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Posts tagged ‘sponsorship’

Chairman’s plea for main sponsor

With the S’PORT continuing its amazing start to the Season perched on the ‘Top Rung’ of the National Volleyball League (NVL) table, our Chairman recognised the generosity of sponsors to date and outlined future plans for which another partner is sought.  Arguably after Stockport Metro with things looking bleak at Stockport County and Sale Sharks having left the Borough, it is Stockport Volleyball Club that carries the flag for our Town and its pride in sport.  Please watch the match versus Nottingham, listen to the Chairman’s message and do get in touch if you know anyone that can take the S’PORT on its next stage of progress. Contact: info@stockportvolleyball.com

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Sport ‘Asleep at the wheel’?

Reproduced with gratitude to Misha Sher, Worldwide Vice President, Sport & Entertainment at MediaCom:

“What the industry can learn from the best work at Cannes Lions.

Sport is resting on its laurels if it thinks that brands will simply continue to sign up for expensive rights deals.

Sport has it all. Passion, engagement and reach. It’s live, global and social. The ability to connect with consumers through their biggest passion points has underpinned a sponsorship industry that is now worth $60bn per annum and growing at 4.5%.

Sport’s must-watch-live nature has made it a pillar of the communications for many brands. Combine that with the earned benefits of the discussion around the event and it’s been a win-win for everyone involved. Money has flowed to rights holders and their media partners.

Last year the average price of a 30-second spot in the Super Bowl was in the region of $5m.

But even sport must now ponder whether its existing business model is good enough in the digital age. Rights holders need to think carefully about whether brand owners will continue to come back time and again (and pay more for) the same old package.

Even a behemoth like the NFL have seen the viewing numbers decrease while McDonald’s has just pulled the plug on the Olympics. While we shouldn’t draw any conclusions from these specific examples, which aren’t related, it is worthwhile re-examining how sport is addressing its value proposition.

Sport is entertainment as much as a physical contest and just as entertainment has had to upgrade for the 21st century, so too must sports.

The reality is that consumers have far more choice when it comes to entertainment than ever before and never had there been such an intense competition for their attention. Brands, websites, on-demand TV shows are all trying to gain their attention. Sport faces more and better quality competition than ever before.

This is one of the main reasons why ‘content’ has become such a buzzword for brands in recent years. On average, consumers see 5,000 advertising messages per day so grabbing and retaining their attention is no easy task.

Compelling stories, integrated partnerships, inside information combined with high quality video are often the only things that can connect.

Many rights holders have not grasped the importance of this and have not evolved what they’re offering. They are still selling reach and impressions, failing to understand that advertisers are increasingly interested in building genuine connections with consumers. Chief Marketing Officers and Brand Managers don’t set aside sponsorship budgets. They allocate budget where they feel a partnership can provide an effective connection with their consumers. And there lies the biggest challenge for sports right holders. They’re not competing with each other. They are competing with all other genres and channels to demonstrate they have the ability to address business challenges.

How many are fit for purpose in an age where consumers crave different formats, across all digital and social platform at a time of their choosing? When the temptation is to find something more entertaining is just a swipe away, what are sports right holders offering brands that will keep their audiences attention?

Earlier this summer I was on a jury at Cannes Lions judging the best in branded content and brand partnerships in the Entertainment Lions category. What struck me was relative lack of entries related to sport on a shortlist or amongst the winners. Channel 4’s We’re The Superhumans to promote the 2016 Paralympics was a notable exception.

If sport has some of the most compelling stories, which is one of the arguments for the high sponsorship fees, then why are brands having more success through other channels?

It would appear that right now brands (and their agencies) aren’t able to creatively leverage sport partnerships into award winners and while it’s not all about awards, it would be wise to understand why this is the case.

Of course, none of this would matter if the person who signed off sports deals was different from the person who signs off on other forms of marketing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and with brand budgets tight and accountable, the same CMO will often be comparing and deciding between an entertainment proposal and a sports idea.

The sooner rights holders in sport realize that traditional sponsorship assets aimed at reach are increasingly less valuable, the sooner they can adapt to the ever-changing habits of their fans and expectations of their commercial partners.

