Sponsorship 2.0 is the way for Australian Sport

AdvertiserAs a sports fan who loves a drink I could hardly resist the Banner Headline that screamed for my attention in today’s daily. On reading I quickly learn it’s doom and gloom.

AUSTRALIA’S premier sporting codes are under threat of losing up to $300 million a year in alcohol sponsorship.

But why is Sports promoting alcohol anyway and why has it not used its power to attract the myriad of corporates who want to attract people to join their Tribe and don’t have an unhealthy message.

Because I suspect they don’t get it .

After watching sport on TV on the weekend I decided to start on a paper on the future of Sponsorship, because it appears that Australian sport has not moved with the times. I see a fortune spent by BBX on elcetronic fence signage and across the front of the Port Adelaide AFL team’s coaching box … but they don’t tell me who they are and what they do.

I see a small Adelaide recruitment company, lets call them XYZ, who sponsor a local football team who were playing in the TV match of the day. And across the back of all of the players jumpers I see XYZ and once again I am expected to guess who they are and what they do. Even on the company’s website there is no mention of the sponsorship … I guess the boss likes the team so the sponsorship is philanthropy not business development. And clearly with some planning it could be both!

The addition of a web address below the letters/logos in both cases could fix the problem . If I was at the game I could look them up on my mobile by accessing their site or at home while watching TV I could go to my PC at half time … instead of watching ads.

It was interesting to note that signage at the test cricket from Cardiff had a very strong focus on web address and relevance. The glass in front of the players box displayed the web address of a glass manufacturer … Pleased to see it didn’t say proudly sponsored by.

Firstly if you aren’t proud why sponsor and secondly if a company name is displayed in such a way everyone clearly knows it’s a form of sponsorship … so why state the bleeding obvious.

All of this lead me to researching how sports were using Web 2.0 and Social Media to grow income (esp overseas). I was pleased to see that Sponsorship 2.0 is alive and well!! VODW Marketing company who predicts Sport Sponsorship worldwide to double or triple in the next few years has produced a significant report on the why and how of Sponsorship 2.0. The report by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Frinks provides some good background and guidelines that sport should be embracing.

I am now in the process of developing my own guide for sports in Australia particularly focusing on how they can use Social Media Marketing to grow their income very significantly. Our Grumpy Old Managers Guide to Social Media Marketing covers the general principles but now we want to provide Sports/Charities with some specific guidelines as we are doing for a few industry segments.

The future is very much about building business for their Corporate supporters and not just building brands as it was in the past. So instead of bemoaning the loss of the booze money it’s time to embrace new ways and unleash opportunities as yet unheard of by leveraging their brand and their tribe of supporters … and linking sponsors to the right messages and the right means of reaching the consumers!