Sports sponsorships: how finance brands can play the game
The Paralympics and other sporting events may seem difficult to pursue and hard to manage but sports sponsorships can in fact help your finance brand overcome issues such as a lack of consumer trust and negative brand perceptions. This year, finance brands such as Visa and Citi Group once again jumped on board and sponsored the Paralympic Games. Making it a part of their marketing strategy, Visa and Citi Group are aligning themselves with the values of the Paralympic Games, marketing themselves as inclusive and resilient. This is the benefit of sporting sponsorships. Not only is your finance brand marketed to thousands and sometimes millions of people, but it also enables you to align your brand image with that of the sporting event. Sporting sponsorships are a great way for finance brands of every kind to build customer trust, improve brand image and visibility, and create intrigue and loyalty.
Sports sponsorships generate brand exposure
Live sporting events generate a massive amount of viewership around the world. The bigger the sporting event the bigger the crowds. In fact, the 2016 Paralympic games generated 25.6 million viewers in the USA, 28 million viewers in the UK, and 14.8 million in Australia and the 2021 Paralympics are set to be even higher. That’s a lot of potential brand exposure for finance brands who form a sporting sponsorship with the Paralympics.
Adding to this, the rise of social media use has meant the people who attend these massive sporting events or even the people watching from home are sharing the event with their friends and family. In fact, 80% of fans use social media during live sporting events. This can be a benefit to finance brands as not only are the people attending the event seeing your finance business but so is everyone on social media.
80% of fans use social media during live sporting events.
Visa sponsored the FIFA women’s world cup back in 2019 and saw huge success as a result of the combination of live coverage and social media sharing. A study by Deloitte found Visa generated 10,000 mentions by 5,000 unique authors, 355,510 engagements which resulted in an estimated potential reach of 9,000,000,000.
Sports sponsorships that target a niche audience
This high level of brand exposure isn’t only achievable through global events like the Olympics or Paralympics. Any sporting event can have large benefits for finance brands wanting to market a new product or improve brand recognition. Even minor events can be beneficial for finance brands if it captures a niche audience that aligns with your finance brand.
For example, Lawn Bowls Australia, which is a sport generally targeted at older retirement age Australians is sponsored by a number of insurance brokers. Apia who is an over 50’s insurance company, is one such finance brand. Apia is a prime example of a finance brand utilising sports sponsorships as a marketing tactic that can improve brand recognition and customer loyalty with its target audience.
In a different area, Canada’s TD Bank has recently sponsored eSports Overwatch League teams, the Toronto Defiant and the Vancouver Titans and Mastercard have also jumped on and sponsored Riot Games League of Legends. With 286 million people globally expected to be enthusiastic eSports viewers by 2024, finance brands should consider diving into the eSports industry and look to sponsor a team or event. ESports can help your finance brand reach a wide, mostly young audience, and can create intrigue into your financial services by altering brand perceptions from boring to creative and progressive.
What sporting sponsorship is right for you?
Not every sporting sponsorship will be right for every finance brand. It’s important each finance brand understands their target audience, budget, and the goal they’re trying to achieve through the sponsorship. Sporting sponsorships can come in many forms, including:
- Individual sponsorship – Aligning your finance brand with an individual athlete can create great omnichannel marketing, extending the reach of your brand across their social channels and other media sources. However, this style of sponsorship can pose the greatest risk to your finance brand as it places a lot of trust in the individual athlete to represent your financial service correctly.
- Team sponsorship – This is a great option for finance brands with a large marketing budget and can be beneficial as it creates high emotional connections with fans and viewers.
- Event sponsorship – This is a great sponsorship opportunity for finance brands as it not only aligns your brand with a fun and enjoyable event but it also aligns them with the values represented.
It’s time to play the game
Sports sponsorships can be an effective marketing strategy when it aligns with your finance brand’s goals and target audience, generating greater trust, loyalty, and positive brand perception for customers around the world. While large sporting events have the most brand exposure this doesn’t always mean it’s the most effective marketing strategy. Instead, consider who you’re targeting, what they’re watching, and always ensure the values of your financial services align with the individual athlete, team, or event.