 ounces or less, so be sure to plan appropriately.
If possible, consider including coupons with your free samples to extend the life of the promotion and encourage fans to purchase your product again outside of the sporting event.
Understand Logo Rights
Understanding the rights that you have relating to the marks and logos is especially important for sports marketing. All teams will have limits as to where you can use their images and logos, so be sure that you remain compliant with your contract.
An experienced sports marketing agency can help you maximize the use of logos, especially as it relates to digital marketing.
The Sports Sponsorship Don’ts
Here are some things to avoid when activating a sports sponsorship for your CPG brand.
Avoid Traditional Media
Traditional media outlets like print, radio or in-stadium advertising do not provide the best value. Most teams will normally throw in these options as an added value, but they are not guaranteed – instead, you should focus on the right to use their marks and logos.
Remember, you can always support your sports marketing efforts through the use of your own digital media assets.
Don’t Go in Without a Plan
Planning is an important part of any marketing campaign, but this is especially true with sports sponsorships. Go into the partnership with a goal – are you looking to create an in-store promotional campaign, or are you looking for an audience to sample your new product?
Have a clear plan for how you’re going to measure your results, and also keep in mind that the corporate sales representative is usually just a sales rep who doesn’t always understand what’s going to work best for CPG retail.
Don’t Get Blinded by the Lights!
Sports marketing is very cool, and it can be easy to get blinded by the lights and excitement of associating with sports programs. Approach everything from a marketing and sales point of view and do not overpay just because you’re a fan – there are plenty of other teams that may align better with your goals!
Keep your sports marketing campaign about the business, because even if a team wins the championship one year, they could be in last place the next. Their prices will likely change with their records, and you want to ensure that you make the best business decision for your brand.
In the end, we suggest that you partner with a sports marketing agency who will help align your sports marketing with your CPG brand’s goals. Not only will they give you further details on how to maximize sports marketing, but they will also ensure that your campaigns are successful and measured appropriately!