Sports sponsorships are not a new concept.
For many years different sports -and motorsports, in particular- have attracted large audiences and created large fanbases. As a result, such sports and events presented the perfect opportunity for brands to effectively engage with the public, leveraging on the supporters’ passion and love. Sports Marketing companies and agents were quick to understand the potential of such sport partnerships and started to design more elaborate, stronger sponsorship plans for companies of every size and industry.
How, then is sports partnership different from sports sponsorship? Keep reading to find out.
The History of Sports Sponsorship
The basic act of sports sponsorship can be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece. However, fast forward to the 21st century, and the basic principles of the marketing strategy have not changed much. Initially, sports sponsorships were simply seen as a brand new and completely revolutionary way of marketing to the masses.
The sports events garnered a lot of attention. The players themselves had a large and loyal following. As a result, various companies and businesses saw the opportunity to use sports as a way to increase their own visibility.
However, over time, the whole sports industry, as well as the marketing and advertising industry, grew more sophisticated, and realized that simple sponsorships just weren’t cutting it anymore. And that’s how the idea of sports partnerships came about.
The Difference between Sports Sponsorship and Sports Partnership
Sports sponsorships and partnerships are often used interchangeably, and perhaps they are quite similar at their very core. However, on a broader scale, the two certainly have their differences, and it is crucial for today’s marketers to understand these differences.
Higher Level of Collaboration
The primary difference between a sports sponsorship and a sports partnership is the level of collaboration. Normally, sponsorship deals integrate the marketing and communication strategies of the brand leveraging on the assets provided by the sport properties.
Sports partnerships go beyond a simple marketing deal. It is more of a joint venture where both organizations are equally invested and responsible for achieving their common objectives. They are not just focused on promoting the brand and awarding the other organization for their support.
Rather, their support is more multi-dimensional and consists of several layers. In a sports partnership, the organizations may be collaborating in research and development as well. They may work on launching new products together. They focus on helping the other organization meet their objectives in an efficient and effective manner.
More Departments Involved
Since the relationship is not limited to marketing and communication, there are several other departments involved in a sports partnership.
For instance, if they are working on developing a new product together, the R&D department may also be involved along with the usual marketing department. To ensure smooth flow and better synergy, the management or HR, or even administration may also be involved to maintain a beneficial relationship.
Long Term Approach
Usually, partnerships have a much more long-term approach than traditional sponsorship deals. That’s especially the case when heavy R&D processes or product development are involved. Sport Partnerships can span several years to allow both organizations to focus on accomplishing their goals and objectives.
Additionally, since they have a long-term approach, they tend to have long-term goals as well, such as of product development or improvement rather than just promotion and advertising.
Whether you are part of a sports team looking for support or a company looking for a winning marketing strategy, it is important to understand the difference between a sports sponsorship and a sports partnership. Only when you understand this difference can you choose the right kind of collaboration between both organizations where everyone is able to benefit equally.
If you are struggling to achieve your sports marketing objectives or need help obtaining sponsorship deals, get in touch with RTR Sports Marketing for expert sports sponsorship services.