Why sports sponsorship companies are invaluable when thinking about new sponsorships, and the importance of having a strategy

Sports sponsorship can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for brands, offering the opportunity to align with high-profile sports teams, events, athletes, and organisations to drive brand exposure, customer loyalty, and revenue. But in order to get the most out of a sports sponsorship, it’s crucial that brands have a clear and well-defined strategy in place, something sports sponsorship companies are best placed to provide.

So what exactly should a sports sponsorship strategy cover, and who can help brands develop one?

First and foremost, a sports sponsorship strategy should outline the goals and objectives that the sponsorship is expected to achieve. This might include things like increasing brand awareness, boosting customer loyalty, or changing brand perception. It’s important to be as specific as possible when setting these goals, as this will help inform the rest of the strategy and be measurable.

Once the goals of the sponsorship have been established, the next step is to determine the target audience for the sponsorship. This will help ensure that the sponsorship is reaching the right people and delivering the desired results. Subsequently, you should establish an available budget for the rights fee (the payment for association with the team / player etc) and the activation budget (i.e. the money you’ll spend on marketing to bring the association to life).

The next step is to identify potential sponsorship opportunities that align with your objectives, target audience, budget, and (importantly) are in harmony with your brand values. This might include sponsoring a specific sports team or event, or partnering with an athlete, sports organisation or broadcaster in some other capacity. It’s important to be thorough when evaluating potential opportunities, as choosing the wrong one can be costly and ineffective.

Once potential opportunities have been identified, the next step is to negotiate the terms of the sponsorship deal. This can include everything from the amount of money being paid to the rights holder to the specifics of how the brand will be featured at the event or on the organisation’s promotional materials.

So who can help brands develop a sports sponsorship strategy? One option is to work with sports sponsorship companies. Specialist agencies, such as Strive Sponsorship, help brands and rights holders connect and strike mutually beneficial sponsorship deals, and can offer valuable expertise and support in developing a strategy. Sponsorship agencies understand the intricacies of the industry, are purveyors of best practices and have long-standing relationships with sports teams and events, which can make it easier for them to identify and secure the best opportunities for their clients at the right price and with the best fit, based on the criteria outlined above.

Sports sponsorship companies can also help develop marketing strategies for brands looking to maximise the value of their sports industry partnerships and can offer valuable expertise and deliver a return on investment.

In summary, having a clear and well-defined sports sponsorship strategy is essential for brands looking to get the most out of their partnerships. Seeking out expert support helps ensure that your sponsorship delivers the desired results and drives your business forward.

Looking for sports sponsorship companies?

If you’re looking for advice from a sports sponsorship company, Strive Sponsorship can help. Contact us for sponsorship, commercial, content, media, operations, investment, and communications consultancy services.

Frequently asked questions

Who is the biggest sponsor of sport in the world?

There isn’t an imperial resource that can answer this question, not least because most sponsorship fees are kept confidential. Depending on the source, Pepsi (reported as spending $3bn a year), Nike (reported at $600m a year), and Coca-Cola are all reported as the biggest sponsors.

Who are the top 3 sports marketing agencies?

There is no single definitive industry-wide ranking of sports agencies. Strive Sponsorship had a 100% client retention rate and grew revenue by over 65% in 2022. Other well-regarded agencies include CAA and WME IMG.

Which company sponsors the most sports?

Coca-Cola is reported to have over 233 active sponsorship deals, the most in the beverage category according to Sportcal. But a lot of these will be in the same sport. It is likely Nike or adidas have partnerships over the great number of individual sports, but as there is no definitive list this is an informed guess rather than fact.