Sports One of the fundamental questions that business owners must answer – particularly those running a start-up firm or in a super-competitive industry – is how they are going to organically grow their customer base.
There are many different avenues that you can explore to get your brand out there, but weighing up the financial cost against the gains in awareness of your company (and money made) is of paramount importance.
Sponsoring sporting events is a tactic that business owners have deployed for decades, from putting some money into a local little league to hosting corporate events at horse racing or greyhound racing meetings.
The latter is a particularly useful option as it incorporates fun into proceedings. You can welcome your guests (they could be potential clients, suppliers, selling platform owners, etc) to your suite, put on food and drinks, and use the on-site sportsbook facilities that offer betting on the next greyhound races, cheering on your dogs on an evening that combines fun with some serious networking potential. In the US there are active venues in Iowa, Arkansas, and West Virginia, while in the UK once again Towcester will host this year’s English Greyhound Derby, at which you can bet on dogs as fantastically named as the bookmakers’ favorite, Explosive Boy.
Of course, sponsoring sports events and teams have to be at a level that is relevant to your company. For example, did you know that it costs $6 million to book a 30-second ad on NBC during the Super Bowl? For an electrician operating in his or her local town, that’s not viable.
But sponsoring horse/greyhound racing, or putting your name to a local little league? The benefits speak for themselves.
The most important aspect of sponsoring a sporting event is that it gets your company name out there. One of the biggest battles for start-ups, in particular, is creating brand awareness – that is, when a potential customer needs to contact a local firm, it’s your business that is the first that springs to mind.
By attaching yourself to a sports event or team, you inextricably link yourself to it and also benefit from their promotional messages on social media and other online channels.
This is a strategy that is incredibly useful for new businesses or those that are looking to expand into new geographical areas and can create crossover marketing opportunities if you offer those in attendance discount coupons and the like to use with your company.
This article has already touched upon corporate hospitality, and the fantastic opportunities this creates with potential clients, suppliers, and buyers when taking them for an evening of entertainment at the greyhound racing, soccer game, etc.
But by investing in local sports, particularly those amateur teams and leagues that find resources hard to come by, you can build your corporate identity as a firm that cares about enhancing the lives of local people.
That perception can prove invaluable to your business and enhance your customer base.
While not ‘free’ in the truest sense of the word, when we compare the benefit that comes to the local community of sponsoring an event/team – compared to handing money to a giant corporation like Google to advertise via their PPC ads – the perks are priceless.
We should never downplay the importance of being involved in the community as business leaders, and even if you have grander ambitions for your company on a national scare there’s still no harm in giving a piggyback to local sport along the way – now more than ever they could use your financial support.