The color you choose for your brand's logo is more significant than you might imagine. Your color scheme subconsciously tells your consumer more about you than the name of your company.
Similar to non-verbal communication, your brand's logo will evoke a specific reaction based solely on the colors you choose. For example, a logo with the primary color of red demands attention and suggests your company is powerful or full of energy. This has worked for power-house companies like Netflix, Coca-Cola, and Target (which I'm sure the color red just appeared in your head when you read those company names).
Each color tells the consumer what your brand is made of on the inside, once they are past the name. But when it comes to sports sponsorship, what I am about to tell you is going to challenge everything we just talked about...
When it comes to sponsoring team sports, brands should forget about their colors and adopt those of the team they are sponsoring.
This is not a joke.
You're probably saying to yourself, "well what good is it to evoke 'emotion' with colors in my logo? I thought that was important?!"
And you're not wrong, color placement in your logo is very important. But a recent study conducted by Conor M. Henderson, Marc Mazodier, and Aparna Sundar in the May issue of the Journal of Marketing ("The Color of Support: The Effect of Sponsor-Team Visual Congruence on Sponsorship Performance") concluded that it is in the best interest of the brand to adopt team colors for a sponsorship.
A perfect example for this scenario is the jersey sponsor deal between Philadelphia 76ers and StubHub.
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According to a recent FOS newsletter poll, 80% of subscribers would not be bothered by a corporate logo on a professional team's uniforms. I find it somewhat surprising that it has taken this long for professional teams in America (outside of the four major sports) to adopt this practice. Especially after seeing the massive success of sponsored jerseys of professional athletes across the pond.
This month. Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated wrote a piece on how the NFL - America's new pastime - could tap into a potential $200 million-plus resource known as jersey sponsorships.
Based on the current jersey-patch deals in the NBA, Jones reasons that an average NFL jersey logo could go for around $7 million. And if all 32 teams deploy a logo, that could lead to $224 million in added revenue for the league.
As always, there are concerns when it comes to implementing logo placements.
Will the fans be bothered by this?
Probably not. Take a moment to consider how many logos are present in a stadium, on the sidelines, and so on. Sports as a whole are saturated by sponsorships...one little 2.5 x 2.5" jersey patch will not set fans over the edge.
Will the other corporate sponsors of the team be bothered?
Unlikely. They'll probably want in on the action.
What is there to lose here? Besides an additional $200 million (or more).
NBA jersey patches began popping up in 2017. The league started this effort as a three-year pilot but had no idea the beast they unlocked.
By mid-2018 the numbers were in, and sponsors of NBA jerseys were winning...big time.
According to GumGum Sports, these 2.5 x 2.5" patches generated $350 million in value to sponsors on social media.
The jersey logos generated more media value than logo placements on the basket stanchions, pole pads or floors of the court. Proving this piece of sponsorship inventory was a substantially better investment.
Think about it, the amount of NBA content that is shared on social media is nearly endless. Countless Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook pages are dedicated to NBA content. Everything from pictures to highlights. And guess who's front-and-center...the brand sponsoring that star player's jersey in the highlight.
Wish is dunking with Lebron. StubHub is dishing out passes with Ben Simmons. And Rakuten is shooting the lights out with Steph Curry.
It's a two-year case study like this that makes it hard to believe that the other three major sports categories in the United States wouldn't jump into this opportunity head first.
Major League Baseball has tested the waters by allowing for corporate logos in international games. The NFL has allowed for corporate logos on practice jerseys. And the NHL has made it pretty clear that they do not want to commercialize its uniforms.
Listen, sports is a business. And any business who has the ability to increase their bottom line by $200 million or more usually jumps on that opportunity.
The brands who want that $350 million-plus worth of media value will thank you later...
The days of Fortune 500 companies dominating the sports sponsorship landscape are gone.
That's right, brands of all sizes now have the ability to create exposure throughout professional sports. Don't believe me? Here's a quick example for you:
Hays - a British company providing recruitment and human resources services - inked a four-year sponsorship extension with Manchester City earlier this month.
Hays does not carry the same global brand recognition as Nike, Apple, or Amazon. Hell, if you live across the pond in the U.K. you still may not know their name. Hays’s CMO Sholto Douglas-Home saw an opportunity to build the company's brand by placing it alongside the Nikes and other Fortune 500 companies who occupy Man City's sponsorship signs.
“Companies our size have not thought they can genuinely put their name on a global stage, punching alongside brands that everyone has heard of,” he adds.
“When you add all of those things up, there are organizations of our size around the world that think, ‘Oh Man City? Don’t be stupid, how could we afford that? How would we run it?’. Mid-size companies are not realizing just how powerful the sponsorship is in terms of staff loyalty and pride. Sponsorship isn’t only for the big boys or girls.”
Does sponsorship come at a price? Yes, absolutely. But marketing on any platform comes at a certain cost. And it all depends on what you are looking to yield from a said marketing campaign.
If you are looking to build a reputable brand that people will trust, then I would advise you to put yourself next to brands like Nike or Coca Cola in a stadium full of passionate fans who will associate you with the sport they love. And the brands they love - or at least trust.
This is precisely why we built Prime Sponsor, to bridge the gap between professional sports and those who are looking to build their brands at a reasonable price.