Brands are looking for solutions, for ways, not just to reach, but to connect and build affinity with consumers. Sport needs to evolve to address this or it won’t be long before marketing dollars start flowing elsewhere.”

Symbiotic SunSense

Securing the ‘partnering’ relationship between Australia’s leading sun cream brand and a leading women’s cycling team – SunSport Velo, was a logical pairing this Year. I purposefully use the word ‘partnering’ as it is no longer the norm that investors respond to begging bowls each season but seek, and should rightly do so, some form of return. Our lead sponsor, also secured by ACROBAT | FCSM,  in Brother UK, keeps the Team’s Management on its toes with reviews and feedback against expectations at predetermined intervals.

There might have been a tendency by the girls to splash on the lotion and sunbathe, but that would infact conflict with the brand ethics of a Company dedicated to alerting people to the harm of the sun’s rays. It only promotes Factor 50 sprays and creams with the more appropriate message of such as: “We’re wearing @SunSenseUK  Sport today to keep our skin protected; We love to use @SunSenseUK to keep our skin protected from harmful UV rays; We use @SunSenseUK Sport to stay protected!”. We need to manage brand credentials in any relationship and sponsorship in what must be a symbiotic ‘Win-Win’ for satisfaction and longevity, between Team and Sponsor.

I used the Sport Mist Spray on my holidays and have to say it is the best protection, that I’ve ever applied. Will buy more before any future trips where I might need to be covered from https://www.crawfordhealthcare.com/skincare/sunsense/sport-mist/. The SunSense Sport range is ideal for outdoor sports enthusiasts looking for high a high level of protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.Tested to stringent Australian standards SunSense Sports range comes in two forms, SunSense Sports Gel and SunSense Sport Mist, both offer SPF 50 broad-spectrum protection.  For anyone further interested in this critical subject matter and implications in the sports sector, see: http://www.sunsense.co.uk/blog/2017/the-ultimate-guide-to-sun-protection-for-outdoor-sports.aspx

There remains more opportunities to partner with SunSport Velo. From localised campaigns in different geographical locations to 4M on ITV4 with potential metrics to 90+M on social media penetration worldwide. There’s something for all budgets.

Contact: sunsportvelo@acrobatfcsm.com

Photo credit: @chrismeadsphoto

Sponsorship Campaigns

ACROBAT| FCSM, our changing branding, is overwhelmed by the growing demand from professional and grass roots sports teams

We have been welcomed back to Manchester Rugby Club. We were formerly at the Club in 2007-2009 and will now lead all sponsorship and partnering activities again. This promises to help any prospective supporters and show something for every budget – plus identify ways to help anyone get a return against predetermined investment and/or objectives.  Manchester Rugby Club is the original Manchester Football Club, and was registered as so in 1860. Other bigger Manchester football clubs subsequently had to add “City” and “United” to their names to respect the original registration. It is the only Club able to use the official Manchester crest on its shirts and as a logo. Consequently, it is the second oldest rugby union club in the World.  A 24-acre site with a mix of sporting and social facilities, teams from Under 7s to Senior Rugby, for men, women, girls and boys. The Club has the whole range of teams that not many clubs can boast. The Mini and Junior (M&J) section has recently produced some amazing talent with 4 Premiership rugby players (more than any other club in England) and 6 England players in the last 5 years.

ACROBAT | FCSM has been appointed also to SunSport Velo Women’s Race Team (WRT) in cycling.  Following on from phenomenal success last season, SunSport Velo WRT is planning this Season with an elite squad up to 12 riders. It needs sponsors whose input will enable the Club and its members to build upon the successful, inaugural season. We are retained as a Consultancy to lead this role. Last year’s accolades included beating Dame Sarah Storey’s Podium Ambition team in the Matrix Fitness GP Series, with the associated TV coverage on ITV4. This was incredible and a platform for further media coverage. The Team have also had successes throughout the season, with superb results such as in the Halifax Pedalsport Crit (1st and 2nd), Lincoln GP and a podium place at the prestigious Ryedale GP.

This prowess in sports marketing culminates with our authoring a publication, to be available in 2017, titled: “Being a Good Sport: How to Plan, Activate, Measure and Evaluate Sports Sponsorship Programs”.

Just thought you might like a little update even if outside the football – and “County” World!