How Digital Marketing Is Revolutionising Sports Sponsorship

Kelly Williams, Director of Consulting & Stadia Solutions, Sports Revolution

In sport, the digital marketing revolution is in full swing, with advertisers connecting with fans via an array of online channels. Sponsorship is at centre of this mix, providing a natural hub of connection between a brand and fans. But this connection won’t stick unless it has the right digital glue holding it all together. Effective social media is essential, but it’s also one of the hardest arts for a brand to master. 

Finding relevant, engaging and interesting things to talk about with fans over social media can be tricky for a brand, unless they are themselves interesting.

Sport helps fill this ‘passion gap’, providing a natural channel of energy, engagement, emotion  and excitement.  

To take this to the next level, the sponsor then needs to add value, enhancing the fans’ experience and immersion by adding deep value with ‘money can’t buy’ experiences, competitions and, of course, tickets. This can take a sponsorship from a passive badging exercise into a socially-charged relationship with the fans, giving a brand a credible currency to work with that will set them apart from the competition.

The challenge brands have is timing social campaigns correctly, planning a schedule of communication and avoiding becoming boring and repetitive. Sports sponsorship should never be wallpaper – it needs to be a dynamic relationship that adds value for the fans and enhances their experiences.

The Sports Revolution rule book for sponsor social media means that before anything goes live it has to have the different elements of what we call ‘social DNA’: simple; skin-able; scalable and, of course, showcases the brand. Then, it needs to tick the business boxes: quantifiable; strategic and linked to the overall media evaluation and insight.  

So before you embark on a social sponsorship campaign, think beyond ‘likes’ and ‘re-tweets’ and consider how it links to the bigger strategic picture. Think of structure and scalability, what you can offer that is different, compelling, adding value and how this links to what you want to achieve.

The correct campaign should be delivering impacts in the millions from day one. That’s not easy, but sport has the power to ignite consumers’ passions like no other sector. You just need to provide the spark.

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