The rise of leagues in India has captivated the attention of sponsors as new means to extend their marketing efforts.
Sponsors play a key role in building brand equity of a franchise. By sponsoring popular sports teams, brands get positive exposure, which in turn results in heightened awareness and high recall value of their brands. Prokabaddi claimed 87% viewership out of the non-cricketing sports in 2017.
Pro Kabaddi League is perceived as Entertaining, Modern and Family Oriented along with top quality Kabaddi on display – all these factors have contributed towards making the sport more viewer friendly and create awareness.
Below are the seven things that a sponsor expects from a sports franchise:
Positioning of brand logo on jersey
The sponsors expect their brand logo to get good visibility on the team’s jersey. A well-positioned brand logo on a team’s jersey is an effective form of advertising on national television. Sponsors measure the ROI by taking into consideration the logo visibility on the jersey, LED perimeter, in-stadia branding. The position of a sponsor’s logo on the jersey also indicates the type of association.
An Integrated marketing approach
The association bears fruit if the two brands have common business objectives and mutually inclusive target audiences. It is beneficial if a franchise has a holistic marketing approach which will help the sponsors tap into the franchise’s audience. It is also essential that sponsors and franchise together integrate innovative activations.
A point in case being AMFI’s Mutual Funds Sahi Hai TVC featuring Kabaddi players in season 5 of Vivo PKL which developed significantly higher Brand Awareness, Consideration and Advocacy. The TVC created awareness about investing in mutual funds especially in the Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities. This is one subtle way of creating a recall value for the brand. It is also beneficial for the sponsor, as it positions them as a brand that encourages sports.
Team endorsing their products
Brands are now betting on smart endorsement where a relationship between the product(s) and player(s) is established. It is one of the most effective ways of advertising and can be beneficial to the brand in building a connect with its audience. Gillette’s ‘Break the Beard’ campaign was a huge success on digital platforms.
The campaign showcased players of different teams challenging each other and doing a makeover using Gillette products. Endorsements of products by popular athletes has often spiked sales and created a surge in demand for their products.
The sponsors associated with a team, expect to tap into the media universe of the team to gain the extra mileage. Through the PR efforts of the franchise, the brand gets to create goodwill for their company amongst media fraternity and audience by positioning their company as a promoter of sports.
Being a part of cause-related activities and events
Companies and brands want to be associated with teams that are socially conscious and contribute towards the betterment of society. Teams and companies that give back to the community are appreciated by the society and it positions them as good corporate citizens.
Puneri Paltan in association with Robin Hood Army organised food donation drive in Pune and had tied up with a blind kabaddi organisation and provided a platform for the visually challenged to showcase their talent.
Return on Investment for sponsors
This is the most critical aspect of sponsorship. Sponsors look for the best return on investment proposal. Sponsors measure return on investment through exposure on TV, Apparel, Hoardings, In-stadia branding, digital and media. Today, one of the biggest assets is the insights that teams can share with their brands about their audience.
Transparency and Feedback
The sponsors expect a franchise to be transparent with them about everything, right from the promised deliverables to financial transactions made. Sharing regular updates with sponsors on the team’s performance, return on investments and success of marketing campaigns are few factors, which will help in maintaining a healthy relationship.
Trust and transparency play a significant role during the time of renewal of sponsorship. Seeking a feedback from the sponsors about the association is also a vital aspect for better client servicing.