When faced with a sports sponsorship opportunity some brands say that they don't have enough marketing budget, but then, after a series of questions, you understand that they are spending 10 times the money required for the sports sponsorship on plan advertising. Is it the right choice? It depends.
An advertising campaign (online/offline) is a pretty simple tool to manage for a brand, so if you are a company with a small marketing department and perhaps you are still working on your brand's story, probably it is easier to manage an advertising campaign rather than a sports sponsorship.
However, the effectiveness of a sports sponsorship is much higher than plan advertising, here is why:
- Sports sponsorship is inclusive, as it is part of the show. Advertising is intrusive, as it stops the show.
- Sports sponsorship talks to a specific audience. Advertising talks to everyone and selling meat to a vegetarian is not a good idea.
- Sports sponsorship engages with the audience via an emotional connection. Advertising does not engage, it just annoys.
- Sports sponsorship is aligned with current consumer behaviour trends, advertising has always been the same since the 1930s.
We don't deny that a sports sponsorship can be challenging to deploy at first. In fact, a sports sponsorship is not a tool but a toolbox and therefore requires coordination within the company. Moreover, because of the emotional factor connected to a sports sponsorship, a brand needs to have clear storytelling.
However, there are agencies like Drive that support brands exactly in doing that: from developing a sports marketing strategy to structuring a sports sponsorship with the right team in the right way.
Conclusively, who is the winner between sports sponsorship and advertising? NBC and 21st Century Fox have already made plans to eliminate 50% of commercials shown during live television events to keep viewers from shying away.
That's a clear answer and a clear winner.