Over the last few weeks a number of sponsors have renewed or announced a partnership with a sports team. Budweiser and the Olympics announced the renewal of the long-standing partnership. Toys R Us announced a first time agreement with the Special Olympics and Milk became the official refuel beverage for the Ironman series. Everywhere you look in sports there is some kind of sponsor. The NBA is even considering allowing sponsors logo’s on the players’ jerseys.
Do you remember the very bright red with black and yellow uniforms of the University of Maryland? Yes they were different and many remember they were sponsored by Under Armour. The uniforms of the University of Oregon, done by Nike. While the super fan and those that watch college football on Saturday’s in the fall know this the causal fan may not. What the causal fan may know better is the name of the stadium that they watch their favorite teams in. Citi field in New York, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indi and Pet Co Park in San Diego.
Pretty much every marathon you run has a sponsor. The ING New York Marathon. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The Honda LA Marathon. Just this month Allstate signed to sponsor the 13.1 Marathon series across the county.
It is not just ballparks and marathon names that can get sponsored. Have you ever run a small 5k race where the water stop is manned with people from a local bank? They are a sponsor. The back of your shirt from any race will have every sponsors logo, the front may as well if they have a title sponsor, like ING, Bank of America or Honda.
If you run a half or full marathon, your guaranteed to experience the “official” drink and the “official” pick-me up like GU, Power Shots or Gatorade.
So what is in it for the sponsors? Maybe the sponsor is trying to break out into a new market with a new audience or a new product. The sponsor might desire an image boost and by partnering with a non-for-profit they achieve a residual effect based on their good will. It used to be that sponsors worked with sports organizations that their CEO’s liked so that they could be seen at every event. That’s not the case anymore and most organizations are looking for a return on their investments.
For the big and the small sporting organizations, from the major leagues to the little leagues sponsors are everywhere, and frankly that’s a good thing. Without sponsors the teams on the field might not be as good as they are, or the events we enter and buy tickets for would cost much more. Without sponsors, little league teams with dreams of making it to the big leagues wouldn’t exist. So next time your out at a sports event or running in a race, look out for the sponsors names and support them at your next opportunity you never know what good is coming out of that sponsorship.