Let's face it, half the battle is figuring out how much sponsorship of a team will cost and who to talk to for those figures. We have eliminated those two barriers of entry for you. All you need to do is browse the available inventory on the Prime Sponsor platform and choose the sponsorship opportunity that best suits you and your needs.
Imagine seeing your brand's logo in a stadium THIS SEASON. No need to put this off until next year, acquire a sponsorship TODAY.
Take a moment and scroll through your Instagram feed with this thought in mind:
"How many of these posts are sponsored content?"
You'll be surprised at how many posts pass through your eyes that seem like organic content but, in reality, are cleverly masked advertisements. Just disguised as organic content.
Quite frankly, I love how brands are reaching their target audiences through the app. Consumers don't like it when they know it's an advertisement they are currently viewing. People desire intriguing and organic content.
Humans are predisposed to be story-tellers. Nearly every daily interaction has an element of story-telling involved. Whether that is pitching a product or looking to get a nice laugh while with friends at dinner.
Brands shifting their focus to content and influencers to story-tell on social media is the trend, and I don't foresee that changing any time soon.
Marketing Charts released a study this week about influencer marketing on social media. Citing that 4 out of 5 marketers believe influencer marketing is effective. And that 89% of those surveyed believe this form of marketing is sometimes more effective than traditional routes.
One challenge marketers had with influencer marketing is finding an influencer - or set of influencers - who can deliver the best return on investment for the brand. It is difficult to determine the validity of influencers on social media given the recent reports of how these individuals sometimes purchase bot followers to boost engagement (un-organic likes and follows to be precise).
That lack of transparency pulls brands back from making an investment in an influencer.
This is where I see a tremendous opportunity for athletes - regardless of sport - to use their personal brand on social media. This is such an intriguing time of sports history. A time where fans can literally engage with their favorite athletes via applications on their phones. And the most exciting part is that athletes embrace this ability to communicate their thoughts (sometimes unfiltered) through these mediums.
Before, fans would need to read the newspaper to understand what a player was thinking after a game or in a feature story from that week. Usually, the player's thoughts were filtered - and sometimes manipulated - depending on the journalist reporting the story.
Now, pro athletes don't need to go through a journalist or news outlet to express what they feel. And that is what makes this the perfect platform for brands and athletes to collaborate for influencer marketing campaigns.
Additionally, athletes' engagement levels on social media posts trump 'influencer' engagement. Brands can trust that an athlete did not buy his or her followers and that a majority of the engagement on each post is from followers who are genuinely engaged to the athlete's social media.
Take a Rickie Fowler or Carson Wentz for example. Both have taken advantage of their presence on Instagram to promote brands like Bose, Farmers Insurance, and Grant Thornton.
An emerging trend that I am personally witnessing is an influx of professional athletes turning to LinkedIn as an outlet to promote themselves and build connections with brands. Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, Braxton Miller is constantly delivering content and engaging with users on this platform and - in my eyes - is a pioneer for athletes to use the platform to further their brand.
Even though LinkedIn is already massively popular in the B2B space, I can see this platform exploding in the next 5 years with a greater presence from athletes who are seeking to become entrepreneurs and prepare for life after sports.
So the next time your brand looks to pursue influencer marketing, I would highly recommend you look towards securing sponsorship of a professional athlete to create the greatest ROI.
As an organization - or individual athlete - you probably have an idea of how much your sponsorship space is worth. But I saw an alarming stat in the last couple weeks in regards to unsold sports sponsorship space.
According to a report by Matt Cutler of Two Circles, the total of global sports sponsorship assets is worth $64 billion. But only $46 billion is sold.
That leaves a whopping $18 billion of unsold sponsorship inventory on the table. That certainly opens the door to a myriad of questions about how efficiently sports sponsorships are sold. But we will come right back to that in just a minute...
That same Two Circles report expects the current global sponsorship spend to increase by six percent year-on-year after 2020. But I have a feeling that number has the potential to be higher than expected.
According to a recent report from GumGum Sports, cross-channel analytics will increase the value of sports sponsorships. This takes into account the measurements of sponsorships that are exposed to OTT streaming platform, social media channels, and other digital avenues where a sponsor could be seen.
Now, as I said before, there are plenty of questions when it comes to finding the best way to buy and sell sports sponsorship assets. Sponsorship deals take time to create and pitch to the right sponsors.
A great deal of unsold sponsorship space is considered low-hanging-fruit. Essentially, it's sponsorship space that is easy to activate, but still takes a great deal of time to prepare, pitch the opportunity, and close the sale.
Remember, no matter the size of the activation, sponsorship deals take a while to sell...especially with the traditional model.
So you're probably wondering: "Mike, where are you going with this?"
"Do you have an answer to how we can sell sponsorship space more efficiently?"
I thought you'd never ask...yes, I do have an answer to your problem.
The answer is Prime Sponsor, an e-commerce style platform for buying and selling sports sponsorship opportunities. Essentially, we have cut down the time it takes to view available sponsorship opportunities in professional sports. This gives potential sponsors a better idea of sponsorships that are available and if the sponsorship will fulfill their needs.
For the teams and athletes looking to sell sponsorship space, this platform will act as a lead-generation tool. By bringing you verified sponsorship leads, we cut down the acquisition time and allow your sponsorship sales team to close more deals and increase your bottom line.