Keys To Finding The Best Sports Sponsorships, a Brand Perspective

Brands are always looking to stay ahead of their competitors, and this includes when they are searching for potential sponsors and partnerships. Not all partnerships are the same, however, as some potential partners are more valuable than others. Choosing the right sports sponsorship will allow brands to maximize their ROI and increase brand awareness. Fortunately, there are four key things to look for that will lead to better decision making when finding a partner for your brand. 

Keys To a Successful Sports Sponsorship

Relevant to Brand Objectives – One of the first things that should be examined when choosing a potential partner is making sure the sponsor fits with what the brand does. A brand’s partner should have a strong influence on the type of people the brand is targeting, and should have an interest in the products the brand sells. This also makes sure the brand will be promoted properly. If you’re a brand that sells shoes, it wouldn’t make sense to partner with someone who specializes in music. As such, unless your brand has a universal audience or a connection to another industry, it will always be best to find partners that are directly relevant to your brand and its products.

Strong Follower Base –  The next key aspect of a valuable sports sponsorship partner is their follower base. A social media personality with a large following will have a larger reach and will thus be able to return a higher ROI for a brand. The total number of followers, however, is not the only thing to take into consideration when finding the right partner. A large amount of followers is great, but only if a large percentage of them are in the brand’s target customer group. Looking at metrics such as age range, income, geographic location, interests, and so forth, can tell a brand if a partner’s followers fall in line with their target audience. Proper audience analysis is key to finding a thriving sports sponsorship partnership. 

Promotional Effectiveness – Promotional effectiveness is, in some ways, the most important aspect of identifying the best partner for a sports sponsorship. A brand could find a relevant influencer with millions of followers, but if that person isn’t a good promoter they won’t be worth as much. To determine the promotional effectiveness of a potential partner, a brand needs to look at a number of categories: engagement, quality of posts, post proportion, share of voice, and frequency.

First, an influencer should be getting solid engagement on their posts. This is very valuable for brands because more interaction means more interest in their brand. Quality is also important, as high-quality content means the brand and its logo is visible and easily able to be seen, which raises the overall value of a post. Post proportion means a partner is posting more promoted posts than not. Solid share of voice means one brand is not being crowded out by multiple other brands, since when brands battle for a post the value goes down for all of them. Finally, frequency means a partner is constantly posting promotional content for the brand, so followers are given a steady dose of brand promotion. Finding a partner that is elite in most, if not all of these categories will return a much higher ROI for a sports sponsorship.

Non-related Current Sponsors – The last aspect of a successful sports sponsorship that brands should look for is filling a void in a potential partner’s portfolio. By this, we mean finding someone who does not already have a similar partnership. For example, if a brand like Nike finds an elite promoter that checks all the boxes, but they already have a partnership with Puma, a partnership with Nike is likely impractical because they already have a similar partnership established. Finding partners who do not already have similar brands being promoted also highlights how important it is to quickly identify the best promotional partners since new athletes who are top tier promoters will be signed quickly by brands that have the right identification tools. 

Why It Matters

Identifying smart sports sponsorships is vital for brands. Partnering with the wrong influencers will lead to disastrous financial losses. By knowing what to look for in partners, brands can be sure they are signing deals with influencers that will result in higher ROI and better brand awareness. Hookit is a company that will provide the data and information on all the parts listed above. With the correct accumulation of data and with proper analysis, brands can rest assured they are making smart decisions for their company.

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Written by Garrett Mosher

Garrett is entering his 4th year at San Diego State University. He is pursuing a degree in economics with a minor in information systems and has acquired skills in business, data analytics, and marketing. As a product marketing intern with Hookit, he has learned how to analyze the effectiveness of sports sponsorships with an emphasis on how brands drive value from their ambassadors.