We don’t understand why so many brands fail to integrate their sports marketing creative and messaging with their brand advertising.
As sports marketers, we are always evangelizing that sponsorships are more than just signage and that the best programs must be activated…
Our experience, the best activation comes from integration across the entire marketing program. Sponsorship marks should be used in the brand’s advertising. Brand advertising assets and messaging should be brought into the venue, social media, and sports media. Current and/or legacy players should be used as ambassadors or spokespeople. Promotions should leverage sports assets and be communicated through sponsorships, brand-owned media and paid media. Paid sports media should be considered to amplify the in-venue and organic creative/sponsorship synergy.
Why? Because if sports is part of the plan, it’s because the brand believes in the multiplier effect of the fan connection ― and that can and should be reinforced at every point of contact between the brand and the target audience.
We saw it turn around declining sales in the salty snacks category by implementing integrated campaigns with three MLB teams. We saw how it contributed to increased awareness and perceptions for a national professional services firm as a result of their partnership with MLB. We saw it drive traffic and sales in QSR in multiple markets across the country. Source’s most robust and longest-running example was in the bank category― an integrated campaign featuring two legacy NFL players and leveraging an NFL team sponsorship― led to dramatic increases in bank deposits, brand awareness, ad recall, bank perceptions, and ultimately, an acquisition.
1 + 1 + 1 = 4X+++ Integration across the marketing mix increases the power of your plan!