Sponsoring a local sports team is a great way to support your local community whilst benefiting your business. All businesses – whether local or national – want to show they are part of the community, and sport can be the most efficient way of demonstrating this. In supporting them, they will support you!
All major sports teams are sponsored by huge brands and businesses, so you might be thinking that because you aren’t the size of Vodafone or Nike that you won’t benefit from sponsoring a sports team. Well we are here to show you how you can make sponsorship work in your local area!
Five Benefits of Sponsorships
Sponsoring local teams acts as a way of giving back to the community, whilst reinforcing your loyalty to developing to the local area. We’re going to look at five huge advantages of sponsoring a local sports team.
1. Community Involvement
Perhaps the most important part of sponsoring a local sports team is the amazing opportunities it creates for businesses to be involved in their local communities and be seen by potential customers doing just that. Your business should have a genuine interest in the community, which will benefit both your business and the sports team in question.
So it makes sense that if you are a local business, you’d sponsor a local sports team (not a team 300 miles away!) For larger national businesses this is slightly different. Getting involved will build relationships, as well as create a great reputation for your business!
We all know the famous saying; “All publicity is good publicity”. But in particular, being shown to support and uplift your local community is perhaps the best publicity of all. When sponsoring a local sports team your business will be known by thousands of local sports fans, families, students, and everyone in between.
For the cost of a single billboard or a few bus stop posters for 2 months, you can have a 10 month campaign that really captures people’s hearts and minds. Sport is built on emotion, and businesses that help facilitate sport generate loyalty that is far more powerful than advertising.
Once you have made your business visible to fans of your local sports team, you are likely to receive increased awareness from that area. This publicity will result in brand awareness, trust, and local responsibility. Your business will have more traction, with the possibility of an increased demand.
With increased visibility and publicity, comes an increased interest in your business and services. A great benefit of sponsoring a local sports team, as you want your investment to create a return. The reach of your potential customers will increase, meaning you are likely to generate more sales.
Customers are more inclined to turn to you and your business, due to the loyalty from the sponsored sports team. This can also lead to sponsored events, appealing to a local demographic that may already be interested in your business due to the sports team sponsorship, providing a balance of loyalty, community, and publicity in order to generate these sales.
4. Marketing Campaigns
It’s well known that in order to market a business, you should have a great website, as well as excellent content. By sponsoring a local sports team, your business can generate unique marketing campaigns and content that highlights the dedication to the community.
Through sport, it’s possible to be very targeted to whichever segment you may be aiming at. Kids, young adults, women, girls, 35+. You can regionalise the activity by catchment area, town, city or region, meaning there is very little wastage.
As they say, the proof is in the pudding! With an active team sponsorship, your business can utilise any images and local stories that will further the good reputation of your business. Marketing campaigns are expensive, but with the visibility and support of a community from the sponsorship, the campaign can essentially run itself.
Once you have a long-standing, dedicated sponsorship to a local sports team, your business may find itself with many loyal customers. If a local sports team has a sponsorship from a business, the team’s fans will often gravitate towards this business. Fans are loyal to their favourite sports teams, and the sports teams are often loyal and respectful of their sponsors. By retaining this loyalty, your business will have an excellent community reputation.
How To Choose a Local Team to Sponsor
Choosing a local team to sponsor won’t be an easy decision, because you want the team to match the style and identity of your business or brand. If your chosen team has a relevant interest and link to your business, the more your sponsorship will pay off. For example, if you are an independent sports shoe retailer, it would make sense for you to sponsor a local sports team. This is because your brand aligns with the team, and you can mutually benefit each other.
You can look at sponsorship in professional sport as a guide. For example, there are many finance and insurance brands that sponsor professional rugby, because they understand that their typical customer is likely to watch rugby. Another example is Kia who have invested heavily in cricket because market research shows people who play or watch cricket are more likely to buy a Kia than a football or rugby supporter!
Gift of Kit can identify the perfect sponsorship opportunity in your area.
It’s also important to consider the target audience of your business or products. If you’re a business that supplies equipment or is somehow involved in a specific sport, it makes sense to sponsor a team related to that sport. For example, if your business is in golf equipment, it would be in your best interest to sponsor a junior golf team, rather than a local football team due to your products being highly sought after by the fans of this local sports team. This isn’t to say that if your business is not involved in sports then you shouldn’t sponsor a team, every business can benefit from investing in their community and supporting local grassroots sport!
When considering the goal of your business, this can also determine the type of team you sponsor. If you are more interested in building brand visibility than selling a particular product, you should look at opportunities to display your logo and message, rather than advertise your products.
So Should You Sponsor a Local Sports Team?
The simple answer is yes! As a business owner, there are countless benefits when sponsoring a local sports team. Whether you are intending to build visibility, create a loyal fan base, give back to the community, or simply increase your sales, there are many ways to do this through sports sponsorships.
If you’re interested in learning more about sponsoring a local grassroots sports team, we’d love to hear from you; we have a sponsorship package to suit every type of business and budget. With over 28,000 teams across the UK, we’ve helped deliver over £3.3m of sponsored kits to clubs, and can help you take the first step on your journey.