It’s been a bonanza weekend for British sport. Wimbledon hosted an exhilarating men’s final; the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was won by a British racing driver and the England World Cup cricketers romped home with the trophy at The Oval. Even without these world class events taking place on home turf, it’s true to say we are a ‘sporting’ nation.
Advertising at a sporting event, no matter the size, is always going to be successful by virtue of the crowds spectating. But why can we rely on the popularity of sporting activities and how can businesses benefit from a bit of piggyback marketing at local events?
How is sport beneficial?
It’s a fact that we all love sport. Even if it’s just spectating, there is something about getting together and being active. It comes as no surprise then that the true definition of sport, as described by dictionary.com, is “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess, often of a competitive nature”. In short, it is an activity requiring physical strength and agility and often involves using these skills in contention with others.
However, the benefits do not stop there. There are also additional physical, emotional and interpersonal skills to be gained from participating in sporting activities and having a regular share in them throughout our lives. Key life skills can be learned including:
- developing teamwork and leadership prowess
- building communication and problem-solving abilities in children
- creating opportunities to socialise with the potential to grow into relationships, establishing emotional support systems
- promoting strength and endurance of physical and mental capabilities
- forging a healthier regime of eating and fitness attainment
- lowering the risk of certain diseases later in life such as cancer and osteoporosis
- boosting self-esteem through goal achievement
- reducing stress
improving memory through learning and repetition
Sport opportunities in the UK
It comes as no surprise then that the variety and nature of sporting activities in the UK are broad and numerous offering something for every age, gender and ability. Competitive sporting events tend to be seasonal, but on a public level, most sports are played throughout the year, in many cases indoors as well as outdoors. The most popular sports in this country, in terms of numbers participating, are:
- Horse riding
- Field Hockey
- Rugby Football
Summertime is an especially good time to enjoy sports out of doors mostly due to the better weather, longer daylight hours and therefore more ‘time’ to play sport and the tendency to take holiday time from work. Members of the public will flock to well established, world class events that are programmed at the same time each year, such as the Tour de France cycle race. There are also additional global events that take place every few years such as the Olympics, UEFA World Cup and The Superbowl, drawing in millions of spectators worldwide via satellite. But there is nothing like watching sport live and we are fortunate to have a plethora of events taking place on British turf this summer. Clearly then, on a personal level watching and participating in sporting events has many advantages but what about using these to help grow your business?
What is sports promotion?
According to Wikipedia sports marketing “focuses on both the promotion of sports events and teams, as well as the promotion of other products and services through the sporting event.”
In this respect there are several advertising opportunities to promote your business, products or services, in one or more of the following ways:
- Sponsoring a local event
- Sponsoring a local team or junior club
Supporting an amateur sport through social media or advertising
Planning a promotional campaign alongside a world sporting event
What would be the advantages in doing this?
Businesses do well to take an interest in the local community and the events taking place as this is where many of their prime, long-term customers reside. When sponsoring a sports event or team, there is an interchange of support and positives to be gained for all parties involved. Financial input assists event organisers to make the project a success, the community is reinforced, and the business makes itself known to its public. It’s an interdependent cycle of aid and profit. From a business perspective, sports marketing is also good for:
- Building up the sales pipeline with qualified leads
- Creating or reinforcing a brand image
- Sending brand messages to customers
- A method of educating your audience, for example about your company or new product
- Accumulating online content for the website and social media
- Reassuring your customers that you are professional, benevolent and ethical
How can you promote a local event, team or sport?
Sponsorship of events is usually short term and involves putting together a schedule of activities to advertise dates and times, details and location. Think of a catchy event name and advertise on outdoor banners and using posters to distribute information to as wide an audience as possible. Locate these at stadiums, gyms, sports halls, football pitches, tennis courts, ice rinks, schools and colleges, athletic tracks and anywhere people meet for a sport. Use sports influencers such as a known sports person, local player, coach, referee or sports reporter to promote the event. Post regularly on social media on the run up to the event to build anticipation and awareness.
When sponsoring a team or sport, decide how much of an involvement your business will have. Will it just be a one-off investment in kits, travel costs, equipment or donation for match refreshments? Or will you have a continuous input in promoting specific matches, building awareness for the sport or advertising the club and its players? You will need to put together a promotional pack including posters and leaflets containing details of the team logo or sports strap line and listed bullet points. (Read our blog ‘Unleash the power of the printed leaflet.’) You may also want to design a roller banner highlighting your brand as sponsor to take to an exhibition or event.
This is all food for thought which you may want to discuss with your chosen sponsorship partner when putting together a mutually beneficial plan.
Roller Banners UK are available on (02380) 700111 to help you design and print sponsorship promotional literature, display stands and banners according to your requirements.