In sports sponsorship, and really all sponsorship, we get bogged down in assets.
It somewhat makes sense…it is the product we sell. Our mindset sometimes shifts to “How many signs can I get sold?”.
Many times though, those assets we focus on are heavy in what I’ll call “Logo Touchpoints”. As I have mentioned before, your
Why? Well, fans see over 3,000 sponsorship ads per game when in your stadium. Our brains begin to become numb to logos much like they do to other advertisements. They don’t remember them…or even notice they are there.
For this reason, the touchpoints that we create between brand and fan can’t all be logos.
We have to create moments that focus on building relationships…especially with our auto, bank, and insurance partners.
In the most recent Sponsorship Tip of the Week, I dive into why you should be looking at touchpoints that build relationships over logo touchpoints.
Check out the full video, but I’ll dive in more below.
Why? Relationship touchpoints are more valuable in sports sponsorship
When we think about building our packages with sponsors, we have to be thinking about the value it creates for our brands.
As I mentioned above, the number of sponsorship ads fans are exposed to are mind-numbing (literally). This makes the value of a logo touchpoint less valuable as an advertising asset.
Why? Because it is less noticed. It is a CPM metric…which is the lowest cost in the advertising game.
We have captivated audiences in our stadiums each game. Passionate fans that are locked in and passionate about our teams. If we leverage that passion with logo touch points, it would be like trying to get water from a waterfall with 5 individual spoons. You will miss out on a lot of water and come away with a minimal amount collected.
In other words, we miss the full potential of that attention.
Now let’s switch it to relationship touchpoints. These are 1-on-1 interactions with fans that they will remember long after the game. They stand out. They are unique moments that help build the authentic relationship between the fan and the spnosor.
The value of a 1-on-1 conversation with a potential customer is much more valuable than a logo flash to 100,000 fans. The likelihood of closing a sale from that is much higher than with a logo.
Lastly, it allows the brand to stand out with their brand. They can get creative and find unique ways to grab that fan’s attention.
So the “why” becomes, a relationship touchpoint is more valuable than a logo touchpoint. Being more valuable…you can charge more for it.
What are some examples of relationship touchpoints in sports sponsorship?
I’ll start with there is no cookie-cutter formula for these touchpoints…or there shouldn’t be. If we start to cookie-cutter these assets…they become less valuable.
Now there are some tried & true assets that have worked. Boothing in the concourse is a great relationship touchpoint that gets your sponsors 1-on-1 opportunities to build a relationship with fans.
But…I would challenge your sponsorship team to dive in deeper than just adding a booth.
When we think about the biggest benefit to relationship touchpoints…it is the relationships they build. If we just offer our sponsors boothing opportunities with no direction…there is a high likelihood they will turn this into a sales booth.
It is hard to build a relationship with fans when the first touchpoint is a sales one. You may get the fans who are hot leads in the market…but you miss out on the ones that aren’t yet ready.
Instead, let’s help our brands get creative with the relationship touchpoints. Replace just the booth with branded pop-shots that fans can come to and take a shot at.
This reverses the fan’s fight or flight reflex. It is an un-threatening opening that pulls the fan in. No strings attached.
Today especially, some of these touchpoints need to be digital. Why? Well, fans are digital. They are on their phones.
An example of this can come with digitizing a Mascot Race. The Mascot Race in itself is a relationship-building touchpoint. It starts the relationship with a fun race that fans can gravitate towards without a sales pitch.
More than that, it stands out. It is unique in the stadium.
But we always want to continue the fan journey from touchpoint to touchpoint, this is where digitizing the experience can help.
For example, with the Dunkin Race in both the Chicago Bulls and Bears stadiums, fans can choose which character they think will win right on their phone through SQWAD’s Mascot Race activation.
When they win, they get a free offer for their next visit to Dunkin’. This offer in itself is another relationship touchpoint that centers around reciprocity. You are building the relationship further with the offer.
Then, the fan redeems the offer at the store, which is the final relationship touchpoint…and really the end goal for the sponsor. The customer service they receive creates a cycle to do the whole cycle over again.
Mapping these relationship touchpoints is the key to building your package as they can compound in the value they build.
How do I structure them into my sports sponsorship packages?
So should there only be relationship-building assets in your packages? No. Logo touchpoints do have a cognitive value…and honestly, we have so much logo inventory that our revenue numbers would dwindle (that is another problem for another day).
Relationship-based inventory should be the key foundation of your package. They should be pillar assets that the logo touchpoint assets are built upon.
With this, the ratio I recommend is 1 relationship touchpoint for every 2 logo touchpoints.
Will this challenge you to not fill a package with logo touchpoints? Yes. Will your sponsor thank you for not pitching them yet another package that is filled with logo touchpoints?
Again, these shouldn’t be just “we are adding a booth for our relationship touchpoint”. This isn’t what brands pay you for.
Each relationship touchpoint should be key moments in the fan’s journey from point A to point B…with point A being “I’ve never interacted with this brand” and point B “I am purchasing from them”.
Adding relationship touchpoints into your sports sponsorship packages will help your packages make sense with your brands and help you sell more sponsorships.
Any brand you work with would rather have a relationship with its customers than just logo recognition. If you can create moments in your game that help build those relationships…the value of your sponsorship packages skyrockets.
If you can systemize this thought process into the way you create packages, your team will win more deals at a higher revenue rate.
At SQWAD, we can help you do this with our suite of digital sponsorship activations. We’ve done so for over 30 sports teams and their brands. Give us a shout if you are interested in learning more.