Social media as the biggest game-changers in sponsorship

Why do sponsorship create a bilateral value for its participants? From a fan’s perspective the consumption of beloved sport is enriched with the active participation that enhances their loyalty and affinity. They no longer play the role of a passive spectator but become a component of the team they support. For sponsors, an access to the target group is facilitated as well as an engagement with the audience becomes far richer and deeper. Due to the involvement of fans via social media, sport right holders obtain new communication channels that can be measured and evaluated like one way of promotion.

Undoubtedly the biggest game changer for sport sponsorship has been social media. They have turned one way flow of information on its head. Before sport consumption was unilateral; allowing spectators just admiring “the show” without any further engagement. Social media introduced interactive character to the global sport participation.
In order to stay competitive various methods of sponsorship have been used. For instance Formula 1 has been evolving gradually and its most important feature is global scale, which influences positively the dissemination of sponsored products. However, creating consistent and integrated message all over the world constitutes a challenge. The evolution of the way people participate in sport force Formula 1 to use more and more channels of communication and stay both flexible and transparent.
Concerning sport clubs, the sponsorship policy worth knowing is the example of Barcelona that has become the world’s largest sport club on social media with the number of followers expected to reach the level of 150 million this year. Last year a test was conducted to assess the impact of social media adds on the impressions of the club’s t-shirts. The result was astonishing with 61 million of web impressions gathered over one weekend.
Coming back to the motorsport world, another example to be mentioned is Formule E that introduced FanBoost for electric cars enabling fans to vote for their favorite driver expected to win the race. Such a solution makes fans feel like they have a real impact on the result of the race.
The real challenge for business, however is not only to come up with an original idea for the sponsorship but also to measure the efficiency of social media campaigns. The approach to the result evaluation should be holistic in terms of what the value generated to the brand is and to which extend the target group was reached.
The potential of social media is enormous, but the implementation of its campaigns has to be done carefully. What is offered both to sponsors and target groups must be primarily focused on delivering values and engagement, which results in building relationships and loyalty.
To learn more about the topic:
The importance of social media in sport