Spotting the logo of a well-known brand splashed across the hoardings within a football ground is something we are all familiar with, but why are tech companies in particular choosing to tap into this type of marketing campaign – and how can smaller retailers get involved?
The fact that millions of people tune in to watch the latest football game on TV, let alone the thousands of fans that actually go along to the game, certainly make it an attracting prospect.
According to the Barclays Premier League, the league attracts a global fan following of around 1.46 billion, while in England 32 per cent of the adult population state they are actively engaged with the Barclays Premier League. The population of the UK from June 30th 2014 was estimated at 64.5 million (according to the Office of National Statistics), meaning there are more than 20 million football followers in the UK.
Hannspree’s UK territory manager, Martin Kent, says: “Sponsorship increases our visibility and brand awareness, increasing the likelihood of consumer purchases.”
Hannspree has renewed its partnership with Watford Football Club for the 2015-2016 football season, where the firm hopes to expose its various devices through LED displays. But Hannspree isn’t the only tech vendor known for its sponsorships within the sport industry, for example Lenovo is an official sponsor of NFL, while Intel also previously sponsored Barcelona FC.
But what are the benefits of working with football teams? “Having used sponsorship activities as a marketing platform since our company’s launch, we are confident that it has proved to increase our corporate identity and brand visibility to the consumer, helping drive pull through sales and create a ‘feel good factor’ towards our brands,” explains Kent.
No doubt having a logo emblazoned across hoardings, TV screens and football shirts, will attract a lot of attention, but other firms have reported a hike in social media followers.
Electronics vendor Veho chose to sponsor Southampton Football Club as part of a move to increase customer awareness of the brand, and since the Barclays Premier League has a 4.7 billion TV audience across 212 territories, Veho felt that sponsorship was the right way to go.
Ben Vallance, commercial director at Veho, adds: “In the last year, coupled with our global social media strategy, the sponsorship has helped to grow our global social media following from around 20,000 to 500,000 with around 30,000 consumer interactions a week. This gives us longevity of consumer brand awareness beyond our current two-year partnership with Southampton FC.”
While these larger tech firms are embracing football on a large scale, what can smaller businesses do to help increase their presence?
Sophie Morris, strategic marketing and sponsorship consultant at Millharbour Marketing, explains: "Smaller retailers can look at their own local markets. The closer you are to your customers, the more engagement you will be able to have.
"If you want wider exposure then look at growing sports that might be more cost-efficient investments now, but that might give you a strong and growing audience. It completely depends on who you are trying to target and what you want to achieve."
In addition to this, retailers should consider events in the local area, or even local hotspots in towns, for example a golf course will always offer companies the opportunity to advertise.
Kent concurs: “Even the roundabout down the road or the seventh tee at the local golf course can be sponsored. It is important to choose a partner that is beneficial to your business, but generally most activities will help increase consumer awareness if used to their full potential.”
But it isn’t just football teams that firms are sponsoring, for example Kaspersky Lab has renewed its partnership with the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One racing team.
Additionally, eSports is another major area where firms are choosing to spend money, and it’s no surprise as more and more gamers are starting to embrace eSports.
No doubt every company should consider sponsorship as part of their marketing campaigns, as the increased exposure will certainly lead to a greater brand presence with customers and greater sales in the future.