Admit it – when a client requests a partnership with a top-tier professional or collegiate sports team, there’s many an account person who may be secretly thinking a few things. Sideline passes, season tickets, and let’s throw in some signage for good-will. Let’s also assume there may be a small ego-boost too that’s associated with partnering your client with, say for example, ‘America’s Team’ based in Arlington, Texas.
A true marketer understands there’s much more to it other than securing these ancillary items. There are many benefits to cross-promoting with sports teams to reach their loyal fan base because loyalty is a leading indicator of brand profitability. The intensity with which fans support their team runs deep – the hard core, die-hards think of themselves as their team’s ‘12th Man.’ It’s also something that’s passed down generationally. How many pictures have you seen (or shared yourself) on social media with babies dressed in team-themed onesies with tiny footballs, basketballs or baseballs by their side?
How and why your client is aligned with the team will be key to your success. Today’s consumers are smart, savvy individuals and even though their loyalty runs deep, they also can see through the haze of the too many to count team sponsors. Your partnership needs to stand out from the rest and give fans something to engage with, since it’s been validated that the more engaged consumers are with a brand, the better they behave towards it.
At RFA, we’ve successfully aligned many of our clients with some of the most popular and followed professional and collegiate teams across the country. We know how to leverage the partnership and negotiate additional elements – paid and bonused – compared to what was initially presented on paper. We never assume our clients budgets are too small to effectively partner with a powerhouse team; in fact, this is when we shine. It’s where we get innovative, creative and insightful to ensure we secure a results-driven campaign regardless of the budget. Why are our campaigns so effective? It’s because we dig deep into the minds of the consumer to understand their motivating touch-points and learn about just how far they will go to support their team.
It’s knowing how to get them off of their comfy couches and into our clients stores to purchase a coveted co-branded item. It’s enticing them to enter an online sweepstakes, where they actually have a chance of winning daily prizes by playing branded games or by socially sharing clever content-driven messaging, versus only having one shot at a grand prize. It’s collecting and using the valuable consumer data retrieved from the sweepstakes for re-targeting. And, it’s using the teams’ own research, analytics and technology to push promotional messaging out to their loyal fans via cross-channel marketing.
Sure, your client will really appreciate those sideline passes. They may even send you a pic from the game in front of their LED sign. But weeks later when they don’t see an increase in sales or traffic during their promotional window, you can kiss those season tickets – and perhaps even your job – goodbye.