In sports (and really most other) advertising & sponsorship the more interaction you can build with a consumer, the more valuable our assets can be to brands.
In sponsorship, there are levels of value that a single asset will hit. Almost like stairs to the top floor, we are looking to build a valuable connection between our fans & with the brands we partner with each step they climb up.
Therefore, we should be looking to build assets packages that have depth. Depth should be the ultimate goal of our assets.
As we create our packages, think about the value we bring in the following levels.
Level 1: Awareness
The first level and most ‘ancient’ level is awareness. How can our fans know about the brand if we don’t show them?
This is where advertising started off. If we show our customers our logo enough when it comes time to buy, our brand is the first thing you think of.
In our stadiums, this is done with our signage, scoreboard reads, etc. We can reach the entire stadium multiple times with the logo
This is amplified on TV when the logo is shown to all the viewers watching at home.
Today as well we see the value boosted through social media video that is shared. This is a real multiplied value.
We report this to sponsors usually in attendance, TV views, & social media views. We show the total reach of consumers who saw their logo.
This though is hard to quantify true value. A common question is “views are great…but how many purchases did this lead to?”
For a very long time, this was just accepted because we didn’t really have the next level.
Enter social media ads and tracking…
Level 2: Engagement
The next level is a bit more quantifiable for brands. How many people actually engaged with the content? How many people did we reach on a deeper level than awareness?
At SQWAD it is how many people actually played our contest or interacted with our activations.
This is where digital assets hold a valuable edge. We can track how many people actually engaged in the arena.
This is a powerful stat to provide to brands…but most importantly this is what social media ads can show that most of our in-stadium signage can’t.
This is how you can prove the value that rivals some of the other digital ad platforms you compete with.
This depth is your most primed customer for the brand since they have had a great first touchpoint with your sponsor, facilitated by your team.
Luckily you’ve collected an email, phone number, some way to re-connect with them. More on that later.
Level 3: Action or Purchase
We’ve gotten their attention, engage with them, now the third level is usually the holy grail…leading to a purchase or action.
At SQWAD this action usually comes with a reward or coupon. 10% off to get that fan into the store to spend money.
There is no better proof of ROI than a direct purchase for a sponsor. This level should be the goal of any advertising package we offer.
Digital assets can track this and report to brands. This, again, is something that digital ads can offer as well so we need to make sure that our assets can lead to a trackable
Level 5: Re-Connect and Re-Target
This is the gold. This level is what separates the huge winners and winners.
As we know in our sales efforts in sponsorship…the follow-up is HUGE toward closing a deal.
The same goes for selling a product. Today you can re-target the people who have shown interest in your product with another piece of creative.
Imagine giving Bryce Harper only one at-bat…then basing his Hall of Fame induction on that one at-bat…ridiculous right?
This is how I think about the power of re-targeting. You get more at-bats to prove your point.
Social media ads let you re-target the people who have clicked on your ad or visited your website. This is a HUGE leg up to any other advertising.
In sponsorship, we can do the same thing. This is where data collection becomes hugely valuable in our assets.
Whether a pixel on your sponsorship content or collecting an email or phone # like we do at SQWAD with our activations, if you can create opportunities to re-connect with your fans and introduce them to sponsors.
THE KEY HERE, don’t just hand over the emails to your sponsors.
What? Why would we not do that? Well, they are pretty bad at speaking specifically to your fan base.
From what I’ve seen most sponsors throw this into the marketing machine they have with no segmentation. Your fan then gets a general email campaign and is like “why the hell am I getting this email?”
Your sponsor will see dismal return rates if you do it this way.
What you need to do instead is build re-targeting into the package (and guess what…you can charge more with it).
If you take those emails, re-target with a co-branded campaign with your team and the brand via email or Facebook ads…you will do some real damage (in a good way).
Why? Well, your fan will recognize the team logo and pay attention (throw a Raiders logo on anything and I stop to look).
Second, it won’t feel like the spam we usually get. It will feel like it was made for me specifically. This will drastically increase the purchase and return rate.
This builds an actual relationship between fan & sponsor, all facilitated by the team.
Again, make sure you charge this as an added asset. Brands will have no problem paying more for this.
Digital hits these all…which is why they need to be a staple for your sponsorship packages.
The key here with this funnel down is brands now expect the bottom rungs of these levels.
Why? Because there are alternatives that reach all of these stages in one hit. And they do it really well.
I’m talking about social media advertising. In one swoop these ads can hit awareness, engagement, and purchase in seconds.
In order to compete, we need to offer sponsorship assets that can hit all 4 levels.
Otherwise, brands will simply shift their dollars to other options.
This is why a healthy amount of digital assets in your packages are vital in today’s sponsorship industry.
Again, at SQWAD this is what we do…offer digital assets like Scoreboard Trivia that provide all access to all three levels to fans. We see deals coming in left and right for our clients as brands and sponsors see the value.
If you can tell a brand the story of how you can guide a fan through all three of these levels, they would be hard-pressed not to buy.
Look at your assets, see if they can truly reach these levels, and adjust so you can wow and close your partners this off-season.