When you’re involved in the organization of a sports event – whether it’s your inter-village tournament during Christmas or your annual School inter-house sports competition – you probably don’t think about the monetary value of the event. Even if you’re familiar with the jargon “Sponsorship” you’re probably going to be approaching some rich fellows’ in your community or levy the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) to sponsor the sports event.
Perhaps, you’d be thinking more of how you could attract a lot of spectators to attend each of the game. You’d be thinking of the hypes for the event – how you can get the attention of the local media – Radio, Television, Prints… You’d be thinking of the trophies and prizes you’re going to present to the winning participants. Perhaps, what is uppermost in your mind is deliver a fun-filled memorable event – right? But how to raise the kind of money required for the budgeted expenses could be so worrisome for you and the organizing committee – relax!
Well, if you could get all your plans and strategies into a document for presentation, you could get a corporate organization to sponsor the event and pay your town sports association or your school millions of Naira. I mean, your town or your school could make a lot of money by just organizing a sports event that attracts a category of spectators.
You may wonder why a large corporate organization like MTN should be interested in the sponsorship of a local inter-village competition when they can do bigger things – I will tell you why.
Companies with substantial advertising budget like MTN discovered that there was too much “noise” in prints and electronics media. The average person is exposed to more than five thousand selling message each day, making attention and retention of information difficult. Therefore, companies are seeking for a more memorable ways to deliver the message that appeal to their target audience. Sports events happen to provide them such opportunities.
Companies are now taking advantage of the impact (Equity) a sports event is already making. By sponsoring the sports event, they gain an opportunity to reach their own customers, who are already fans of the event.
Although, companies have varied reasons why they prefer to use sports sponsorship to reach their own target customers – each company have their own corporate objectives. According to research, the following were the objectives that most often influence the decision of a company to enter into sports sponsorship agreement:
• To increase public awareness of the company, the product or both.
• To identify the company with the lifestyle of a particular target market segment.
• To involve the company in the community interest.
• To build goodwill among purchase influencers or decision makers or both…
Telecom companies may want to use inter-village sports competition to build a public or community relationship. They may want to build goodwill with the community as a way to say thank you for patronizing their network. For instance, MTN has a large user-ship base in south-east Nigeria. They may decide to sponsor the Christmas Inter-village football competitions in these areas as away to stimulate community loyalty and preference for their brand network.
Sponsorship of sports events is a more effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) tool many big companies use today.
There are other corporate objectives which are not aimed at community relationship. Companies may want to reach their target market one-on-one by sponsoring their sporting lifestyle. For instance, beverage companies that target children and growing youth in Nigeria may decide to sponsor annual school inter-house sports for nursery, primary and secondary schools. Company products such as Nestlé’s Milo that is positioning itself in the market as “The food drink for future champions” may gain lots of experiential marketing by sponsoring annual schools inter-house sports event. Nestlé’s will be able to reach children (Influencers) as well as Parents-Teachers (Decision Makers). It gives Nestle the opportunity to utilize some sampling packages or some sales promotional tools.
A lot of companies are now aware of the effectiveness of sports sponsorship, even at the local level. Some companies are already taking up title sponsorships such as “Guilder Inter-Street football competition in Lagos, Shell Cup football competition for secondary schools in Nigeria, Oceanic Bank Fash FC reality TV show…
Sports sponsorship is growing fast all over the world. Sponsorship prices are going higher too. Great football brand such as Manchester United got as much for just Jersey Sponsorship from AON worth US$23.2 Million dollars. Your local inter-village football competition may not get as much, but they can surely get some of the total sponsorship revenue each year.
When next you’re planning to organize a sports event such as school inter-house sports, think of sponsorship, instead of putting the extra burden on the PTA, seek for a sports marketing agency such as GreenHunters Sports International to help your school draft a sponsorship proposal as well as help your school get the right corporate sponsors. Your school could make so much money from your sports events, which you can use to build projects like laboratory, library, recreation center, Sporting facilities…
Sponsorship is the way to go.