The activation of sponsorship partnerships is not yet a priority subject for all stakeholders in French sport. However, well-designed marketing operations have a beneficial effect on the ROI (note: return on investment) of brands and offer an enriched experience to fans. Including for sometimes small budgets. Lighting.
“During my studies, the various stakeholders insisted enormously on activations to bring sponsorship agreements to life. It is clear that, 10 years later, activation still remains a vague concept for many of our partners. Our regional sponsors are much more interested in classic visibility, on LED panels for example, and moments of exchange with other partners. It is in these terms that the communication director of a Ligue 2 BKT club describes the place occupied by activations in the life of his organization. And this is of course far from being an exception. “The activation of sponsorship contracts is an embryonic subject on the USDK side. Nevertheless, we are starting to get to it. We set up the first operations, such as prediction competitions, with the Boulanger brand last year. We will no doubt structure ourselves in the future to increase our power on this subject” confided to us recently Jean-Francois BruneauCommercial, Marketing and Communication Director of the northern club Liqui Moly Starligue.
If the activation of partnerships takes an increasingly important place in the discussions held by sports marketing professionals; the subject is studied operationally only for the main agreements concluded in the sector. The local businesses that make up the long tail of the pro club partner portfolio are not always comfortable with the concept of activation. “Apart from highly publicized sports organisations, the clubs are generally aimed at SMEs and VSEs. The latter identify the potential of activations but they do not necessarily know how to go about it. They encounter difficulties in projecting themselves into concrete formats. They do not bring together skills internally. Time and financial resources seem too important to them to structure a real activation policy. Because it is generally necessary to call on agencies or service providers to obtain a rendering at the level of expectations” analysis Arnaud BeardCommercial-Associate within the Toulouse agency Fit Group.
Some advertisers are already finding it difficult to fully exploit their rights. Hence the non-projection in additional operations to animate their partnerships. “For an advertiser, it’s very important to make its partnerships reflect on its platforms and sales channels. Intermarché does this very well by affixing the FFF logo to its private label products, for example. The POS is also well worked during the highlights of the Blues. But not all companies meet this level of requirement. It is important to mention its main partnerships on its digital channels, in its stores… All you have to do is create a dedicated web page, integrate the logo of the sponsored sports organization on its homepage or even regularly publish photos on his social networks. In my monitoring work, I regularly notice a deficit in the basic elements that should bring a sponsorship agreement to life” analyzes for its part Mathieu GoergenFounder of the reference site fanstriker.
Activation, a maturing subject
Nevertheless, in recent years, many companies have gained momentum in the field of activation. This is particularly true for the most mature brands in terms of sports sponsorship investing large sums to sponsor GESI (editor’s note: major international sporting events) or the most powerful sports organizations. Sponsors who are no longer satisfied solely with the visibility provided by the conclusion of such agreements.