Sports Sponsorships: Do They Matter?

Name on the jersey, name on the stadium, television advertising, sign boards, promotions, etc… These are all the ways that companies attach their names to sports properties and attempt to endear themselves to fans.  The big question for these companies is whether these sponsorships and dollars actually make money.  Do sports sponsorships breed brand loyalty?

According to Turnkey Sports and the Sports Business Journal, the answer is…YES.   Although the analysis did not look at MLS or soccer sponsorships, the data is definitely instructive and can certainly be applied by prospective MLS sponsors.  Over three years of polling, the study found that the best targets for sports sponsorships are three distinct groups. 1.  Families with children, 2. non-Caucasians and 3. fans 18-34.  By way of example, almost 60% of MLB fans 18-34 were more likely to try a good or service from an official sponsor.

For soccer, that data is especially intriguing. Families, non-Caucasians and the 18-34 are exactly the target markets for MLS.  The League has expanded its Latino outreach while expanding its efforts to reach younger “hard core” fans.  Moreover, despite the occasional derisive comment from certain fans, families remain an enormous target audience for American Soccer.  The other big take away, is that sports sponsorships not only increase awareness, they also build loyalty.   MLS sponsors are likely establishing life long relationships with desirable demographics.

Some other notes from the study include the importance of tenue….the longer a company is associated with a product, the better the brand awareness.  NASCAR fans remain the most brand aware and kids are big drivers of purchasing decisions across all demographic lines.

One Response

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