Sponsorship Snacks

Week 11

Introduction

Have you ever heard of the sandwich method? We are sure you have heard it somewhere. The sandwich method is a form of feedback that wraps negative feedback in praise.

Let’s see if we can also apply the sandwich method to news:

  • The Olympic Summer Games 2021 will take place (YAY!)
  • There will be no international visitors allowed. About one million tickets were sold to international visitors (OUCH).
  • There is still hope that the stadiums can be filled with national fans(YAY?)

News

TeamViewer to replace Chevrolet at Manchester United

After seven years, the Chevrolet-ManU partnership will end this year. German global technology company TeamViewer will replace it as the main shirt sponsor from next season on. The 5-year deal with TeamViewer is worth £47m each year(Source).

The best part is yet to come: TeamViewer will work with ManU to bring fans closer to the team through augmented reality (AR) solutions and remote access to Old Trafford (Source). AR was often overlooked in the sports domain by businesses and customers. The use of AR in sports brings significant changes to the way people consume sporting events (Source).

The deal allows ManU to use new technologies that provide a better fan experience of Old Trafford, both online and offline. We often discuss the changing relationship of sponsor and brand. Sponsors are not just signing a deal they enter a partnership.

The pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technology in sport immensely. Sport brands need strong partners to work on innovative technology. Expect more tech-companies to team up with sports clubs around the world. A perfect example is the tech giant Microsoft who struck deals with the NBA, the NFL, and Real Madrid. But wait, there is more…

The NFL and TV — a modern day dream couple

Sports and TV always had a close connection. Last year, 7 out of the 10 top-rated shows on TV were football games (Source). While we continue to talk about new streaming services or TikTok, the TV is still making waves. The NFL has increased the return on all of their TV deals for the next ten years. Together they are worth more than $100 billion.

Yet, one deal sticks out. Amazon will pay $10bn over ten years to show NFL games on Thursday nights (Source). Fifteen games will be available exclusively for Amazon Prime users in the US. While the traditional deals allow the TV networks to put the games on their streaming platform, they remain TV first deals. The Amazon deal, however, is an exclusive digital deal. Such an agreement could open the gates for the streaming era for sports once and for all.

Internal research revealed that 65% of sports fans watch their favorite team online. Furthermore, 14% of the global internet users are already watching Sports on Prime. That’s more than 345 million users. The NFL deal allows Amazon to offer more broadcasting options to their current members and attract new members.

Amazon’s goal here is clear: they want to keep you on their platform. Amazon knows what gift you order for your significant other and what movies you like (Prime), how your website looks (AWS), and what you eat (Whole Foods). In sum, Amazon has a lot of data on you, and as we know, data is power. They can easily push NFL merchandise to the front of Prime users or recommend football movies. For the NFL, this can be a powerful tool to further diversify their revenue streams. On the other side, Amazon is confident because they know that they can now occupy a part of our free time that we are very passionate about.

New Study urges sports brands to cut ties with polluting sponsors

All money is dirty. If it were clean nobody would want it

-Carlos Ruiz Zafon-

Seldom do we ask ourselves where all the sponsoring money comes from, which allows clubs like Paris Saint Germain to pay 222 million euros for Neymar. A report concluded that 258 sponsorship deals across 13 sports globally promote ‘high carbon products, services and lifestyles’ (Source). The most sponsorship deals from polluting companies come from the automobile industry (199) and airlines (63).

This report comes at a time when multiple sports brands (e.g., Arsenal, Formula 1, IOC, etc.) have signed the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. The study questions whether those properties can call themselves ‘carbon-neutral’ or ‘sustainable’ if their main sponsors are just the opposite.

The researchers urge sports brands to incorporate sustainability in the selection process of new sponsors. Sponsors who promote high-carbon products or lifestyles should be rejected. And brands have a good reason to follow this advice. According to our data team, interest in sustainability among sports interested people increased by 30% between 2018 and 2020. In the last quarter of 2020, 94% of sports fans stated that they are interested in sustainability.

For sustainable sponsors, this is good news. The shifting focus and redefinition of values that come with it allow for new sponsoring opportunities, especially for smaller brands. One area where the change is already taking place is in the food and beverage sector.

Teams like the LA Lakers use vegan/vegetarian-centered sponsorships and or endorsements to attract a new pool of potential fans who have not followed the club so far. They have partnered up with Beyond Meat to offer a meat alternative during their home games. Additionally, they have appointed one of their players as ambassador of their partnership to strengthen their ties and promote the partnership.

Why Chelsea offers free advertising space

The London club is inviting local companies to apply for a free sponsorship. All companies that have a London postcode and less than 50 employees can take part. The winners will be part of the ‘Proud of London’ media campaign that is featured on Chelsea’s digital media channels.

When analyzing how the pandemic affects purchasing behavior, Bain & Company declared that consumers are moving towards value-based purchasing and online shopping (Source).

The connection to your local community is a key aspect of consumer behavior for a post-pandemic world. Another one is the focus on ‘doing good’. Both trends are here to stay beyond the pandemic. Chelsea is already positioning itself for the upcoming years by generating purpose-driven content.

One reason why they can offer free advertising space is, well, because they can. While other sport brands are drowning in financial troubles, Chelsea is comfortable swimming in their broadcasting money. To avoid the perception of a stingy billionaire, they have opted to share some of their wealth instead.

It remains to be seen if this is enough to convince all Londoners of their love for the community. Especially, because five other Premier League clubs in London are also trying to use their community to boost the social side of their brand. Instead, expect them and other high-profile clubs to further expand their social projects together with existing sponsors.

For more expert insights into sponsorship data & analytics visit us on Advanced Sponsorship Insights.

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