It is February, the shortest month of the year, and the weeks continue to fly by. When time is moving fast, it becomes tough to filter the important news among the constant stream of information. Once again, snacks has collected the most relevant news from the past week and serves them to you as snackable bits on a silver platter. Let’s dive right into it.
- Hawk-Eye Live Technology Opens Up Sponsorship Opportunities
Covid19 has accelerated the integration of new technologies into sports. The Australian Open utilizes remote-tracking cameras to relay automatized line calls to the umpire, removing the need for player challenges. According to the Hawk-Eye director, this opens up new sponsoring opportunities. Standard calls and shouts of “out” and “fault” could be replaced by shouts of sponsor’s names. Hawkeye is already exploring new opportunities with key sponsors such as Kia, Rolex, and Ralph Lauren.
It will be interesting to see if traditional sports such as Tennis will change their core rules/identity (e.g. the standard calls in tennis) to maximize sponsorship return. While new technology brings new possibilities for sponsors it is always a balancing act between maximizing exposure and keeping their fans happy (Source),
- Budweiser’s takes a break from their Super Bowl Campaign for the first time in 37 years. Yet this year’s Covid19 vaccine education campaign was more effective than any big game ad of the last five years, according to a recent study.
Bain & Company has stated that the pandemic will have a long-lasting effect on society. One of the behavior shifts that occurred is a redefinition of value. Consumers want to support local. The focus on an important societal problem was received extremely well by the viewers. 70% saying they had a better impression of the brand after watching — 79% higher than the average US ad. After watching the ad, viewers describe Budweiser as relatable (76%), genuine (82%), and trustworthy (77%) (Source).
- Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has signed a contract with Polish sports supply company 4F.
The thirty-two-year-old Ballon D’or winner switches Nike for a small brand that is popular in eastern Europe. The situation deserves attention because it is unknown for such a global sports star to sign an exclusive deal with such a small brand. His wife, a Karate pro, is also part of 4F’s athlete portfolio and played a role in the signing. Rumors say that Puma is in a good spot to sign Lewandowski in the future. Lewandowski could still be a testimonial for the smaller brand 4F but wear Puma on the pitch. If Puma agrees to such a scenario, it would arguably increase his perceived authenticity of the partnership as Lewandowski is supporting an underdog (Source).
- Olympique Lyon shows how to engage their audience by letting their fans decide on a virtual jersey
Through a survey on its social media profiles, the French club ran a fan contest. Fans could decide between four different jersey options. The winner will be seen only on the FIFA 21 video game. This contest engages their social media following and is also a chance for the kit sponsor Adidas to present itself online. While creating a similar amount of attention, the manufacturing costs are omitted. You should expect that more teams will reveal fully virtual kits, and it will be intriguing to see how brands can differentiate their launch (Source).
- F1 sees social engagements grow 99% in 2020 and increases social following by 35m followers
Formula 1 has become the fastest-growing sport on social platforms. Yet, their television ratings have gone down. How?
F1 understood how to leverage digital content in new key markets like Asia or America. Besides, F1 has always been a television-first event and is therefore well equipped for the future of broadcasting: Streaming. F1 reported 11.4 million live stream views across all digital platforms — a 98 percent YoY increase. Year-on-year viewership rose 43% despite some race cancelations.
Besides, Formula 1 hopped on the audio bandwagon and started to produce a podcast that amassed 14 million podcast listeners in 2020. A definite recipe for success according to our previous case study on digital marketing trends (Source).
Food For Thought
The NBA might look to expand into the European market
- After opening the first official NBA store in Milan two years ago, the NBA continues to make moves. They recently signed a partnership deal with the sports retailer Decathlon and San Carlo, a chips brand. The former NBA commissioner David Stern has often talked about the possibility that European teams could join the NBA, but the current commissioner has downplayed the European expansion. However, the signing of small but strategic sponsorships could signify that the NBA is thinking about expanding once again.
- A European NBA team will add a prime-time product to a large European market. Plus, the African and Middle Eastern markets will also benefit as they share similar time zones with Europe. The NBA is already experimenting with a change to their division format and could fit in multiple games in Europe. However, a flight from New York to London, Paris, or Madrid (prime destinations for European NBA teams) is not much longer than Miami to Portland (Source).
- If we continue to talk about a European Super League in football, the idea of European NBA teams is more realistic than we might think. However, fans are against the idea of Super Leagues. Football Supporters Europe (FSE), a fan umbrella group, calls the Super League “[…] an unpopular, illegitimate, and dangerous scheme […]” (Sky Sports). While leagues and clubs are mainly focused on the monetary incentives of an expansion, they should be careful not to upset their fan base.
Betting company BetMGM makes an entrance into motorsports
- Sports Gambling brands have increased their US advertising spending by 82 percent and continue to strengthen their ties with sports. After signing a deal with NASCAR, BetMG is now the first-ever official betting sponsor of Richard Childress Racing. The influence of gambling brands will continue to increase, especially for niche sports. While there is a heated discussion to ban betting sponsors in Europe, gambling will play a dominant role in the future of sports.
- The English Premier League has an abundance of betting sponsors while the NBA has experimented with a special broadcast for bettors where they present betting specific statistics. Besides, online betting apps make it more accessible than ever before. A potential wildcard is virtual reality (VR). If VR becomes a mass-used product in the future, betting could profit from the improved online experience as bettors are even more immersed in the game (Source).
- The sports betting market is estimated to grow from $7B to $8B by 2025. Sport will have to integrate it into its business model. For sponsorship, this could mean more sponsoring opportunities (on betting platforms directly) or less because betting firms steal the sponsorship spots (e.g. on the jersey of English premier league teams).
For more expert insights into sponsorship data & analytics visit us on Advanced Sponsorship Insights.