In this digital age, the focus for marketing tends to focus on web-based activity, making it easy to forget about other marketing methods that are a bit more old school. Getting your business name out there and seen can be more difficult than it sounds, even amongst the local community – so why not help out a local football team at the same time?
There are many reasons you might be considering sponsoring your local football team. You may even know of someone affiliated with a local team in some way, which makes it even more appealing as you are helping a family member or friend. Another route you could choose to go, if you think all of the funds cannot be handled by you alone, could be organizing a fundraiser for sports team. This sort of event, if promoted right, can become a huge success and bring in necessary funds and more. Moreover, since it will be your business that is organizing the fundraiser, it is sure to draw some attention to your company as well, making it a beneficial promotional event! The benefits of sponsorship are mutual in that you are helping them out to be able to fund the things they need, and you can also guarantee regular advertising for what is usually a pretty small fee. The payments will likely vary from team to team, and you may even be able to opt for a structure of your choice, whether that is regular, annual or even a one-off sponsor.
Sponsorship in sport is, by definition, a business providing funds for a team so that they can buy the assets they need, including team kits, promotional items, facilities to train in, general equipment and can even include travel to and from matches. In return, the business receives advertising at the club, on their team’s kit, in a programme, on a newsletter, on exterior signs and also on their website. It’s a great way of demonstrating good corporate social responsibility for the business but also helps out commercially.
For the team, sponsorship is important as it means the club can continue to run and runs in the best way possible. Sponsorship enables clubs to look as professional as possible in their grounds, what they wear and the equipment they use. The financial strain is taken away from them, so they are more able to focus on their performance and training.
You may have already been approached by a club to request that you sponsor you, which means they see you as a business they’d like to advertise – take this as a massive compliment! No team would decide to request sponsorship from a company they don’t agree with or that doesn’t fit with their values. Alternatively, if you are a new business, they may be thinking they’d like to help you out with your brand awareness, or maybe one of your competitors sponsors one of theirs. They will probably have also checked out your businesses financial viability to be able to sponsor.
If you are going to be approaching the team, firstly check their website and scope out their ground to see whether they are currently being sponsored. Please do bear in mind that there may be more than one team sponsor. It’s recommended to check out the other sponsors first – what are their values? Do they fit in with yours?
When you have either contacted the football team yourself or they have contacted you, you need to find out the following:
- Who are the football team? How many players do they have?
- What do they stand for? Check out their website and ensure the fit would be good.
- What are their scores like? Who do they usually play? What league are they in?
- Check social media to see what people say about them. Are they well respected? Can you see any issues?
- Where will they display your logo? On their team jersey, on their team website, any other areas of the team kit?
- What type of company logos do they need? Where will it be displayed? What size do they need? Are there any colour restrictions? This may be the case for any promotional items or team kits, as they may prefer the logo to be all one colour.
- Do they have space for any promotional banners?
- Would they be willing to post about your company on their social media accounts? Check how many followers they have, just out of interest.
- What is the seating like at their club? Do they have any special seating areas or booths? You can look to promote your business there too if you like.
- What is the capacity of the club like? How many people do they get attending matches?
- Have they had sponsors in the past? How did it benefit each party? Do they have any current sponsors?
- Do they run any club events? It would be great to get involved and raise your profile.
- If you can afford to, offer to fund a sponsored giveaway.
From this point, together you can build up a sponsorship package that details what they need from you and how it will benefit both your business and their team, and how it will align with your business goals.
Some great benefits of sponsoring a football team are:
- Wider brand awareness
- Demonstrates personality around the brand and its products/services
- If your business and the football team are both local, it shows local pride
- If the football team is outside of your businesses operating area, it opens up new geographical areas to market to
- You can market a particular product or service to align with your current campaigns
- It intrigues interest and drives more traffic to a company’s website
- Compared to many other forms of advertising and marketing, it’s a low-cost alternative
- Sports teams provide a positive contribution to the local community, so it’s a great corporate social responsibility opportunity to show your support
- It could benefit your company when it comes to tax implications.
So how much does it cost? Well, you can be as generous as you want, but make sure both yourself and the football team are clear about what the money will be spent on and what you will both get out of the funding. It depends on the budget they are looking at for what they want to buy – and, of course, how deep your pockets are.
Following this guide before deciding will make sure you are making the right decision. Good luck!