Monday, May 16, 2011

What brands should do when sponsoring a sports event

A few of my friends ran the half marathon yesterday (which I must admit I find insane!!) and while telling their stories about exhaustion and face redness I noticed an opportunity for brands, reaching a tight target of 10,000 exercise freaks in serious need of a 'pick up' after pushing themselves to peak performance.

1. There were NO goodie bags. Colonial First state is main sponsor, but they can hardly give you a bit of super as a reward for running like mad. And I know that it´s more about giving in terms of fundraising and giving your all on the run, but don´t we all love freebies...? When going to events like Business chicks it amazes me how women get the tingle from the Bag full of free stuff. It may just be detergent, lipgloss in the wrong colour and lollies you can´t eat due to your diet anyway, but the feeling of getting presents is so pure it´s a mystery how brands keep forgetting about it. What about exploring the positive emotions bubbling up withing people by giving them something in a time of need - like after a mega run? Sponsoring an event like the half marathon could be perfect for Vitamin water, Up&Go flavoured milk, Nike or Go Natural? Any brand that wishes to reach healthy people would benefit from dropping a little something in the hands of a huffing and puffing person with a medal around her neck.

2. Apparently there was a massive line to get the bag (not goodie bag, but a more boring version with a brochure from New Balance and the likes) and after a massive run early on a Sunday morning you don´t want to stand in a queue... It takes the fun away. You are getting cold when the sweat is meeting the early morning winds. You want a beer, a hug, a shower or three. You do NOT want to stand in a line to get a stupid medal. The brand that can brighten up the life of such a grumpy post runner will be a winner. Gloria Jeans could provide them with coffee while waiting. Gatorade could hand out mini shots of drinks. Kraft Foods could serve some desserts. Brand love at its best.

Sponsoring an event is not just about having your logo shown next to the event logo in big newspaper ads, it is about the small gestures. Just like a marriage is not about the wedding day, but about those small moments brushing teeth together or cuddling up on a cold Winter evening, sponsorship strategies should recognise the power of mini moment marketing. Arrange pre parties, after parties, goodie bags, services, hand outs in parks and so on.

I´m not saying the Bible is a marketing text book, but: Luke 6:38: "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

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