Business Times, Monday, 2nd April 2012
ULTIMATELY, corporate sports sponsorships are about return on investment and this is equated with visibility – the number of eyeballs that will get to see the company’s branding, be it on official sports attire, on the backdrop for ‘live’ sports events or other publicity vehicles. This is influenced by how ‘sexy’ the sport is – is it high profile with a strong fan base, or headlined by athletes with celebrity status who will naturally help garner more media interest in the sport? These are quantitative factors that can be measured so that corporate sponsors can forecast how the increased visibility will translate to a revenue boost.
Corporations also want to be linked to sports events or certain athletes because of the ‘halo effect’ of the positive qualities like success and determination that are associated with the sport or personality. Thus, one qualitative factor to consider is whether the personalities associated with the sport are positive role models. There are many examples of international superstar athletes who have fallen from grace and the first consequence is a pullout from corporate sponsors.
There is certainly room to develop corporate sponsorship of local sport and it requires the concerted effort of various stakeholders such as organisers of sports events, managers or agents of sports teams/personalities, as well as more support from media owners. One thing sports organisers and associations can do is to groom and ‘market’ their athletes to have that ‘star quality’ that will in turn attract more interest from fans and media, and consequently, from corporate sponsors as well.
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